ALSO BY

By Michael Ng

Disgusted with Indonesia's annual 'gift'

I am really disgusted with the "annual gift" that Indonesia presents to our country every year when their farmers and plantation workers carry out the slash and burn method to clear the land for re-planting.

I am sure there must be a better way to go about doing this but obviously they chose the easiest and cheapest method.

It is no joke having to breathe in polluted air. The dust particles in the air are so minute that they can easily enter our lungs and stay there. Who knows the effect it can have on our health in the long run?

It could even be cancerous!

The Indonesian government can put the blame on Malaysian and Singaporean-owned oil palm plantation companies operating in Sumatra island for causing the haze but ultimately what is lacking is the strict enforcement of the environmental laws (if any exists at all) on their part.

How could it be possible for these companies to carry out their slash and burn activities with such impunity all these years if not for the lackadaisical attitude of the Indonesian government on putting its foot down.

I pity our school children and those elderly and suffering from asthma and other breathing problems. The haze has made their daily lives very difficult and uncomfortable.

Since the onslaught of the haze, I have been sneezing and my nose runny. My nine-year-old son is having the same problems, too, as both of us have sensitive noses.

Perhaps I should write officially to the Indonesian Embassy to ask them to sponsor a new air-conditioner and an air purifier for my home since they are our "friendly neighbours" and the current hazy situation affecting our country is of their own doing.

Indonesia being an Asean member and our close neighbour should not take us for granted.

If it were any unfriendly nation, they would consider this annual haze problem as an "act of war" as it is harmful to the country's citizens.

It also has harms the country's productivity and economy tremendously.

Nations had in the past gone to war over a football game and here we have been suffering since the late 80s by these hazardous haze originating from our neighbour, who seems to know nothing on how to control and prevent it except to engage in a blame game which none of us are interested in hearing.