Malaysia: No details yet on Indonesia's haze -- Environment Minister

NURADZIMMAH DAIM New Straits Times 9 Mar 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has yet to get details on the recent forest fires in Riau which had prompted the authorities there to declare a state of emergency.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he had given instructions to his officers to get details on the haze in Riau and Kalimantan, if any.

“So far, Malaysia is not affected by the fire as we were saved by the wind cycle, according to the Meteorological Department.

We have yet to receive specific information whether it (the fires) will cause us harm.

“We will nevertheless contact our counterparts in Indonesia for further details before we can offer our assistance in putting out the fires,” he said.

Wan Junaidi added that the government had also not yet received feedback from the Indonesia government on the memorandum of understanding to address the problem of trans-boundary haze, which has been delayed several times.

“The ministry had sent nine letters to the Indonesian government since the idea to sign the MoU was suggested in July last year.

Unfortunately, we have yet to receive any response from the Indonesian Environment Ministry.

I even sent a letter on Feb 18 to my counterpart but have yet to receive anything,” he said in the lobby of Parliament.