PUTRAJAYA (Sept 16): Malaysia’s long-term planning to address the yearly transboundary haze needs the cooperation of neighbouring countries, including Indonesia, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
“Until we get cooperation (from other countries), it is not possible to have long-term plans,” said the prime minister who added that he had yet to send a letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the matter.
Dr Mahathir explained that Malaysia needed to first verify whether the haze in Malaysia was coming from Sarawak, as reportedly claimed by Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar on Wednesday.
Dr Mahathir was speaking at a press conference after watching the Putrajaya Boat Race 2019 here yesterday.
On Thursday, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin had responded to Indonesia’s claims by stating in her Facebook post that there was no need for Indonesia to be ‘in denial’ as the latest data on the total number of hotspots in Kalimantan and Sumatera speaks for itself.
Yeo was also reported to have said that Dr Mahathir would be sending a letter regarding the haze to the Indonesia president as soon as possible and that Malaysia had offered the Indonesian government assistance to put out the fires in Indonesia but the offer had yet to be taken up.