Handing over a Memorandum on the Haze Problem to the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 28th of October 2015

Handing over a Memorandum on the Haze Problem to the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia

Yesterday, on the 27th of October, a delegation from the Democratic Action Party (DAP), led by Secretary General Lim Guan Eng, and accompanied by the following Members of Parliament – Lim Lip Eng (Segambut), Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam), Jeff Ooi (Jelutong), Stephen Wong (Sandakan), Ng Wei Aik (Tanjong), Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) and myself – visited the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E. Herman Prayitno to hand over a memorandum on the haze problem affecting Malaysia as a result of the open burning which is occurring in Indonesia.

Among the points raised in the memorandum was that the that Indonesian government should give serious consideration to the technical assistance and offers of the Malaysian and Singaporean governments to send equipment and professional firefighters to help extinguish the forest fires and for the Indonesian government to expedite the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysians government on detailed cooperation mechanisms to jointly overcome the haze problem. We noted in the memorandum that the signing of this MoU has been postponed twice, according to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, YB Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Some important information and clarification was conveyed to us by the Indonesia embassy in Kuala Lumpur. We were told that Indonesia requires assistance in the form of aircraft that were capable of carrying out ‘water bombing’ missions over the affected areas and that the Bombadier plane which Malaysia sent to carry out these ‘water bombing’ missions was currently being serviced.[1] We were also told that Indonesia had deployed 13,900 personnel from the army and police for fire fighting activities in the affected areas.

We were also informed that the MoU between Malaysia and Indonesia on cooperation to combat the haze problem was only for the Riau province in Sumatra and not, as far as the Indonesia embassy in KL knew, a more holistic agreement covering other open burning areas those in Kalimantan and other parts of Sumatra. A subsequent check revealed that this MoU has been on the table since November 2014, as announced by then Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. James Dawos.[2]

Finally, we were encouraged to ask Malaysian companies with operations in Indonesia to help contribute to the fire extinguishing efforts by renting planes to carry out ‘water bombing’ missions and other related activities in order to control and put out the fires which are currently burning in parts of Indonesia.

We expressed our thanks to the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia for his willingness to have this meeting and for the frank sharing of views and information.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Lim Guan Eng – Memorandum Jerebu (BM)

Lim Guan Eng – Haze Memorandum (Eng)

[1] http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/malaysia-indonesia-hold-further-talks-aid-combat-forest-fires-and-haze-78123

[2] http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/11/13/Malaysia-Indonesia-haze-MoU/