Lee praises Susilo for apology over haze

Lee praisesSusilo for apology over haze

24 October 2006

published by http://thestar.com.my/

PRESIDENT Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono raised his country’s stature with his recent apology to neighbours for the haze.  

But Indonesia risks its credibility and standing in the world if it does little to fight the problem, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said in Las Vegas on Saturday.  

“At the end of the day, do you want to be sub-standard and, therefore, be treated in a different category?  

“Or do you want to be taken as a serious and responsible player in South-East Asia, as the largest country in the region?  

“That’s the challenge for Indonesia and a challenge that the president of Indonesia has decided to pick up. We respect him for that.”  

Lee was speaking to the Singapore media at the end of a two-week working visit to the United States.  

He was responding to a question on how to resolve the choking haze that has enveloped much of the region.  

Lee made it clear that it was in the interest of South-East Asian countries especially Indonesia, to ensure the haze did does not become a “perennial problem.” 

The region as a whole stands to lose because it could drive away investment and tourism, he said. 

He cited the example of Hong Kong, where pollution from the Pearl River Delta drove businesses away to Shanghai, Singapore and other parts of South-East Asia. – The Straits Times / Asia News Network


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