Friday, 21 June 2013

Haze in Singapore "hazardous" - all-time high

Update 23 Jun 2013: Malaysia declares emergency as Indonesia smoke pollution thickens

A thick haze of smoke enveloping Singapore and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia has prompted health experts to issue warnings to people living in affected areas as the Indonesian government tries to create rain in a bid to extinguish the raging fires creating the smoke. (Photo : Reuters)

Malaysia declared a state of emergency in two parts of the southern state of Johor on Sunday as smoke from land-clearing fires in Indonesia pushed air pollution above the level considered hazardous.

The illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia's Sumatra island, to the west of peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June-September dry season.

The "haze" caused by fires in Riau province on Sumatra has also shrouded neighbouring Singapore but air quality in the city state improved over the weekend after reaching hazardous levels there


Indonesian government declares state of emergency in Riau


Firefighters battle forest fires in Pelalawan regency in Riau province located in Indonesia's Sumatra island on June 21, 2013. The Indonesian government has declared a state of emergency in Riau, following worsening haze from forest fires in three regencies and municipalities in the province. -- PHOTO: AFP

The Indonesian government has declared a state of emergency in Riau, following worsening haze from forest fires in three regencies and municipalities in the province. 

The haze is from forest fires in the regencies of Bengkalis and Rokan Hilir and Dumai City. 

"The President has instructed the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to take over fire extinguishing efforts in Riau, starting on Friday," the BNPB emergency response director Tri Budiarto said on Friday.

read more

related:
Business Standard: Malaysia declares emergency as haze shifts from Singapore

Economic Times: Malaysia declares emergency as Indonesia smoke pollution thickens

Fort Mill Times: Worst of haze shifts from Singapore to Malaysia

Jakarta Post: Smoking gun in Malaysian hands

Antara: Malaysian firms suspected to have sent haze home

The Nation: Singapore mulls legal action on smog

Lexington Herald: Worst of haze shifts from Singapore to Malaysia

New Straits Times: 'Indonesia must ratify haze pact'

Aljazeera: Singapore smog casts diplomatic cloud

GMA News: Indonesia fires highlight failure to tackle slash-and-burn

MyrtleBeachOnline: Worst of haze shifts from Singapore to Malaysia

Herald Sun: Palm oil firms blamed for Singapore smog

Google News: Full coverage

In Dumai, PSI reaches 491 on Friday morning


The PSI in Dumai has reached 491 on Friday morning, said its mayor Khairul Anwar in an interview with The Straits Times

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PSI reaches dangerous level of 400 on 11am reading, making it potentially life threatening to the ill and elderly people


related:
PSI crosses critical 400 level at 12pm reading, so what "flexible, tailored, customized approach" Vivian Balakrishnan is proposing with regards to stop-work order

Workers continue to work – even in front of MOM building

With PSI crossing the 400 mark, we should stand united against the problem

Haze: PSI smashes record again at 400!

Singapore Super Haze 2013 - PAP PM Lee is waiting for things to happen 

Manpower Ministry criticised for not issuing stop-work order

GUIDELINES FOR THE PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF HAZE AT WORKPLACES

Singapore smog tops 400-level, dangerous to ill and elderly


The Singapore haze is the worst since 1997 according to a resident documenting the smog at the boardwalk. Photo by Rappler/Rupert Ambil

Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on Friday, June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site.

The level was reached at 11 am (0300 GMT) after a rapid rise in the Pollutant Standards Index, which measures the haze crisis caused by Indonesian forest fires.

The previous Singapore air pollutant index high of 226 was recorded in September 1997 at the height of a Southeast Asian calamity also resulting from vast amounts of haze from Indonesia, where slash-and-burn farming generates large amounts of smoke during the dry season that begins in June

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Indonesia says Singapore ‘behaving like a child’ over haze

“This is not what the Indonesian nation wants, it is because of nature"

The minister for people’s welfare also said Jakarta would reject any offer of financial aid from Singapore unless it was a large amount.

“Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won’t consider accepting it,” he said. “If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget."

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Indonesia Investigates Eight Companies Over Sumatra Fires



Indonesia is investigating eight agriculture companies for their possible role in creating fires that are sending record amounts of pollution into neighboring Singapore and the wider region.

