Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has asked Singaporeans (and Malaysians) not to complain about the haze in the region. He says Indonesia will never apologise for the haze to either countries.
“Malaysia and Singapore get angry because of the forest fires. It’s so easy to say, but you think we also don’t feel it? We feel it even more. Secondly, if you get fresh air from Sumatra, Kalimantan, you don’t say thank you. So, if you get the haze, why should I apologise? The world has to pay for all of this. Don’t always accuse Indonesia. I never want to be accused. Even if we are wrong, why do we still give out so many permits (for land)?”
“What happens here is not only our problem. The foreign people also destroyed our forests,” said Kalla in asking foreign countries to pay Indonesia for destroying Indonesia’s forests. He claimed that these countries are the ones who have destroyed the peatlands. In justifying why the international community should bear the responsibility for the deforestation, the Indonesian VP pointed his fingers at several MNCs.
“During a big conference in Tokyo, someone said that Indonesia has forests, but they are damaged and should be restored,” said Kalla. “I became angry in front of thousands of people. I said, ‘this is a chair, this is a door, this is a window from my country. You take, and pay $5, and you bring it here, and sell for $100. Indonesian companies just get $5’. There is Mitsubishi from Japan, Hyundai and others, they finished what we have. I told them, ‘you have to pay, if not we will cut down all the trees, and let the world feel the heat’. So, the world must also be responsible.”