Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vivian Balakrishnan failed to anticipate haze

That meeting of ASEAN environment minister was more show than progress. This is unsurprising.

This is also the moment I think we learn that Vivian Balakrishnan was caught napping.

I will count my chickens when they are hatched. Not putting too much by such a promise to ratify the treaty. A minister, even the President cannot speak for the legislature. If they could the accord would have been ratified long ago.

The fact that the Jambi collaboration has lapsed is the early warning sign to expect haze. How could Vivian Balakrishnan have missed that? We were lucky in 2012. The haze came thick and heavy this year. If it didn't it could be next year but whenever, it will come and it should not be surprising if it is bad.

Let's see if the WP would ask him to account for this lapse. 

Update: 3:45pm

Received a very helpful comment with a link to Hansard. WP did press the point earlier.

How odd we take such a different attitude towards the haze compared to water.

On water, LKY attended to it personally. Where is LHL? Yes, he was making jokes as the commenter pointed out. What abysmal judgement from the PM. So not one but two of them were napping. No wonder we didn't actually have enough N95s. No wonder the government had to throw their smoke bombs playing with categories. Yes, we have enough N95s but....Fortunately the wind changed direction or we would have our Katrina moment.

So much for the much vaunted foresight of this government. They had 16 years to figure a way to achieve leverage over Indonesia but they didn't.


  1. WP did ask. In October 2012's Parliamentary sitting, Yee Jenn Jong asked questions about the haze, including getting Indonesia to collaborate. Its here :

    Unfortunately, as you guessed by now, he was given the boiler-plate non-answers. Heck, even PM Lee was so caught blind-sided that he was joking in Washington about how, if the Chinese wants to smell smoke, all they need to do is open their windows. It totally shows how the haze is not at all on their radar screen, let alone being prepared for it.

  2. They were not caught napping.

    All their time were spent fixing the opposition.