Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday (06/02) said he will take stern measures against security officials who fail to prevent forest and land fires, especially as Indonesia is hosting the 2018 Asian Games in August.
Police and military officials will be punished if wildfires are not handled properly, Jokowi said, as quoted in a statement by the Cabinet Secretariat.
"If there is a fire in your area and you cannot handle it properly, you will be dismissed. I will call the military or police chief to discharge you."
On a positive note, the president said that the number of hotspots has been greatly reduced.
"Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister [Darmin Nasution] has reported that the number of hotspots has been reduced. There were 21,929 hotspots in 2015 and in 2016 there were 3,915. In 2017, the number dropped to 2,567," Jokowi said.
The president appreciated the efforts of the central and local governments, but said they must be intensified.
"In 2015, each time I met with the prime minister of Singapore and the prime minister of Malaysia, they complained over haze [caused by forest fires in Indonesia]. But they acknowledged our efforts in 2016 and 2017," the president said.
Jokowi urged the government to work harder for the Asian Games to run smoothly.
"Do not let the moment be destroyed by haze, land and forest fires, which can disrupt our image and also flights," he said.