As I had always thought, how far we respond on the Haze problem is in the end a matter of cost and benefit not just now but discounted into the foreseeable future. I hope the Indonesians understand that Singapore patience is not infinite. Privately we must make it clear to them where we draw the line in the sand. The do not cross boundary will of course not be made public or a more severe line would have to be drawn with less tolerance from us. Nobody gains from this and naturally Tommy Koh did not dwell on that. This is something for thoughtful people to figure out for themselves.
The Aussies have never been shy about articulating their attitude that Indonesia is a potential threat to their security. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. So this applies even more so to Singapore. The difference between us and Australia is that we bring more finesse and determination to make the relationship with Indonesia a friendly and constructive one. But never doubt that the Indonesians would gobble us up if the opportunity presents itself.
Can you believe the government is complicit in burning the forests? That if the companies wanted to be more ecologically friendly but the local authorities say no and will make good their threat to give the concessions to competitors which will set alight the forests. If they stoop that low, nothing but the most prejudicial measures would work right? Hope we never get to that but meanwhile borrowing the weight of the international community provide the greatest bang with the least cost makes the most sense.