Jokowi vows to get tough with haze offenders

Jokowi vows to get tough with haze offenders

22 August 2014

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Indonesia — Indonesia’s President-elect Joko Widodo has vowed tough law enforcement to fix the recurring haze problem, making it clear that the local authorities know who the culprits are.

In plainly worded statements suggesting he means business, Mr Joko told The Straits Times that it was a question of political will and that he would use his power to give necessary instructions to the relevant authorities.

“For me, it’s not a complicated problem, it’s only a matter of managing the people and how we communicate with them. The haze is caused both by the people and also the companies. If we have good, tough law enforcement, then it can be resolved,” he said, gesturing to indicate that the problem would be swept away.

Smoke from Indonesian forest fires, sometimes causing pollution in Singapore to reach unhealthy levels, has been one of the more frustrating aspects of relations between the city state and its giant neighbour. Mr Joko gave his views on this and other bilateral issues in an interview at his Jakarta Governor’s office on Tuesday, eight weeks before he is due to take over as Indonesia’s seventh president.

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