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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   26 June 2013  

Haze update: Malaysia PM Najib seeks cooperation from Jakarta on haze

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will send an official letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, seeking cooperation from Jakarta to enforce more effective measures to punish those responsible for causing the haze.

Mr Najib said he had asked Natural Resources and Environment Minister G. Palanivel to meet his counterpart in Indonesia with regard to the matter on Wednesday, Bernama reported.

"The question of who owns the plantations is not the issue here but when something of this magnitude happens, there should be no concern of whether the plantations are owned by Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore but rather action taken against those responsible," he said after chairing a Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting, here, on Monday night.

He was commenting on steps taken by the government to tackle the haze problem that has become an annual affair.

Mr Najib said Malaysia would offer aircrafts that can be used as water bombers to assist in putting out fires at the affected areas.

"The special aircrafts can absorb and store water that can be splashed on areas affected by the fire, including fire involving peat soil. Putting out fire which keeps burning below the surface will not be an easy task, so a more effective method is needed," he said.

Mr Najib added that a special prayer "solat hajat" would also be performed at Masjid Negara on Tuesday, seeking divine intervention and asking for rain since heavy rain can help solve the problem.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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