The haze must be dealt with in haste

Since Wednesday, the haze has been getting worse and air quality has reached a stage when schools have to be closed. And Singapore is several hundred kilometers from the sources of the haze. It does not need much imagination to know how bad the air quality is in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Social and commercial activities in the city state have hit a new low with visibility in many parts of the island falling to less than 50 metres. And some residents are complaining that they have difficulties watching what is on the TV screens.

And we have heard only words, words of what the govt on both sides are doing to curb the haze. Probably in another 50 years we would still be talking and exchanging words. The govt has been telling the people that they have identified some companies involved in the haze and would be taking legal actions against them I supposed. Is it really so difficult to identify the culprits causing the haze, particularly the big companies? Perhaps we need to send a few satellites into space to do so. By the satellite images produced in the media, it is quite obvious that the whole of Sumatra and Kalimantan are on fire. What would that say about the companies involved or how many companies are involved?

A few things can be done immediately instead of acting like lost sheep or headless sheep not knowing what to do. What about imposing an immediate ban on all imports of palm oil and related products from all the companies with plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan for a year for a start? And the ban should include by products from companies that used palm oil from the same companies in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The ban should be taken up to Asean and all Asean countries should also ban the import of palm oil and related products from these companies. And if needed be, a complaint can be tabled at the UN to impose a world wide ban on these companies.

There must be many things that the affected countries can do instead of sitting haplessly waiting for a miracle to happen. If words are the only instrument available , the haze problem will still be around in the next 100 years and nothing would be done about it except words and more words.

Have we run out of ideas as usual in dealing with this hazardous environmental threat to the health and lives of out people? Maybe we need to bring in a few more foreign talents to help us solve this perennial problem. Oh, an easier way is to engage some top notch consultancy firms from the US or UK or Europe to think up a solution for us. QED.

PS. There is something to be learnt from Mahathir in interstate problems. If the other side cannot or unwilling to tackle the problem seriously, think what Mahathir will do like the crooked bridge issue? Mahathir will solve the problem himself unilaterally without needing the other party to do anything.


agongkia said...

Uncle RB
No need to kancheong and let others know that Sinkies are just like a bunch of Akua.Cannot even tolerate haze .You are telling our weakness es.
Just like that so claim popular chef that appear in TV last night giving an impression that Sinkies are so weak by showing sign of vomiting and fainting when visiting rural area in Vietnam.

I have the privilege to live in kampong and mix with chain smokers daily.
I do not feel the inconvenience of so call haze.
How to defend your country when you cannot even stand such smog or smoke.
Dun show our weaknesses.
My cousin has palm oil plantations in Jambi and Sumatra.You think they enjoy burning ?
Whether intentionally or accidentally, such haze will happen occasionally.
Whats the big deal.Sinkies should learn how to take it.
Best is to make NS men go through smoke house training. Sinkies to learn and tolerate 2nd hand smoke.

Anonymous said...

But why would PAP want to carry out the difficult task of really dealing with the haze when they already have a strong mandate from 70% Sinkies to do what PAP think is the best and easiest thing for them to do?

Anonymous said...

Despite their million dollar salaries, Sinkie minister Shanmugam already said there is only so much we can do about the haze.

Bo kum muan (not satisfied) and buay song (not feeling good) is it? But then, what can Sinkies do? kpkb in RB blog again?

Anonymous said...

This gongkia will also say the pigs are very happy living in the pigsty, where got smell? The smell very good. When one is dirty and smelly, one gets used to it and expect others to be smelly and dirty like him.

Right gongkia? Did you bathe in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Relac lah!

Singaporeans already gave PAP a strong mandate NOT to do anything about the haze problem.

Do you seriously think PAP Ministers ask for a strong mandate so that they will be inspired to work harder to benefit Singaporeans?
- only the daft or 70% Singaporeans believe this.

Anonymous said...

The 70% is to make the oppo works harder, not the PAP.

Anonymous said...

This haze problem will never be solved. Years down the road, they will tell us we cannot expect no haze, like the floods and train breakdowns.

You see, a little change of wind direction and we get hit and even the million dollar ministers have no idea how to solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Redbean overlooked the fact that the people tha suffer the most are those living in the lands where the burnings are taking place. They are done to clear the lands for new crops. Burning is the most effective and economical as well as a natural organic fertilizer for the new plants.

As for the suggestion to ban imports of palm oil products, Redbean is stretching too far in his calling. Palm oil products are essential raw ingredients in much of the daily needed consumptions in food, fuel, cosmetic and hosts of others produce by giant conglomerates. Banning palm oil products will lead to their shortages and lift prices skyward.
The only way is for the palm oil producing nations to require the plantation owners to use non-burning ways to clear their lands. This shall requires the plantation owners to spend money in equipments, manpower, fertilizer and time.

It was reported that the psi level was almost 2000 at some places in Kalimantan. Were there no complaints there? There is bound to have, but since there are less population and more plants, forests and people more used to the annual events, they probably bear with it for the sake of the palm oil industries.
Maybe if Sg is sparely populated with plenty of greens liked before the sixties, more Sinkies would have tolerated the haze like Ahgongkia, or kpkb less.

Anonymous said...

Haze is not just a matter of inconvenience or an irritation. It is a health hazard.

agongkia said...

RB need to go Padang or Jambi, not just listening or reading and blindly suggested such idea of banning palm oil like others suggested.
Even if the burning is done deliberately, it could be burn for the purpose of planting Durian or other need.What does that got to do with palm oil.
Lucky he not Chenghu.Cannot think out of box:-)

Anonymous said...

People will only wake up when pain strike them REALLY REALLY HARD, you see so many people wearing masks every where in Singapore, why? because they are choked by haze. they can not breath, to be alive tomorrow, they wear mask.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous September 25, 2015 9:40 a.m.
//But why would PAP want to carry out the difficult task of really dealing with the haze when they already have a strong mandate from 70% Sinkies to do what PAP think is the best and easiest thing for them to do?//

After giving 69.9%, all sinkies got were Shanmugam and lao goa KPKB in their FACEBOOK ONLY about the haze and inaction of their counterpart.

In a regional or international crisis, if that's all 69.9% get, could the opposition have fared far worst if they were in the driver's seat? How's the ride going to be over the next five and a half LOOONG years? Like the "USS Galactica" extreme ROLLER COASTER?

The 69.9% must really reflect, ruminate and repent what they have done to "sabo" the 30.1% sinkies and Sinkieland and themselves. Before the start of the new term, they already "failed" the test. How is life going to be over another five and a half LOOONG years? CHAM? Two months of burning haze each year but twelve months of "political haze" 365/ 7/ 24?

Anonymous said...

The air here at the Gold Coast is beautiful,fresh and clear - straight from the Pacific Ocean. I'm glad I migrated here years ago.