“We’re investigating eight companies that may have started the fires,” Balthasar Kambuaya, Indonesia’s environmental minister, told reporters Friday. He declined to name the companies or say whether they’re local or international entities.

Indonesia is struggling to contain fires on agricultural land in Sumatra as smoke from the blaze continues to blanket Singapore and southern Malaysia, forcing people indoors amid the worst air quality on record and reaching hazardous levels. Officials have said the pollution could persist for weeks or longer.

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Indonesia Fires, Singapore Smog Likely Caused By Palm Oil Companies

indonesia fires

Thick smoke from raging forest fires rise in Pelalawan regency in Riau province, located in Indonesia's Sumatra island on June 21, 2013. While Singapore and Indonesian environment ministers met in Jakarta on June 21 to discuss the haze problem, Indonesia deployed aircraft to artificially create rain in a bid to douse raging fires that have choked Singapore with smog, which is hitting record-breaking levels that pose a threat to the elderly and the ill. (Photo credit: HAFIZ ALFARISSI/AFP/Getty Im

Palm oil companies are suspected of illegally starting widespread forest fires in Indonesia in order to clear land for palm oil plantations, Indonesian officials say. The fires have caused record levels of hazardous smog in neighboring Singapore since Wednesday.

Reuters U.K. reported Friday that the destructive blazes on the island of Sumatra had been "deliberately set." Indonesian officials said eight companies were responsible for the fires, and more are likely to be named on Saturday, per Reuters.

"Since the fires are happening mostly on plantation lands, we believe there are plantation companies involved," Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, according to The Times of India. "The president has already put together a team to investigate who owns the plantations." 

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Indonesian fires worsen, Singapore smog sets record


An aerial view of burning lands in Palawan District in Riau Province on June 21, 2013 

(Reuters) - Indonesia deployed military planes on Friday to fight forest fires that blanketed neighbouring Singapore in record levels of hazardous smog for a third day in one of Southeast Asia's worst air-pollution crises. 

Indonesia blamed eight companies, including Jakarta-based PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL), for the fires. The government, which said it would take action against any company responsible for the disaster, is expected to name the rest of the firms on Saturday

"The majority of hotspots in Riau (province) are inside APRIL and Sinar Mas concessions," senior presidential aide Kuntoro Mangkusubroto told Reuters. 

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Fires fuel Singapore heavy haze, viewable from space


This NASA Terra and Aqua satellite image from June 19, 2013 shows smoke caused by forest fires, indicated at source by NASA with red graphics, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra (left) blowing east towards southern Malaysia (above, center) and Singapore (below, center) at 2.30pm local time. Indonesia on Friday deployed helicopters to artificially create rain in a bid to fight raging fires that have choked Singapore with smog, which is hitting record-breaking levels that pose a threat to the elderly and the ill

An aerial view of burning lands in Palalawan district in Riau province on June 21, 2013. Indonesia deployed military planes to fight raging forest fires on Friday that blanketed neighboring Singapore in record levels of hazardous smog for a third straight day in one of Southeast Asia's worst air-pollution crises

The Merlion is the only visible landmark on the bay as the Singapore skyline is completely covered in smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra

Singapore Central Business District, or CBD skyline is covered with a thick haze on June 21, 2013. Air pollution in Singapore has soared to record heights for a third consecutive day, as Indonesia prepared planes and helicopters to battle raging fires blamed for hazardous levels of smoky haze in three countries

A general view shows residential and commercial buildings shrouded by haze in Ampang, the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur on June 21, 2013. Malaysia was shrouded with smoky haze attributed to mainly fires burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra causing "unhealthy" levels of pollution in six areas

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related:

The Wall Street Journal: Singapore Haze Starts to Crimp Business







South China Morning Post: Singapore's horrid haze continues




The Star: Work together to tackle haze , Asean nations urged

Google News: Full Coverage

Indonesia chides Singapore over reactions on haze situation



Indonesia on Thursday accused Singapore of acting "like a child" over acrid smog from forest fires in Sumatra that has triggered the city-state's worst environmental crisis in more than a decade, as the two nations held talks.

