Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said the haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia has been an embarrassment for him to face Malaysia and Singapore as the problem has affected them.
“I sometimes feel embarrassed. This week I’m going to Malaysia and Singapore. However, I am also aware that it (haze) has become news headlines, affecting our neighbours,” said Jokowi, as reported by Indonesian media.
He said this during a coordination meeting on forest fires involving the relevant stakeholders at the State Palace yesterday.
Jokowi, via his Instagram account, said today that he had directed all concerned to take the forest fires more seriously.
He said he did not want to see a repeat of the 2015 fires that damaged 2.6 million hectares of land and forests in Kalimantan and Sumatra.
Based on the data published by the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK), forest fires have affected more than 42,000 hectares of forests and farms in the republic this year.
Jokowi is scheduled to make official visits to Malaysia and Singapore tomorrow and on Friday.