Indonesia minister blames M'sia for causing haze

Malaysian minister says her Indonesian counterpart is 'in denial'.

Matthias Ang | September 13, 2019, 01:52 AM

Indonesia's Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, has blamed Malaysia for causing the haze affecting both Singapore and Malaysia.

Blamed Malaysia for haze

According to The Malay Mail, Siti Nurbaya accused the Malaysian government of concealing information on the origin of the haze -- namely, that it came from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

She said:

"There is information that they covered up. Really, the smoke entering Malaysia, to Kuala Lumpur, it came from Sarawak, then from Peninsular Malaysia, and also some from West Kalimantan.

The Malaysian government should have been objective in its explanation."

The Straits Times reported that the ministry itself also claimed on its website that 1,423 potential fires had been registered in Peninsular Malaysia on Sep. 7.

Malaysian counterpart hits back

In response, Malaysia's Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin shared a Facebook post on Sep. 11 that showed the location of hotspots and the direction of the wind.

The data came from the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC).

Yeo added that it was logically impossible for the haze to reach Peninsular Malaysia from Sarawak, as the wind did not blow from East to West.

Malaysia also only had seven hotspots, compared to a total of 861 in both Kalimantan and Sumatra.

She concluded her post by stating, "Minister Siti Nurbaya should not be in denial."

Sarawak deputy chief minister shocked by claim

Yeo's remarks echoed those of Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas, who expressed his shock at Siti Nurbaya's claim earlier on the same day, The Malay Mail reported.

He stated that it was impossible for the haze to originate from Sarawak, which itself is a victim of haze from West Kalimantan.

Uggah said: "I suggest that she should get the right information from the ASMC, which is tracking the haze movement."

More details about the haze:

Top image collage from Siti Nurbaya Facebook and Yeo Bee Yin Facebook