The escalation in tensions between Singapore and Indonesia came as the levels of haze enveloping the island hit a new record high, shrouding the whole city, from residential blocks to tree-lined parks. Singapore ratcheted up pressure on Jakarta on Thursday to take "definitive action" to stop the fires but Indonesia, which insists Singapore companies that own plantations on Sumatra also share the blame, hit back.

"Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise," Agung Laksono, the minister coordinating Indonesia's response, told reporters. 

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Smog In Singapore From Indonesia Fires Could Last for Weeks



Haze from fires in Indonesia blanketing Singapore could persist for weeks or longer, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday, as the smoke drove air quality to "hazardous" levels and disrupted business and travel in the region.

Illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia's Sumatra island to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June to September dry season.

One Indonesian minister accused Singaporeans of acting like children, but pollution levels in the normally pristine city-state have shattered records set in 1997, raising diplomatic tensions and concerns about the economic impact.

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S'pore to Indonesia: Act quickly on smog 

Singapore on Thursday, June 20, demanded "definitive" action by Indonesia on forest fires raging in Sumatra as the two neighbors prepared for emergency talks to ease the severe smog enveloping the city-state.

"This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced," said Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's minister for the environment and water resources.

Singapore is sending the chief executive of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Andrew Tan, to attend a meeting hosted by Indonesia's foreign ministry in Jakarta, a government statement said.

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Haze Inter-Ministerial Committee to be formed


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Thursday, June 20, 2013, there will be a Haze Inter-Ministerial Committee, led by Minister Ng Eng Hen (above), to tackle the haze problem. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The Ministerial Committee will focus on "protecting public heath and safety, working with the Indonesians to mitigate the haze at source and maintaining economic and social resilience".

It will also review guidelines for protecting vulnerable groups, ensure that society and businesses, especially essential services, continue to operate. Clear guidelines on the protective measures at each PSI threshold will be issued by the committee.

"I ask Singaporeans to remain calm and look out for one another," said PM Lee. "Watch out for your neighbours, especially older Singaporeans and young kids. If any of them have respiratory problems, bring them to a clinic immediately.

read more



Haze in Singapore hits PSI all-time record high of 371


Reuters/REUTERS - Cranes standing above an apartment complex under construction are visible through a heavy smoke haze in Singapore June 18, 2013. Air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia rose to unhealthy levelson Monday thanks to illegal forest clearing in Indonesia, prompting Singapore to advise people against staying outdoors for long and to urge Indonesia to do something to stop it. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit a new record high of 371 at 1pm on Thursday, again climbing into the "hazardous" range of above 300, according to data from the National Environment Agency (NEA).

At 9pm Wednesday, the PSI had soared to 290, higher than the previous peak of 226 in 1997, and entering the "very unhealthy" range of 201-300. It was a leap of 100 points from the PSI reading just an hour earlier, making some wonder if the updated reading was a typo on the NEA website.

"I thought it was actually worse in the day, though -- seems pretty impossible that there would be a hundred-point jump within an hour, coupled with the fact that it isn't that windy in the first place," said systems analyst Frederick Tang, 36.

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RIAU DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY AS PSI HIT 341 WHILE SINGAPORE DID NOT DESPITE HITTING 321


While the skies above Singapore cleared a little yesterday, the Pollutant Standards Index reading in the coastal city of Dumai, Riau, hit 341 at 4pm as fires continued to rage in neighbouring districts.

"The situation is very critical. These are emergency conditions," city government spokesman Darmawan told The Straits Times. Visibility was down to 50m in some parts, he said, adding that local officials will meet today to discuss response measures.

Streets in Dumai were near empty as many people stayed indoors, and health officials reminded residents to drink lots of water and wear masks when outside. In nearby Mandau district, residents complained of pharmacies running out of masks, saying the government should have stocked up. Officials advised them to use handkerchiefs or shawls for now.

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Is NEA trying to downplay the haze situation?


The haze gotten worse after I blogged about it last night. The 3 hour PSI reading peaked at 321 at 10pm last night, entering the hazardous range. The is the highest PSI ever recorded in Singapore.

NEA held a press conference last night at 11:30pm. I guess the situation is serious enough to warrant a late night media briefing. But here is the interesting thing. The press release issued by NEA didn’t mention anything about the 3 hour PSI reading at 10pm reaching the hazardous range of 321. Instead, it mentioned the 3 hour PSI reading at 11pm which is slightly lower at 282.

