Friday, March 6, 2015

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

Jusuf Kalla, vice-president of Indonesia, has denounced neighboring Singapore and Malaysia for complaining about the severe haze caused every year by Indonesian forest fires.
"For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us. They have suffered because of the haze for one month and they get upset.” (The Jakarta Globe, 3 March 2015)

The outspoken vice president is peeved because he thinks that foreign technology was behind the forest fires and therefore foreign countries must share the burden of responsibility in dealing with the forest fires. “Somebody once told me that Indonesia must restore its tropical forests, and I told him, ‘Excuse me? What did you say? Do you know who damaged our forests?’” Kalla added.

Kalla was probably making a snide reference to the Indonesian businessmen who have set up shop in Singapore after shipping millions, if not billions, out of their country, and are still operating their logging operations via remote control. The more interesting aspect of his tirade is that it reflects on the failure of our Foreign Minister to establish friendly ties with some of our short-fused neighbours. And to think the Environment Minister was supposed to have resolved the ugly issue of the smog some years ago, carrying big white envelope by hand and all.

Both should pay closer attention to the upset politician, he's no pushover like our local opposition members. You can catch a glimpse of him in a cameo role in Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 documentary film "The Act of Killing" (Indonesian: Jagal, meaning "Butcher"). He was on camera, speaking at the rostrum of the right-wing paramilitary organization Pemuda Pancasila that grew out of the Indonesian killings of 1965–66, an ostensibly anti-communist purge in which more than 500,000 were murdered. It will interesting to see how our two debaters take him on with their characteristic hot air.


  1. There is a fire when there is smoke. With all the smoke surrounding the Budget, where then is the fire? An indication is given by the redoubtable Donald Low in his short take reproduced in The Online Citizen. So don't be fooled by all the posturing.

  2. haha,
    this is amazingly funny. Imagine you go to someone's house, shit on his floor everyday, and he start complaining, and when you stop shitting for a few days later, and then resume your disgusting activity, can we tell that person
    "For few days, you enjoyed clean floor without my shit and you never thanked me. You have suffered because I resume shitting today and you get upset."

    1. I'd prefer to imagine
      you (my neighbor) have been cooking in my house,
      giving me diarrhea,
      my disgusting shit smell returning you your karma..

  3. For 50 years we vote PAP, and Yew never thank us.
    For one General Elections, we vote in an Opposition GRC and Yew tell us to repent.

    1. Who said we never thank you. After each GE, we increase bus fares, train fares, HDB flat prices, GST, etc. These increases are to help you and to thank you for your support all these 50 years. We also increase your CPF Minimum Sum periodically after the GE so as to ensure you have enough to live through your retirement and to thank you.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

    2. Actually, its the PAP's way of solving the “problems" at its root: if there were no complaints, there would be no problems. So the root cause of all their problems, is the complainant. Just make it harder and harder for the complainants and there would be no more complaints, no more problems QED. I believed once GKS told a private audience he believed that LKY's (a lawyer who believed in using the law not to help the poor but to rule the people) was a firm believer in 荀子, who taught over 2500 years ago that 人性本恶”.

  4. Opposition parties are easy pushovers here on local turf.
    Resetting managing agent charges
    Remodelling comparative statistics

    Not so easy with opposing ideas and viewpoints from anyone who is not tied down with CPF, COE,HDB and job.

    I love to see, hear the neighbours put multi millionaire ministers in their place. Delightful entertainment.

  5. Actually, he got a point. Neighboring countries all promised to punish their companies who started fire in Indonesia. Ha Ha, these people talk cock only. No local company was punished after so many years? Why?

  6. There could be many Singaporeans and Singapore Companies owning the Plantations and Lumber Business.
    There could also be Indonesian Business Folks in the Oil Palm and Logging Industries base in Singapore.

    Yusuf Kalla must have better knowledge of it.


    1. Don't play play.
      Sekali PM Lee send envelope to Yusuf Kalla then you know.

  7. Let's make sure we are not hosting the culprits before we blow our mouths off.

    1. Greenpeace International told Eco-Business on Wednesday 19 June 2013 that “nothing could be more illustrative of forest destruction than the polluting haze that is coming from Sumatra”.
      “But what’s ironic is that many of the corporations, such as palm oil trader Wilmar International which has been known to source palm oil from companies involved in fire clearing and forest destruction, are also based in Singapore,” said its spokesman.
      Indonesia has blamed eight companies, including Singapore-based Sinar Mas and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) for the fires raging across its land of Sumatra that has blanketed parts of Malaysia and parts of Singapore in its most severe haze in history.

  8. PAP damn stupid. They know they don't have the legal jurisdiction to persecute offenders in Indonesia yet they went ahead with the legislation. Somemore they will need a lot of cooperation from the Indonesian authorities to come after those culprits.

    Just imagine if Indonesia was to put up a law to come after corrupt officials who hide money in Singapore, will Singapore help them or not ?

    Please think for a moment whether our PAP Minister look stupid or not ?

  9. Where there is no smoke, it doesn't mean there is no fire - there is the carbon footprint which you can't see, which is as damaging to the world's environment.

    Singapore has one of the Biggest Foot: "According to media reports citing the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Singapore had the largest carbon footprint per head in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010."

    "The Government (Singapore) disagreed with how this was measured, and said it uses the UN method, which attributes such emissions to the country producing the goods." Then by the same token, shouldn't the fires in Indonesia be attributed to the consumers (Singapore being a major one) and not the producers of the palm oil? Bala, you can't always have the cake and eat it too lah. Please stop denuding whatever is left of our forests. And it amuses me that Shan is mugged for a change and kalah to Kalla.

  10. I get the feeling Indonesia is not in a hurry clamp down on the companies behind the haze because we aren't giving them something,,namely ,the heads of their criminals taking refuge here. Tit for tat.