The haze situation is something we have been facing annually for the past two decades together with our neighbouring countries Indonesia and Singapore.
Citizens have fallen sick and succumbed to death, the environment is in grave danger, and endangered wildlife like the Orang Utan face displacement and deaths. Needless to say, the situation is pretty grim.
As with many things that happen regularly, we have become rather desensitised to these occurrences, and instead of finding ways to stop the root cause, the focus has simply been on preventing the severity of the effects by wearing masks and staying indoors, among other things. There was never a proper channel for the citizens to speak up, and that is why 31 year old Malaysian Sidneswaran Paramaswaran decided to start a petition.
With enough signatures, the petition will be presented to the Indonesian and Malaysian government, requesting responsible action and asking them to prioritise its citizens instead of protecting the billion dollar corporations that hold zero accountability and yet, are fully responsible for the situation.
Those who sign the petition demand holding both the Indonesian and Malaysian government accountable for their inactions towards the annual crisis and for the issue to be included in the next General Elections manifesto.
The requests made in the petition include having the Malaysian government conduct a thorough open investigation on the 4 companies that have been accused by the Indonesian Environment Forestry Minister of deliberately carrying out open burning, for the governments to publicly list all companies and its directors that are involved.
Demands also include asking the Indonesian and Malaysian government to jointly agree to enact and enforce laws in both countries regarding the open burning "slash and burn" practice and for it to be permanently banned.
The petition is directed at the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change YB Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysian Primary Industries Minister YB Teresa Kok, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Dato' Haji Salahuddin bin Ayub, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Indonesian Environment Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman.
Is this a petition you would sign? Sign it here if yes.
By: Celestine Foo