Why is NEA afraid to acknowledge the fact that our 3 hour PSI reading crossed the 300 mark yesterday?

DID NEA TAMPER WITH THE PSI READING LAST NIGHT SO AS NOT TO ALARM THE POPULATION?


Did the NEA tamper the PSI reading at 10pm last evening so as not to alarm the population? 

Many had sensed there was something amis when the figure was not published on it's website on the hour, like it did for all the hours before 10pm.

When it was finally published at 10.45pm, it read a dangerous 393. A psi watcher took a screenshot which was published by the Facebook group, Occupy Singapore (see 2nd screenshot). It was almost immediately taken down and replaced with 321, the reported figure in today's headline news

Usefulness of PSI called into question

Is the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) an effective measure of air quality here? That was a question some netizens posed as the haze worsened yesterday

Several, like Mr Phil Askey, have noted that the PSI does not factor in fine particles called PM2.5. They believe this means the PSI is not a good reflection of air quality here.

The PSI is based on concentrations of larger particulate matter called PM10. PM2.5 particles, about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair, are more dangerous as they can enter the lungs or bloodstream more easily than larger dust particles

Vivian Balakrishnan 2am post


Wifey commented that Vivian Balakrishnan was still up at 2am to post this on his Facebook page. I responded that's his job and then turned on my iPad to check.

I also noticed the first comment.

Singaporeans are angry. I bet he will get more "likes" when the morning comes around.

The haze and regime change

The haze illustrates one gd reason why S’poreans should be careful of regime change. It has unintended consequences.

Since the fall of S’pore’s very gd friend, Suharto, Indonesia has become a very decentralised country and decentralisation is at the root of the haze problem.

The local leaders are responsible for implementing the rules against burning. But they rely on the plantation cos and other businesses to fund their election campaigns. Jakarta and S’pore are faraway places. So burn baby burn.

On A Clear Day, You Can See Stupidity

Our wonderful Singapore yesterday afternoon

Year after year, the haze will shroud our island, reducing visibility, causing havoc to our breathing.
Citizens will make noise, the government will say they are working on it but the culprits don’t care a shit.

This goes on and on and on. The same old story year in and year out.

The media shows us alarming high-levels of PSI readings and scream alarmist crap like “Haze in Singapore hits historical high, PSI at 321” as if they are delighted there’s something to report other than boring news about those losers with ugly dickfaces forcing even uglier sluts to suck their rotting dicks or schizo profs fucking even uglier shitfaces and getting free gifts, and tailored shirts – from CYC no less – as part of the package

20 year old HAZE problem Not Solved - Lousy Excuses from Singapore Gahmen


The 20 year old HAZE problem has Not been Solved and instead of managing and explaining the situation, the Singapore Gahmen is trying to defend themselves in an arrogant and condescending manner. I did not want to weigh in on the issue, but I just could not stand their excuses!!!!!

Firstly, Minister V has taken the side of the Indonesian officials in saying that Malaysian and Singapore companies are the ones who are the culprits and justice will be brought against them. 
Okay, we are waiting, if it is Temasek / GIC owned companies what are you going to do?

Secondly, Minister S is saying that Netizens should not blame the gahmen for the haze problem. Hello?! Dun blame you then blame who? Gahmen always claim that we have ASEAN and good friends with our larger neighbours, but when got problem just say that each country is sovereign . Please grow a pair ! No Testicular Fortitude at all !

Haze clearly demonstrates impotence of PAP Government

Amidst all the bantering on Facebook about the haze, and whether NEA or the Singapore government could be held responsible in any way, I realised one thing:

At some level, somehow, despite myself and my occasional gripes about being shortchanged by the system - I still love Singapore.

Why else should I feel anger rising when I see ignorant comments about our Government's accountability on Facebook?


Haze-induced ramblings of an ordinary Singaporean

Satellite images of the fires in Riau, Indonesia

My eyes are burning. Yours too? Your head is probably aching like mine. Did you read the newspapers this morning? I wonder how the newspaper vendors coped with delivery…

You mean, you didn’t hear about that press conference which Minister Vivian Balakrishnan held last night? Where almost everything he said is a “maybe”. Don’t worry, we stop work when the situation gets serious. What’s serious? Don’t know. Maybe PSI 400. Schools also may be closed. What figure? Don’t know. Anyway, don’t get fixated on figures, he says.

