Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Baka singled out an unnamed “Singapore Environment Minister” during a meeting in 2014 and said that the Singapore Minister was disrespectful.
“Previously, Singapore’s Environment Minister always gives an assessment on policies in Indonesia, for instance, on peatland, it should be like this and like that. That to me, is not an attitude that showed mutual respect.”
The current Foreign Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, is the Environment Minister between 2011 and 2015. He has since been replaced by Masagos Zulkifli. PAP Ministers are infamous to be arrogant partly because of their ministerial salaries, which is currently the world’s highest.
The Indonesia Minister was responding to a question regarding Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) law passed in 2014. About two months ago, the Singapore government obtained a court warrant against an Indonesian company director for suspicion of breaching the aforementioned Singapore law. There is no evidence presented by the Singapore government. The Indonesia government responded saying that the THPA is a Singapore law and is hence non-applicable in Indonesia. Indonesia also lodged a complain to the Singapore government via its ambassador in Singapore.
Minister Siti said that every country who adhered to the ASEAN agreement needs to respect the sovereignty of each other’s country and that the THPA remains controversial because it is not agreed upon in a multilateral meeting between the countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.