Smog alarm: Singapore’s index surges past 400, Johor still hazardous

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Update: At 2.00pm, Singapore’s 3-hour PSI reading dipped to 245, still at a very unhealthy level.

Not looking good: Singapore’s 3-hour PSI index has soared to an alarming 401 at noon, while Kota Tinggi (314) and Pasir Gudang (323) in Johor were also at hazardous levels an hour earlier.

“Many people are not working here now, and streets are empty. My white tiles are all dark brown!” said a Singaporean tutor.

Malacca city was still blanketed with a very unhealthy 205 smog.

It is surely time to examine in detail which are the plantation companies and smallholders responsible for the burning in Sumatra and their countries of origin, so that appropriate legal action can be taken in their home countries.

We have to be vigilant about the environment and look out for the culprits, many of them corporations. What they do in our country (e.g. chopping down trees or spewing toxic emissions) may have an impact in other countries, or even globally (e.g. global warming, climate change).

Our lack of vigilance and apathy will come back to haunt us with a vengeance when we least expect it.

READ MORE:  Why massive land reclamation in Penang is not a great idea
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19 Comments on "Smog alarm: Singapore’s index surges past 400, Johor still hazardous"

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Soo Kok Leng
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Soo Kok Leng

Anil

What is the difference between in the 2 indices: Singapore’s PSI and Malaysia’s API?

Reflections
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Reflections

The haze doesn’t affect Jakarta, hence their attitude.

Tigerz67
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Tigerz67

Hi Tung Lang. Thanks. I was really fed up with this unending problem. However I wouldn’t wish calamities on them. Please remember, the culprits are the corrupt politicians and greedy businessman. Most ordinary folks in Sumatra are also victims. 🙂 And it looks like NGO’s in Indonesia are fighting a good fights as well.

tunglang
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Malaysia’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is headed to Indonesia on Wednesday to meet Balthasar. Underscoring the urgency of the issue is the fact that Palanivel is leaving Malaysia just two days after the first sitting of the 13th Parliament tomorrow. He is expected to try to cobble out a pact with the Indonesians on what to about the haze. But it appears the talks will also include the 8 companies that are owned by Malaysian investors. One of them is PT Tunggal Mitra Plantation, a unit of Minamas Plantation, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Sime Darby… Read more »
Ranger
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Ranger

Stop using Palm Oil cooking oil for a start. The haze seems to be an annual affair and should be “celebrated” as the Annual Asean Haze Festival” Can assure you all these companies will state that they practise sustainable practises….

Farid
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Farid
Latest update: Indonesia’s environment minister said 8 domestic firms were suspected of being responsible for the blazes on Sumatra island that blanketed neighbouring Singapore in record levels of hazardous smog. The parent companies of the Indonesian firms included Malaysia-listed Sime Darby and Singapore’s Wilmar Group. A senior presidential aide on Friday also blamed units of Jakarta-based PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) for the fires. Under Indonesian law, any company or person proven to be involved in an illegal forest fire could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of… Read more »
Farid
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Farid

The Singapore Environment Minister has already flown to Jakarta to add pressure to the Indonesian government. However, But our Environment Minister Palanivel is still sleeping on the job and will only meet the Indonesia counterpart to discuss haze in July.

tunglang
Guest

Political appeasement-skewed politeness at play. Which Malaysian PM has made a firm stand / demand from the Indon gomen to rectify its own backyard open burning? The same ‘tip-toeing’ with regards to Indon maids fees bargaining but at losing ends of Malaysian employers.
Indian maids who speak English I think are much better.