You know there was some confusion over whether the PSI figures were actually higher and got brought down last night? You didn’t know about that? So it wasn’t 321 at the peak but way higher. How come? Technical glitch maybe. But the NEA was very late with putting out figures. Okay, okay, don’t get fixated on figures! After all, we can just step outside and use our nose to figure out the PSI.

Should we pay Indonesia to stop poisoning us?

haze

The recent flare-up of the Indonesian forest fire problem and the deterioration in our air quality is understandably also causing temperatures to rise in Singapore. Our neighbor Malaysia is also equally if not more severely affected. This happens year after year causing severe respiratory problems for those afflicted with asthma, forcing schools to cancel outdoor activities and keeping people inside. Yet what is notable is that our government seems unable to come up with any solutions despite the fact that this has been going on since 1997.  In particular they do not seem capable of applying some simple lessons from economics.

Economics teaches us that pollution is an example of a negative externality. A negative externality occurs when a third party has to bear the costs or negative impact of the production of another party.  An example within Singapore would be congestion on the roads.  As the roads become congested due to the increasing number of private cars, public transport users and non-car owners have to bear the negative costs in terms of longer and slower journeys, pollution, noise and congestion.

A positive externality is when the third party benefits from the action or production of others. Those who choose to forgo the comfort of a car are benefiting others.  Growing plants for our own pleasure or use on our balconies ( so long as we guard against mosquitoes) actually benefits the whole environment not just us. A government that invests in education produces a host of positive externalities.

Indonesia Foreign Minister labels Vivian Balakrishnan's call to identify companies involved in forest fires as "redundant"
The Jakarta Post, 20 Jun 2013
Amid criticism from its neighbors, Malaysia and Singapore, over the cross-border haze and deteriorating air quality affecting the two countries, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa talked tough on the issue, saying that ASEAN members should collaborate to address the situation rather than lay blame.

Singapore has urged Indonesia to provide data on the companies and concession maps to enable it to act against the plantation firms that employ slash-and-burn methods, adding that air pollution on the island had hit unhealthy levels with some of the worst readings since the 1997 regional haze crisis.

“Calls of such a type are actually a bit redundant, in the sense that we in Indonesia, the government and our people, want those responsible to be held accountable,” said Marty, commenting on the request. 

“There is actually no need for such a demand. We are fully aware of the impact and consequences and the need for action,” Marty added

Singapore haze hits 'hazardous' levels of PSI 321 before easing to 282

Singapore haze hits 'hazardous' levels of PSI 321 before easing to 282 - See more at: http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/psi-hits-new-high-170-2pm-worst-1997#sthash.5j0l3vSp.dpufSingapore haze hits hazardous levels of 321 PSI before easing to 282
An AsiaOne reader sent in these pictures of the haze. The picture on the left was taken at about 3.25pm and the picture of the Marina Bay Sands hotel was taken at 1.15pm - See more at: http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/psi-hits-new-high-170-2pm-worst-1997#sthash.5j0l3vSp.dpuf
An AsiaOne reader sent in these pictures of the haze. The picture on the left was taken at about 3.25pm and the picture of the Marina Bay Sands hotel was taken at 1.15pm

Singapore's air pollution level rose to "hazardous" levels late on Wednesday, with the three-hour pollution index hitting the highest on record, as smoke from Indonesian forest fires enveloped the city-state.

The three-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI) soared to 321 at 10pm local time (1300 GMT), up from 190 just two hours earlier. However, the PSI level eased slightly down to 282 at 11pm - the last three-hour PSI reading for the day. This still puts it within the "very unhealthy" range and dangerously close to "hazardous" levels.

A PSI reading above 300 indicates "hazardous" air quality and 201-300 means "very unhealthy"

RI dodges haze blame game

Firest fire: Fire engulfs trees and bushes in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Tuesday. (Antara/FB Anggoro)
Firest fire: Fire engulfs trees and bushes in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Tuesday. (Antara/FB Anggoro)

Amid criticism from its neighbors, Malaysia and Singapore, over the cross-border haze and deteriorating air quality affecting the two countries, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa talked tough on the issue, saying that ASEAN members should collaborate to address the situation rather than lay blame.

