Burning to clear land likely to stay

I was glad to read of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's plans for large canals with dams to be built in fire-prone areas to ensure peatlands are not drained during the dry season, becoming tinder for forest fires ("Jokowi orders canal network to be built immediately"; Sept 26).

But the remarks from his deputy, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, are disappointing ("Strong comments from S'pore"; Sept 26).

Mr Kalla should remember that his own people are also suffering as a result of the haze.

However, even as we try to negotiate the intricacies of diplomacy in trying to resolve the haze issue, we must also accept the fact that the use of burning to clear land will not go away, as the cost of clearing land without burning is tens of times higher.

What we can do is to minimise the impact of the haze to an acceptable, controlled level.

Sim Lim Onn