Dear Malaysians, if you’d once think that only Malaysian ministers are the only funny politicians alive in the world, think again.

Not only historically we share major cultures and heritage, both Malaysians and Indonesians enjoy watching live comedy performed by their ministers.

Recently, Malaysiakini reported the Vice President of Indonesia to have said that Indonesia “need notapologise” for the smoke and haze from the recent open burning of its forest in Sumatera andKalimantan whichcaused the haze that is currently clouding severalneighbouringcountries; Malaysia and Singapore are majorly affected.

That’s not even the funniest part yet.

Well guesswhy, per Jusuf Kalla, Jakarta shouldn’tapologise? It is because we, theneighbouringcountries were “not grateful” of the freshness of air contributed by their forests before the open burning.

So by that statement, we can imply that we deserve the haze, I guess?

And need I ask, did you, Mr Jusuf, the Vice President of Indonesia,apologiseto your fellow Indonesians for the smoke? Of course you don’t, because I bet they are, like us, are not grateful for the fresh air before the burning so why do they deserve fresh air all-year round?

Plantation companies are not necessarily the main culprits

It doesn’t end there. Reading the report further, one must wonder, does Mr Jusuf read their own country’s research on open burning?

Therefore, Mr. Jusuf, if you are not able to stand reading thousands of words from academic research paper, you can always read a simpler news article ( which clearly shows that a good 62% of the smoke generated from burning in Sumatera is from non-concession-related land whilst that of Kalimantan is way worse; non-concession-related fire from that region contributed a good 73% of the smoke.

Not to say that the companies, Indonesian-owned and international, requesting the locals to simply burn the plantations are not to blame. But this is rather a complex problem with many factors to take into account. So as the number two personofyour country, not knowing this alarming recently-published conclusion is something to be ashamed of. Come on, you could at least read first before letting words coming out of your mouth.

What is happening to your legal system?

Even if the international plantation companies asked for that devious shortcut to clear theirlands, it is your state’s responsibility to enforce the law. They are planting in your country and often, they are doing it inginormousscale. So it is no where near possible the local law enforcement wouldn’t haverealisedtheir presence and their decision to burn the plantation.

Therefore, it is either they chose to just ignore it because the government itself is not serious about it or they fell asleep the whole time the forests were burnt down to earth.

Please Mr. Jusuf, if you really don’t think your state don’t need toapologiseso just don’t do it. More importantly, don’t even bother mentioning it.

Even if you don’t intend to help or explain the situation honestly to theneighbouringnations, at least get your act in your own state together. Stop talking like a roadside comedian and help your suffering people and catch the bad guys.

One more thing, yes, you don’t have toapologise. Rather, you should be really thankful that it’s not the people of theneighbouringcountries that vote you for the last and the upcoming elections.

* Wan Salman Wan Sallamis a member of Secretariatof Politics for IKRAM Siswa Nasional
*The opinions and views expressed in this article are those
of ofthe authors and do not reflect the view of Astro AWANI.