“The approach must be one of collaboration and partnership, not one of apportioning blame here and there. Let’s focus on putting the fires out,” Marty told a press conference.

Numerous hot spots created by slash-and-burn activities by several agricultural firms operating in Sumatra, particularly in Riau province, have reportedly resulted in thick haze over Singapore and some parts of Malaysia.

NEA DIRECTOR: WE ARE SATISFIED BY THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES


The PSI in Singapore hardly ever crosses the "Moderate" range (PSI value of 51-100), but trans-boundary haze, which affects air quality almost once every year – particularly during the southwest monsoon – is still a nuisance. It is not just Singapore that suffers when land and forest fires rage in neighbouring countries – other countries in the ASEAN region, too, suffer from hits to tourism, an increase in respiratory ailments and illnesses, and even economic consequences when the haze drifts into their countries.

The battle against the haze is an ongoing one for the region, which includes both preventive and reactive measures to protect the populations of all affected countries. Last FY proved productive on this front.

Firstly, August 2005 saw a key milestone in the set-up of a Panel of Experts on Fire and Haze Assessment and Coordination by ASEAN countries to undertake the rapid assessment of the situation on the ground during critical periods of fires and haze, and provide recommendations to facilitate immediate response and effective mobilisation of resources in the region. NEA's Meteorological Services Division represents Singapore in the Expert Panel

Why MOM failed to ensure stop-work orders are issued for construction workers when PSI reaches unhealthy levels?
The Online Citizen, 20 Jun 2013
Two days ago MOM released a press release urging employers to minimize work outdoors as PSI reached unhealthy levels.

MOM asked employers to carry out proper risk assessments and mitigation measures to safeguard the health of workers.

There were also a set of guidelines for employers to follow. For instance, employers have to implement “haze communication system between emplyer and employees” to ensure employees are regularly updated on the safety and health effects of the haze.

These guidelines seem to have been completely flouted. In fact, many of the workers I spoke to told me that the superiors who were in a decision making position were most likely sleeping.

While Singaporeans fret about whether to send their children to their air-conditioned schools in the morning and NSmen rightly take a break from outfield activities, why doesn’t anyone seem to care about those in our midst who are working the graveyard shift and operating heavy machinery in these smoggy conditions?

Is the health and safety of a construction worker less important than ours.


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Indonesia's senior official tells Vivian Balakrishnan not to interfere with their domestic affairs in haze spat
Reuters India, 18 Jun 2013
(Reuters) - Singapore's worst air pollution in 16 years sparked diplomatic tension on Tuesday, as the city-state urged Indonesia to provide satellite data to enable it to act against plantation firms that allow slash-and-burn farming.

"We need to exert commercial pressure against companies causing the haze," Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on his Facebook page, without saying what measures Singapore might take.

Indonesia's environment minister could not be reached for comment, but senior official Sony Partono told Reuters, "Foreign parties should not be interfering with our domestic affairs."

Plantation companies with land concessions in Indonesia include Wilmar International Ltd, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd and First Resources Ltd.
 

When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I love the smell of haze in the morning

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) soared to 172 at 3 pm on Wednesday, Singapore's worst haze reading since September 1997 when the number peaked at 226. Then at 10 pm last night the PSI hit a new record high of 321.

Indonesian forestry ministry official Raffles Panjaitan said his government will be sending helicopters  into the skies above Sumatra to seed the clouds.  Injecting chemicals would prompt the formation of heavy ice crystals and speed up the production of rain to put out the fires that are mainly centred on peatlands in Riau province.

In Singapore Minister of Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said whether a stop-work order will be issued will depend on the severity of the haze conditions. Apparently 321 is not scary enough, it's still short of the 387 number he racked up in millions to show off the city sights. Too bad they are all hazed over every year, this time of the year.

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Shanmugam: Do not use the haze issue to attack the government and PAP
Hardwarezone Forum, 19 Jun 2013
 


Link

Related:
  1. TOC Editorial: Take a pro-active approach to haze - The Online Citizen
  2. Singapore Government can do more to tackle haze - Raviphilemon.net 
  3. Fabrication about the PAP


Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam on haze problem: Limit to what can be done

SMOKY: The Singapore River and Central Business District were shrouded in haze yesterday, and Singaporeans asked whether the Government could take tougher action against Indonesia. (PHOTO: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP)

As the smoke haze continues to shroud Singapore, some are questioning if more can be done to tackle the perennial problem.

