Time for Indonesia to sign ASEAN haze pact

SINGAPORE - Only Jakarta has the authority to ensure that all Indonesia-based palm oil companies - regardless of their origin - adhere to international best practices for the sake of the environment.

The callous actions of these plantations affect the lives of many across South-east Asia.

That was why ASEAN initiated an Agreement On Transboundary Haze Pollution over a decade ago.

Unfortunately, till today, Indonesia remains the only ASEAN member state that has yet to ratify this code of good conduct.

At a time when Indonesia is actively brokering a code of conduct between China and ASEAN in managing maritime claims, I sincerely hope that Jakarta can further burnish the country's growing reputation as a thoughtful and responsible regional leader by ratifying the ASEAN Agreement On Transboundary Haze Pollution and enforcing it to the letter.

To that end, it would really be helpful if the Indonesian government can share information about the haze perpetrators with its neighbours so that they too can contribute to the solution of taking these criminals to task.

Toh Cheng Seong

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