Indonesia's Haze Remains An Issue For Singapore – Minister
SINGAPORE, Aug 30 (Bernama) — Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli has asked for more efforts to be made to completely eliminate the haze problems although fewer fire hotspots were recorded in Indonesia this year compared to last year, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a community environment event in Tampines on Saturday, Masagos said Singapore was happy that Indonesian authorities are stepping up efforts to control the haze and reduce hotspots, but what was needed was the total prevention of hotspots.
On Friday, air quality in Singapore hit unhealthy levels for the first time this year as westerly winds brought smoke from forest fires in Sumatra to Singapore and is forecast to be worse in the coming days.
Masagos said the number of forest fires this year was less than that a year ago, pointing to the fact that even few hotspots, with the right amount of wind, and enough haze smoke produced, can make Singapore suffer bad air.
In 2015, haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia cost Singapore an estimated S$700 million.