Singapore will emerge stronger from crisis

SINGAPORE - If there is anything we can learn from the current haze situation, it is that it takes a crisis for Singaporeans to close ranks for a common purpose and show our resilience.

While it is understandable for us to vent our anger as the haze affects the health of everyone, we should take it in our stride and carry on with our daily activities but, at the same time, take the necessary precautions.

At the national level, it is politically correct for our leaders not to trade barbs with other leaders as nothing would be achieved ("Seek solutions, not harsh words: PM"; last Friday).

After more than 10 years, Indonesia has yet to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. While it may have its reasons for not doing so, for the sake of ASEAN unity, the matter should not be prolonged.

It appears that the haze is going to be a regular affair and countries around the region will have to bear the brunt of this scourge. Unless this problem is resolved, there may come a time when the matter would have to be brought to some international authority for intervention.

All said and done, the good that has come out of this episode is that we will emerge stronger and be better prepared if it recurs.

Andrew Seow

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