President Jokowi highlights efforts to overcome smoke haze

President Jokowi highlights efforts to overcome smoke haze

Illustration. Ampera Bridge in Palembang, South Sumatra, which is covered in haze. (ANTARA PHOTO/Nova Wahyudi/ama)

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has disclosed his government`s efforts to overcome smoke haze that affected several parts of Indonesia, including Riau Province, for dozens of years.

"The important thing I need to disclose to overcome the smoke haze is that I have signed a contract with the Indonesian military chief, national police chief, provincial police chief, district military chiefs, and district police chiefs," he remarked while receiving a customary title of Datuk Seri Setia Amanah Negara from the Malay Customary Institution (LAM) at the Pekanbaru Riau LAM Building on Saturday.

The head of state was bestowed with the title in recognition of his success to overcome smoke haze in Riau Province.

He further spoke of his government`s efforts to overcome the issue of smoke haze that had shown no signs of abating for nearly 17 years.

"It was difficult to solve the problem of smoke haze, as it involved various interests," he noted.

However, owing to cooperation with the community, customary institutes, and non-governmental organizations, the frequency of smoke haze could be kept down, he pointed out.

More importantly, he admitted to have signed a contract with the Indonesian military chief, national police chief, provincial police chief, district military chiefs, and district police chiefs to overcome the smoke haze.

"The contract is short. If there is still smoke haze in Riau, I will replace them. This means if there is smoke, there must be fire. If it is found in a district, the district military chief will be responsible for it. Unless he could solve it, then he would be replaced," he emphasized.

He noted that regional military and police chiefs must be able to mobilize the components of the community.

"After I checked, alhamdulillah (thank God), the efforts had yielded results," he added.

At several ASEAN Summits, he said numerous countries always raised the issue of smoke haze arising from Indonesia.

"We were ashamed at several ASEAN Summits. Singapore and Malaysia always raised the issue. If we failed to solve it, we would be ashamed as a large nation," he added.

Reporting by Agus Salim
Editing by Suharto

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