13 August, 2005

ARTICLE: Malaysians 'fed up' with Indonesian haze

The Age, breaking news
August 13, 2005 - 2:29PM

Malaysians saw a clear and sunny sky for the first time in days as a hazardous haze dissipated overnight.

But anger mounted against Indonesia for failing to control the man-made forest fires that caused the pollution crisis.

Seven elderly people who died in recent days may have been victims of the haze, which turned into Malaysia's worst ecological emergency in years. However, doctors said it was too early to attribute the deaths to pollution, The New Straits Times newspaper reported.

"Enough is Enough, Indonesia," screamed the headline of a commentary in the Star newspaper by its deputy editor, Wong Chun Wai.

The haze, which appeared on August 2, has been caused by fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island - across a narrow strip of sea from Malaysia.

In Sumatra, farmers, plantation owners and miners clear land during dry weather. It's an annual occurrence and Malaysia has often complained that Indonesia does little to prevent it.

"Let's be clear about this ... Malaysians are fed up with having to put up with this annual problem, and this time many of us think it has gone too far," Wong wrote.

"Indonesia has to wake up to the fact that the forest fires have become a (regional) problem, full stop. Let's end this annual ritual once and for all with serious enforcement.""

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