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Jakarta Post

Singapore'€™s former PM praises SBY'€™s response to haze cloud

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 30, 2013   /  05:20 pm

Singapore'€™s former prime minister Goh Chok Tong praised the Indonesian government for its ability to tackle the haze crisis caused by land and forest fires in Riau.

In a statement posted on his Facebook account, on Sunday morning, Goh expressed his gratitude to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He said the President had shown a strong leadership in dealing with the transnational problem.

'€œAs the saying goes, when there is a will, there is a way. Thank you, President SBY, for showing this will, graciousness and dignified statesmanship,'€ Goh wrote, as quoted by

Interestingly, Goh also took the opportunity to criticize several ministers from the United Indonesia Cabinet II whom he said had made '€˜harsh, hostile and unconstructive'€™ statements.

'€œ['€¦] This is appreciated, in contrast with the boorish remarks of some of his ministers,'€ said Goh.

The Singaporean politician who currently serves as senior emeritus minister opened his statement by praising the improved condition due to several initiatives taken by the Indonesian government.

'€œHot spots down in Sumatra. PSI (pollutant standard'€™s index) in moderate range, helped by rain, wind direction change and Indonesian President's directive to his Ministers to put out the many fires,'€ Goh said.

To prevent this type of crisis from happening again in the future, the parliament member from the Marine Parade constituency highlighted that '€œprevention was better than cure'€.

'€œIt may not be possible to totally stop poor farmers from using slash-and-burn practices but it should be easy to prevent commercial plantation owners from doing so,'€ said Goh.

'€œWith satellite technology, new laws if necessary and political will, smoking guns can be identified, confiscated and made to pay if they are fired.'€ (fan/ebf)


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