Monday, June 24, 2013

Identify and punish haze offenders, opposition tells Indonesian ambassador

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and three other opposition members of parliament met with the Indonesian ambassador in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss ways to combat the haze caused by fires raging in Sumatra.

Lim said he told Ambassador Herman Prayitno at the meeting that the first thing to do was to identify and punish the companies responsible for the burning, no matter where the companies are from.

"(It)Does not matter if the companies belong to Indonesia or Malaysia or any other country. But, if they are from here, we are going to suggest to the Malaysian government to get the companies to pay compensation to Malaysians and also to the Indonesians who were badly affected by the haze," Lim told reporters after the meeting.

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He said that during the hour-long discussion they also suggested that Indonesia immediately ratify The Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution so the problem of open burning can be handled together.

Lim said he was told that the agreement was only recently brought up for discussion in the Indonesian parliament.

"We hope that with the agreement, we can come up with a better solution on how to tackle the haze issue. We do not want this to become an annual problem," he said.

Lim also said that Minister of Environment Datuk Seri G. Palanivel's scheduled visit on Wednesday to meet Indonesian ministers was a bit too late.

"Singapore sent a representative last week while we are only sending a representative there on Wednesday," said Lim.

He was accompanied by Klang MP Charles Santiago, Seremban MP Anthony Loke and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching from Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor respectively. All three states are affected by the haze. - June 24, 2013.

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