The Indonesian government has made a u-turn and declined Singapore’s offer to help with fire-fighting in Sumatra. Just three days ago (Sep 10), Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed that Indonesia has accepted Singapore’s offer to help fight the fire in Sumatra. Singapore has offered 3 C-130 planes and a helicopter in its assistance pledge.
Indonesia’s Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar announced yesterday (Sep 12) that Indonesia have enough planes and equipment to deal with the forest fire by themselves and Singapore’s help is not needed. The Indonesian government’s spokesperson Eka Soegiri confirmed these comments with Singapore’s media today.
Currently, the number of fire outbreaks, known as hot spots, exceeded the number in June 2013 where Singapore experienced its worst haze ever at a PSI of 401. Fortunately, wind direction is not blowing in Singapore’s way but if the weather changes, Singapore will likely see smog worse than before.
Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) stated that there are 9 companies involved with the forest burning and the majority are suppliers to Singapore company Asia Pulp & Paper. It is unknown if the Singapore Government will fine Asia Pulp & Paper as earlier committed to punish greedy corporate who made profits at the expenses of the country’s air cleanliness.