With the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hitting a record high of 290 at 9pm yesterday, some called on the Government to take tougher action against Indonesia, while others called for the problem caused by fires in Indonesia to be escalated to an international level.

Said netizen Seah Goh on Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam's Facebook page: "We need to be tough and yet gentle at the same time to ask Indonesia to (clean up their) act."

K Shame-mugam's mind is as hazy as the air in Sinkiepore 

When a highly paid PAPpy minister whines on his Facebook, you know he is devoid of ideas. His rant on the haze is sure garnering a helluva lot of comments within just hours.

K Shanmugam. Clueless as what to do about the haze, he throws the issue back to citizens who call for the govt do something about it. 

K Shanmugam on haze (Facebook page)
The reality of international law, international relations must be recognised. That is what we have been saying - in every field, our size and geography means that we are often price takers, not price makers - whether it is economics, geo politics, or the environment. But despite that we have done well, much better than bigger countries with more resources - because we have managed to deal with most situations by anticipating them. But the haze situation is quite outside our control.

You people are just too much!

How can you people blame our govt for the haze problem huh? Rightly Shanmugam has told the people to leave the govt alone. We are just a small dot and when our neighbours farted we are sure to kongsi the ‘ba ooh’ right. You people don’t be like dat lah.

Everything also wants to blame the govt. And Vivian tried to talk to the Indonesians and kena slammed. Feel so sorry for him for trying to fight for our right and safety. If like that our airport may go out of business too. But still it is their domestic affair ok. Don’t anyhow go and kacho. Wait kena bokok then you know

What happens inside our neighbour’s house is their business. They want to cook curry, eat durian, fried smelly toufu, and the smell comes over, just bear with it lah. Won’t die one.


OPINION: Haze: Now the joke's on Singapore

PM Lee once cracked a joke about the smog in Beijing to an audience of US businessmen: "Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!"

PM: The city in the distance is barely visible


Singapore pressures Indonesia to identify firms behind haze

A tourist bumboat cruises past the hazy skyline of the Marina Bay Sands casino and resort in Singapore June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su 

Singapore's worst air pollution in 16 years sparked diplomatic tension on Tuesday, as the city-state urged Indonesia to provide satellite data to enable it to act against plantation firms that allow slash-and-burn farming.

Singapore's environment minister made the request to his Indonesian counterpart by telephone as air pollution on the island hit unhealthy levels for a second straight day, with some of the worst readings since a 1997 regional haze crisis.

"We need to exert commercial pressure against companies causing the haze," Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on his Facebook page, without saying what measures Singapore might take.

Haze #sghaze


– Breakfast Network: Haze-induced ramblings of an ordinary Singaporean
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: The haze and regime change
– Wild Shores of Singapore: Singapore’s every day haze: reason for haze level peak at night?
– Blogging for Myself: Vivian Balakrishnan 2am post 
– Goh Meng Seng: 烟雾问题的根本 Chinese & English Article on Haze 2006
– Happy ArtFood: Worst Haze Ever in Singapore
– A Singaporean In Australia: Manly Men in Haze 
– DKSG: Is NEA trying to downplay the haze situation?
– Stupid Genius: Hazy Singapore and the conspiracy theories
– Iron Bowl: Haze in Singapore – 3 hour average?
– Loh and Behold: On A Clear Day, You Can See Stupidity
– Better Off Ted: 20 year old HAZE problem Not Solved – Lousy Excuses from Spore Gahmen 
– Neurotic Ramblings of a Singaporean Couple: Haze clearly demonstrates impotence of PAP
– Rethinking the Rice Bowl: Should we pay Indonesia to stop poisoning us?
– Reflections on Change: What Singapore And Malaysia Must Do To Stop Haze
– My Singapore News: You people are just too much
– Where Bears Roam Free: K Shame-mugam’s mind is as hazy as the air in Sinkiepore
– Sgpolitics.net: Government should apply diplomatic pressure and come clean on its invest
– TOC: The Haze: How much more do we have to bear?
– TOC: Construction workers labour through smog