More than 50,000 Indonesians have signed an online petition demanding the resignation of House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto, center. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak)

House Speaker: Disaster Mitigation Needs Better Coordination


OCTOBER 10, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia's government should quickly appoint a special coordinator for disaster mitigation, to better tackle issues like the yearly forest fires, the speaker of the House of Representatives says.

Speaker Setya Novanto said late on Friday that one of President Joko Widodo's minister should take charge when the country faces a national disaster such as the current haze crisis.

"The president should appoint a minister he trusts," Setya said. "It can be the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs [Luhut Panjaitan] or the coordinating minister for welfare [Puan Maharani]," he added, giving some examples.

The House speaker also said many more ministers should follow the example the president set by visiting haze-hit areas himself.

"And we would like to thank the countries that are providing us with firefighting equipment," he added, in reference to the offers of help from several countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.