Saturday, August 13, 2005

Oh, uh, burning up the forest and having the smoke land on your neighbors may not build good relations

Malyasians are pretty tired of the smoke from Indoesian forest fires as reported here:
Malaysians are increasingly annoyed with their neighbours for failing to prevent, or put out, the fires. Malaysia is suffering because of lower levels of development in Indonesia, where slash-and-burn farmers persist with agricultural techniques that are thousands of years old, and corruption allows plantation owners to flaunt anti-burning laws to clear vast tracts of land cheaply.

Outside the mosque Haris bin Mustapha, a chandelier designer, said: "In Indonesia people burn the forest and the smoke comes here.

"They just do what they need. They don't care about the effects. They don't care about other people, they just care about their own nation."
Of course, there is this aspect of the situation:
However, several of the plantation fires in Sumatra are on land owned by Malaysian firms. Indonesians say at least 10 firms have contributed, and the Malaysian government has confirmed that at least two are involved.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Malaysian prime minister, said action would be taken against such firms.

"I feel very wretched," he said. "By now, they should have realised that what they did would have an impact here in Malaysia, their own country."
Haul out the old Pogo quote: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

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