KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian member of parliament has apologised for the bout of haze currently affecting the region.
Hamdhani Mukhdar Said, one of eight Indonesian delegates here for the 36th General Assembly of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), said the issue would be raised with the Indonesian parliament, in order to push for more action to deal with the haze situation.
"I want to apologise to the Malaysian people for the haze. The fires that caused the haze were not started intentionally but were due to the drought affecting parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan," he told reporters on the sidelines of the event.
The Indonesian central government, he said, had allocated a total of US$1 billion annually to combat fires, particularly in provinces such as Riau and Jambi, where over 200 hotspots have been detected.
"We appreciate any other form of assistance we can get, especially in terms of manpower and infrastructure."
"There are many places where the fires are occurring, but we have been unable to put them out because we do not have the right tools or machinery to get the water there," Hamdhani said.
Indonesia officially ratified the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in September last year, the 10th and final Asean country to do so since the treaty was first signed in 2002.