Haze: Republic of Indonesia is not afraid of Malaysia or Singapore, says President

The Jakarta Post, 26 Jun 2013

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said he is not afraid of Malaysia or Singapore during a press conference at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta on Wednesday.

The President said that he had initially monitored conversations in the social media after he apologized to the Malaysian and Singaporean governments for the haze from forest fires in Riau.

He later noticed that there had been rampant misconception among people who thought the Indonesian government was afraid of its Malaysian and Singaporean counterparts.

“There is no any sovereign state that should be afraid of other countries,” said Yudhoyono as quoted by Kompas.com.

The President reminded the Indonesian people that the haze problem had a clear context and asked them not to involve other issues.

“I am telling you firmly that in terms of state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other national interests, there has never been a compromise,” said Yudhoyono.

Giving an example, the President said there was a conversation that tried to connect the problem of Haze to the Ambalat issue. He said the government would keep struggling to defend the territory.

Yudhoyono also said that the government would relentlessly struggle through diplomatic channels to ensure that Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia would be adequately protected and would enjoy their rights as well as be free from any violence. (fan/ebf)