Tourists wearing masks visit the Merlion Park shrouded by haze in Singapore last week. (Reuters Photo/Edgar Su)

Singapore's Foreign Minister Reports Indonesia Accepts Offer of Haze Assistance


OCTOBER 07, 2015

Jakarta. Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, on Wednesday evening hinted at a resolution to the stand-off between Indonesia and Singapore over the management of haze from Indonesia choking the city-state.

Taking to his official Facebook, Balakrishnan said recent discussions between his office and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, had been productive with Indonesia accepting Singapore's assistance.

"We reiterated our haze assistance package, which includes assets, personnel, high-resolution satellite pictures and hotspot coordinates," he said.

The Indonesian government has turned down assistance from Singapore, offered since the crisis began in September, but Balakrishnan is confident the two countries have made a break though.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a request to the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore to for the names of companies suspected as being responsible for the crisis which has seen schools and businesses close and respiratory related illnesses to spike across the two countries and in to Malaysia.

Singapore has repeatedly said it will prosecute companies within its jurisdiction responsible for the haze, caused by outlawed slash-and-burn practices in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore is yet to respond to the request.