Support for Govt's efforts to get Jakarta to douse fires

Trainee lawyer Wilson Foo at Hong Lim Park on Saturday.

SINGAPORE - The authorities' efforts to persuade Indonesia to do more to douse the fires causing the haze received support from different quarters on Saturday, ranging from an opposition party to ordinary Singaporeans at Speakers' Corner.

Punggol East MP Lee Li Lian, who is also the Workers' Party's (WP's) deputy webmaster, said in a statement that the party stood ready to "support the initiatives of the Government in responding to the haze".

"The WP calls on the Indonesian government to do its utmost to extinguish the fires with urgency. We also urge the Indonesian government to invest more resources to curb the slash-and-burn practices in the plantation sector."

She ended on an optimistic note, calling Singaporeans a resilient people who will "live through the smoke to see a clear sky".

Meanwhile, the first public protest at Hong Lim Park against the haze was poorly attended despite being touted on several prominent websites, including The Online Citizen.

It was organised by writer Patrick Low, 68. He tried to coax passers-by to pen their frustration on banners with the words, "Singaporeans unite against the deadly haze".

The Sunday Times counted four signatures in one hour, and Mr Low claimed that 12 people had signed over the course of the day. He said he would be passing the banners to the Indonesian Embassy.

And at a separate event at Hong Lim Park in the evening, 26-year-old trainee lawyer Wilson Foo hit out at the Indonesian government for not tackling forest and plantation fires over repeated years.