10 September 2015
With the onset of the El Nino season, forest fires in some Sumatran and Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia have generated thick clouds of haze across the Malacca Strait. Just within the past week, thick haze has paralysed airports in Pekanbaru, Batam, Kualanamu (Medan), Aceh and Jambi, with incoming and outgoing flights getting delayed for hours or cancelled altogether.
Schools were also closed for days to allow children to stay at home and minimise their exposure to the smog. Concurrently, the PSI readings in Singapore have worsened over the past few days.
The recurrence of haze is expected but still unacceptable. Haze incurs hefty costs on health and the economy, and often strains Singapore-Indonesia relations.
… The writer is a senior analyst at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
NTS Centre / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/11/2015