Jokowi pays surprise visit to haze's ground zero

Joko Widodo visited South Sumatra province on Sunday to get a closer look at forest fires that have been causing terrible haze.

Jokowi visiting South Sumatra province to get a closer look at forest fires that have been causing terrible haze. - Twitter/@jokowi | Astro Awani
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited South Sumatra province on Sunday to get a closer look at forest fires that have been causing terrible haze and affecting neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore recently.

Local media reported that he was accompanied by the police chief, military chief, head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and a senior official from Environment and Forestry Ministry.

"I've ordered the police chief to crack down on companies that do not comply with the law. The Forestry Minister also will revoke their licences if they are found guilty on criminal charges.

"Do not let the burning become difficult to handle. I have said that I no longer want to talk about the cause or the solution of the problem. Everyone knows what needs to be done," said the President who is fondly known as Jokowi, in Palembang.

His last-minute visit to Banyuasin, South Sumatra on Sunday was mentioned in his official Twitter account.


Jokowi also tweeted that although the forest fire is relatively diminishing this year, the authorities should not tolerate with the offenders.


As for now, officials are continuing with water-bombing and cloud-seeding efforts to put out the fires.

On Saturday, the Indonesian authorities warned the haze was expected to worsen compared to previous years after more than 600 hotspots were detected via satellite imaging in Jambi, Riau and south Sumatera.