Right and wrong steps in haze fight

We complained about the haze but we did not demand an apology ("Strong comments from S'pore"; Sept 26).

We asked only for cooperation. Together with Malaysia, we only requested urgent action to resolve the current and future haze situation, which is getting worse every year.

We also seek a long-term solution to this perennial problem through an agreement on combating transboundary haze ("Asean eager to make success of anti-haze treaty"; June 12, 2002).

Like good neighbours, we even offered help but it was declined three times ("Indonesian V-P: If S'pore wants to help, do it and 'don't just talk'"; Sept 29).

The audacity of Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla's insensitive comments is beyond comprehension. Such a callous attitude only shows a lack of will to resolve a situation which affects Indonesia's neighbours.

Where is the Asean spirit of cooperation?

I have profound sympathy for the Indonesian people, especially those living in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Living in a hazardous environment for a few months year on year disrupts their daily routines and affects their health.

Mr Kalla's statements will only embolden the culprits. Life for the affected will not improve in the short term unless there is a will and determination to eradicate the problem on a governmental level.

After every "haze season", was there an effort made at gathering clues as to who the culprits might be? Was there a concerted effort by a task force to learn how best to tackle the next haze crisis?

The only consolation so far has been President Joko Widodo's call for immediate action in building large canals in fire-prone areas to irrigate peatlands in the dry season to possibly prevent future fires ("Jokowi orders canal network to be built immediately"; Sept 26).

This was after he visited Central Kalimantan to inspect the damage done. With the President directing the firefighting, it will be a welcome relief not only for Indonesians, but for Singaporeans and Malaysians as well.

It is a step in the right direction.

Lin Howard