Singapore seeks 'early response' from Indonesia on names of errant companies involved in haze, reiterates offer of assistance: MFA

Motorists travelling under a thick haze in Palembang, on Indonesia's Sumatra island, on Sept 30, 2015.
Motorists travelling under a thick haze in Palembang, on Indonesia's Sumatra island, on Sept 30, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore has sent a formal request to Indonesia on the names of errant companies involved in the haze and is seeking an early response from Jakarta on the issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 7), as it reiterated Singapore's offer of assistance to combat the fires.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a formal request for the names of these companies to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore," the MFA said in a statement.

"This was in response to the request by the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, who had previously said that if Singapore wanted the names of these companies to be officially sent to it, then this had to be done through the Government-to-Government channel," the MFA added.

"We look forward to an early response from the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on our requests so that we can take the necessary action against those who are responsible for the haze," it said.

Parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have been blanketed in a thick haze caused by the illegal burning of peatland and forests in Indonesia in recent weeks.

In its statement, the MFA also reiterated its offer of assistance to Indonesia to help combat the fires causing the haze.

The MFA said the offer of assistance includes one C-130 aircraft for cloud seeding operations and up to to two C-130 aircraft to ferry a fire-fighting assistance team from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

One Chinook helicopter with one heli-bucket under-slung, subject to their operational availability, would also be provided, the MFA said.

In addition, Singapore is also offering a team from SCDF to provide assessment and planning assistance, high resolution satellite pictures and hotspot coordinates.

"Singapore stands ready to assist Indonesia in its haze combating and fire-fighting efforts," the MFA added.