Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Worst Haze Since 1997?

Low visibility of the Singapore Flyer

As you would have probably known by now, Singapore has been hit by one of the worst haze since 1997. In Sumatra, farmers slash-and-burn land as it is a fast and cheap process to clear space for palm oil plantations.

This inadvertently causes forest fires that pollute the air. The wind current then carried most of the smog towards our direction, leaving our island republic in a hazy situation.

The plummeting air-quality causes many to fall ill including myself who had had a asthma relapse since a week ago but with no signs of recovering.

At one point, the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) rose to 321 at 10pm on 19 June, which falls under the "Hazardous" range. This figure broke 1997's record of 226!

PSI reading for 19 June

*Update 21 June: The 19 June record was broken again two days later when the PSI soared to 401.

Singapore has been tormented by Indonesia's haze problem for years and I do not think their government cares or are doing enough to curb this problem.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono was quoted in several media reports as saying that Singapore “should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise”.

W... WHUT?

It is due to their irresponsible farming methods that our health are being compromised yet we do not have the right to voice our concerns? Hello?

He also said that Indonesia did not want the forest fires either which were “because of nature”. (link)

I'm not sure if he attended geography lessons in school. The tsunami, hurricane and volcano eruption are acts of nature but... slash-and-burn too?

He further added that his country would not accept offers of financial aid from Singapore to deal with the forest fires in Sumatra if the amount was not “large”. 

Perhaps I'm reading it the wrong way but is he telling us not to insult them with less than a million dollars? Well, that is a very subtle hint regarding what they want, isn't it?

I really wonder what does it take to be a minister in Indonesia?


Are we doomed to be at their mercy year after year? Why do we have to suffer in silence? This isn't right! It's high time the neighboring countries join forces to cut off all economy ties with them for being such a bully.

In the meantime, do drink lots of fluids to flush out the toxins and try to stay indoors wherever possible.

Do take care of your own health for you can be sure that Agung guy won't give two hoots about you.




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