If random meme images were to be created relating to this amazing dude here, the possibilities would be endless for this week.
So who’s this dude? Someone’s a step ahead of me and summed it all up @ Wikipedia.
So far, I’ve only read two of his public comments and that was enough to make the lazy me crawl back to wordpress and write something. (‘…must…handle…rage!’)
For the past week, Singapore (and some neighbouring countries, but I’ll focus on Singapore for now, you’ll know why later) had been engulfed by the amazing smog/haze from Indonesia (an annual occurrence happening around this time of the year) BUT, this year, the pollution level had reached hazardous and dangerous levels. Masks are selling out and people’s asthma and intolerance are acting up. Concerning.
Natural reaction would of course be: ‘Dear officials, please do something about this!’ and Singapore officials did. I’m sure Indonesian officials are trying their best too.
But there’s this one particular senior minister from Indonesia, sparking controversy. Not sure if he’s trying to get infamous (he’s succeeding) or maybe he is just very well-versed in public speaking.
Things like: “Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won’t consider accepting it,” he said. “If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget.”
Have I told you he’s the minister for people’s welfare?
The PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level in Singapore had reached record high of 400. It was announced that an average reading of 400 or above in 24 hours can put the lives of those elderly and sickly at risk. Very concerning. It’s no wonder that Singaporeans are very concerned and are not too happy.
Here’s something more amusing from Mr. Agung Laksono: “Singapore, don’t be childish in worrying times like this” he said (my translation may be bad, but the translation from the Strait Times sparks more rage – Indonesian minister says Singapore “behaving like a small child” over haze).
Obviously he had totally forgotten about the incident where Indonesians were burning Malaysian flags. I’d like to see his reaction if someone were to set fire beside his residence and direct the smoke into his house. I wonder if he’ll complain like Singaporeans too.
Seriously though, I think he’s just trying to avoid blame and make Singapore look like the bad guy by mentioning the pending issues between Singapore and Indonesia:
“Earlier, he told reporters that Singapore said nothing when there was fresh air, but complained about the occasional haze. Mr Agung also rebutted criticisms that Indonesia had yet to ratify an Asean agreement on transboundary haze pollution. “Singapore is like that. The border issue hasn’t been settled, neither has extradition, corruption.”” as reported in The Strait Times
Kudos to PM Lee from Singapore in choosing to ignore these comments and refusing to talk further regarding this when approached by the press. Instead, he chose to focus what he can do for the country. At least he’s not trash talking. Suddenly Mr. Agung seemed to be even less respectable.
For the Singaporeans out there reading and raging at this senior minister dude, let me tell you, the Indonesians are raging at him for being such a disgrace too @ news sites . I saw an article this morning with at least 150 comments on it @ detiknews but I can’t seem to find the article on their news feed at the moment.
The haze/smog condition is very worrying to Indonesia and its neighbouring affected countries; we all know and agree that there are things the government can do to regulate controlled burnings. We also know that prevention is key. But alas, the damage is done and all (okay maybe not all) we can do now is to calm the fuck down to save ourselves some wrinkles and Gray hair.
I heard the medical masks are running out in Singapore. I hope Singaporeans will get their hands on some. I also heard that things are not going so well for Indonesians that are affected by the haze who can’t afford to buy medical masks. Well, I think one of your senior officials who happens to be the minister for people’s welfare just rejected Singapore’s help so you can blame it on him (okay, sorry, that was mean but I had to say it).
I hope in the future, such serious levels of smog/haze will not happen again. Meanwhile, take good care people. Be in good health and remember, the happier you are the healthier you will be. Calm the fuck down; drink more water, and be in good health.
Also, get some public speaking training maybe, dear Mr. Minister for People’s Welfare? Even Indonesians agree that you should, as you can see in most news articles criticising your public statements.
BTW, I don’t live in Indonesia nor Singapore. But the haze/smog crisis reached international media. That’s how serious it is this year.