Indonesian President Joko Widodo informed his officials in a press statement yesterday (6 Feb) that he promised Singapore and Malaysia’s Prime Ministers to keep 2018 a haze-free year.
Indonesia, which will be hosting the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang this August and September, has had caused multiple occurrences of serious haze in Singapore in past years.
In his press statement, President Widodo pointed out that “In 2015, every time I met the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia, the complaint that would always be conveyed to me was about haze.”
He instructed officials to be serious about combating land and forest fires, such that the Asian Games this year would be able to proceed smoothly without ruining Indonesia’s reputation.
“At that moment, do not let there be any smoke, or land and forest fires which will subsequently interfere with our image or even flights,” the president stated. “I repeat the rules of the game once again, if there are forest fires in your territories and it is not being handled properly, remove (the official in charge)!”
Under President Widodo’s charge, the number of hotspots have decreased from 21,929 in 2015 to 3,915 in 2016 to 2,567 in 2017.