As Port Klang haze hits 487, who can be called responsible? – Join the discussion

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haze
Port Klang’s haze reached 487 on June 25

Fingers have been pointed. Feelings have been hurt. Many millions have had to endure – exposed to a hazardous pea soup of suffocating smog wafting over from ongoing Indonesia fires.

Today, June 25, Port Klang in Malaysia, a city just outside of Kuala Lumpur, reached a hazardous record on the PSI, surpassing Singapore’s PSI rating of 401 on June 21 to hit a chocking 487, according to readings by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment taken at 7am. Any rating over 300 is considered dangerous to one’s health.

So who is responsible for the blaze haze engulfing Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia? Many culprits have been named, all linked to the countries of concern: Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Asia Pulp & Paper, based in Singapore, is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world, and partially owned by Indonesian business man Sukanto Tanoto, who resides in the city-state. Eight Malaysia-linked companies have also been named, among them Malaysia’s palm oil titan Sime Darby, who quickly rebuffed claims to holding complicity in the cause of the haze.

In Indonesia, a former official at the Bank Rakyat Indonesia, a state-owned bank, has been the first arrested, accused of burning “thousands of hectares”  in an effort to cut costs on his plantation.

In response to the health haze now intermittently covering Malaysia and Singapore, both countries have reacted by taking to the internet to openly accuse their larger neighbour Indonesia of acting afoul by not being able to govern the slash-and-burn practices of its wayward palm oil barons – a phenomenon that is far from unique, plaguing the Malay peninsula and even Borneo annually. Among those expressing their ire, a Malaysian comedian cursed Indonesia for causing the “serious” health condition.

In turn, Jakarta has been taken aback, defending itself from a corner.

“Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise” about the haze, one Indonesia minister has responded. Local media has reported that Indonesian authorities now worry that a “black campaign” is being carried out to discredit ASEAN’s largest economy globally.

Is the blaze haze – an annually phenomena — a result of unabated crony capitalism as palm oil barons look to cut costs. Or is Indonesia’s less than stellar record of enforcing forestry laws to blame, an issue that should now be tackled with much more regional intervention.

 

Chime in with your views on Friday, June 28 on our live discussion on Twitter at 5pm Malaysia time (GMT +8). Be sure to mention us (@insideinvestor) and use the hashtag #askii, while adding #sghaze or #myhaze (depending on where you are discussing about). 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Port Klang’s haze reached 487 on June 25

Fingers have been pointed. Feelings have been hurt. Many millions have had to endure – exposed to a hazardous pea soup of suffocating smog wafting over from ongoing Indonesia fires.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

haze
Port Klang’s haze reached 487 on June 25

Fingers have been pointed. Feelings have been hurt. Many millions have had to endure – exposed to a hazardous pea soup of suffocating smog wafting over from ongoing Indonesia fires.

Today, June 25, Port Klang in Malaysia, a city just outside of Kuala Lumpur, reached a hazardous record on the PSI, surpassing Singapore’s PSI rating of 401 on June 21 to hit a chocking 487, according to readings by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment taken at 7am. Any rating over 300 is considered dangerous to one’s health.

So who is responsible for the blaze haze engulfing Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia? Many culprits have been named, all linked to the countries of concern: Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Asia Pulp & Paper, based in Singapore, is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world, and partially owned by Indonesian business man Sukanto Tanoto, who resides in the city-state. Eight Malaysia-linked companies have also been named, among them Malaysia’s palm oil titan Sime Darby, who quickly rebuffed claims to holding complicity in the cause of the haze.

In Indonesia, a former official at the Bank Rakyat Indonesia, a state-owned bank, has been the first arrested, accused of burning “thousands of hectares”  in an effort to cut costs on his plantation.

In response to the health haze now intermittently covering Malaysia and Singapore, both countries have reacted by taking to the internet to openly accuse their larger neighbour Indonesia of acting afoul by not being able to govern the slash-and-burn practices of its wayward palm oil barons – a phenomenon that is far from unique, plaguing the Malay peninsula and even Borneo annually. Among those expressing their ire, a Malaysian comedian cursed Indonesia for causing the “serious” health condition.

In turn, Jakarta has been taken aback, defending itself from a corner.

“Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise” about the haze, one Indonesia minister has responded. Local media has reported that Indonesian authorities now worry that a “black campaign” is being carried out to discredit ASEAN’s largest economy globally.

Is the blaze haze – an annually phenomena — a result of unabated crony capitalism as palm oil barons look to cut costs. Or is Indonesia’s less than stellar record of enforcing forestry laws to blame, an issue that should now be tackled with much more regional intervention.

 

Chime in with your views on Friday, June 28 on our live discussion on Twitter at 5pm Malaysia time (GMT +8). Be sure to mention us (@insideinvestor) and use the hashtag #askii, while adding #sghaze or #myhaze (depending on where you are discussing about). 

 

 

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