|Malaysia Proposes Special Fund To Fight Haze
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will ask the nations affected by the haze in the region to set up a special fund to fight the source of the problem and the raging forest fires in Indonesia.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday the cabinet felt that the affected countries needed to set up the special fund and decide on the equipment and technology to use to get the job done.
"We know the source but pointing fingers will not go any good. The important thing is for these countries which are receiving the impact of the haze to agree to collaborate and take positive and effective action to ensure that it does not recur," he told reporters after the presentation of Aidilfitri goodies from contributors to the Malaysian Armed Forces here.
He said the cabinet took a serious view of the haze and realised the need to take follow-up action to combat the problem.
"This is something that occurs every year. In fact the cabinet was informed that this El-Nino phenomenon will continue for several months resulting in drier conditions than normal in this region," he said.
Meanwhile, in NIBONG TEBAL, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said the proposal on the special fund would be submitted at the Asean Environment Ministers meeting in Pekan Baru, Indonesia, tomorrow and the details would be discussed if all the members agreed.
"All countries affected by the haze or causing the haze should contribute to the fund," he told reporters.
He said efforts to overcome the haze should not be shouldered by Indonesia alone but should be jointly tackled by the other countries as partners of the regional grouping.
The haze, he said, affected not only the health but also the tourism, agricultural, industrial and economic sectors of the affected nations and it was in their interest to help Indonesia because it had limited means to combat the haze.
Azmi said the haze problem in the region had been around for over 10 years but the situation had not changed.
He hoped that Indonesia would be more committed to tackling the problem and added that it needed stronger political will to take the action needed.