It seems that Indonesia is capable of handling the haze crisis on its own ("Jakarta again declines Singapore's help to fight haze"; Sept 18, and "Jakarta says it's yet to decide on needing S'pore help"; Sept 19).
There is no point for Singapore to render help in this crisis, given that this is the second time the Indonesian authorities have rejected our offer.
Our efforts and resources, including money and manpower intended for helping our neighbour put out the fires, can be better utilised for more urgent purposes here during the haze period.
I cannot understand why, despite a number of meetings between Indonesia and its affected neighbours previously, the haze situation has not improved at all. In fact, it has worsened.
Mobilising thousands of soldiers and policemen to combat fires is just a temporary measure; there must be a sincere, concerted effort to eradicate this scourge of unhealthy air quality once and for all.
If hefty fines and long-term jail sentences meted out to the culprits are not enough, there should be harsher penalties, such as the forfeiture of the land where illegal burning is being practised.
While there is no panacea for the haze problem now and in the near future, we must explore ways and means to prevent it from causing hardship and inconvenience to people in the region.
Jeffrey Law Lee Beng