PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia can send water bombers to Sumatra to help put out fires there on short notice, says Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said all that was needed was for the Indonesian Government to accept the assistance.
He said the water bombers were among the technical assistance Malaysia was offering Indonesia to tackle the haze, caused by hotspots in Sumatra.
"We are ready to provide assistance in terms of manpower, equipment, cloud seeding and water bombers," he said at a press conference here yesterday.
"We have done this before," he added. "And, we will do it as fast as possible if they are willing to accept the technical assistance."
Palanivel said the offer would be conveyed to the Indonesian Government when he meets Indonesian Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya in Jakarta today.
He said besides the offer, the meeting would also focus on finding immediate solutions to the problem.
"At the moment, I am not expecting anything from the meeting," he said. "We need to put out the fires immediately because the haze has become a national problem."
Palanivel said his ministry was also trying to organise a meeting with Malaysian agricultural companies operating in Sumatra to listen to what they had to say about the haze.
On the apology by the Indonesian President for what was happening, Palanivel said the Government was satisfied with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's action.