Tigerz67
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Tigerz67

more insights on the current haze
you need to magnify the map to get a better picture.

http://insights.wri.org/news/2013/06/peering-through-haze-what-data-can-tell-us-about-fires-indonesia

About half the fires in Indonesia are from within timber and oil plantations (owned by companies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore). The other half could be from slash and burn by the locals.

tunglang
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Tigerz67, great article. And ‘proof’ of who are the culprits (the PTs). Looking at the map, Sumatra is surely devastated – more than 50% is burning to the tree roots as hot as hell’s fire. What’s left of Nature, once an envy of treeless Arab countries? This burning affair has been going on for almost 3 decades but scolding & finger pointing at these recalcitrant corporations & Indon gomens still make no iota of difference, whatsoever. It seems that convenient & cheap burning at the expense of neighboring countries is too good an opportunity profit to sacrifice but surely add… Read more »
Tigerz67
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Tigerz67

The following article gives one of many examples of forests being cleared (and burned) for palm oil plantations. It mentions a few companies. Interesting Wilmar (run by the Kuok Family), Unilever (allegedly) buys palm oil from companies who operate this slash and burn model. Although these companies may not own the plantations, they are still culpable.

http://ran.org/sites/default/files/tripa_ran_truth_and_consequences.pdf

Tigerz67
Guest
Tigerz67

I think its pointless complaining directly to the governments. They have been pussy footing around each other for years. We should find out which companies are slashing and burning in Indonesia. The haze is to extensive for it to be just small stakeholders. Even the Singapore PM thinks so.

http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/06/21/indonesia-investigates-eight-companies-over-sumatra-fires/

Here is Greenpeace’s rating of palm oil companies
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/forests/2012/Indonesia/PalmOilScorecard.pdf

Lets find out which company is responsible and call to boycott them directly and put pressure on them. This was successfully done with a pulp and paper company APP who was responsible for vast de-forestation in Sumatra. And the boycott worked.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/26/sumatra-borneo-deforestation-tigers-palm-oil
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/asia-pacific/app/

najib manaukau
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Why can’t the Indonesian authority just have a legislation passed that burning method to clear the land is an offense and that will be the end of the problem ? After all these palm oil plantation owners are big timers in the industry and no doubt can afford to carry the extra charges with any new methods enforced. I think it must have be with the blessing of someone higher in the Indonesian authority’s ‘blessing’ that the burning has become an annual affair. One time before an Indonesian authority had said no one was complaining when their forest was producing… Read more »
Yang
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Yang

And we have one Indonesian official that said the Singaporean is childish over such matters. If only if it affect them I wonder what they will say. This idiot

Hasri
Guest
Hasri

President Susilo only took action and declared to spend USD20 million to fight the fire, only after Singapore Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan flew to Jakarta urgently with a special letter from PM Lee to President Susilo – perhaps with a cheque of USD20 million eclosed?

(Is that) why our Environment Minister delayed his trip to Indonesia.
In Indonesia, no money no talk.

Erina
Guest
Erina

‘Slash & burn’ to clear the land for oil palm plantation cost US$50/hectare vs the US$250/hectare environmentally-friendly way. I doubt these companies practise proper corporate social responsibility for economic reason alone, thus the haze problem.

Not sure if Malaysian oil pam companies in Sumatra practise the right way in view of the falling oil palm prices. Green peace is watching!

Farid
Guest
Farid

Singapore’s Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said Singapore will offer no succour nor refuge to companies responsible for illegal fires in Indonesia that have caused the haze affecting Singapore.

Will our BN government do likewise?

Hasri
Guest
Hasri
Umno/Bn government will not mind if its citizens die but will go all out to protect the plantations who are the major contributors of haze. Despite Umno/Bn’s incompetence over several issues, yet Malaysians chose to allow these scoundrels to run the country. Malaysians are now reaping for what they sowed on 5 May 2013. The Umno/BN government iwill not come down hard on the errant oil palm plantation owners, … in order to safeguard the good name of Felda Global Holdings associated with such industry? These businesses are owned by well-connected cronies. The ordinary rakyat suffer instead while these cronies… Read more »
Ho Ho Ho
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Ho Ho Ho

WISH THE IDIOT INDON SMOKE TO BE BLOW BACK BY BIG WIND TO THEIR OWN BACKGROUND …..SO THAT THEY CAN FEEL THE EXCITEMENT…lol