Firefighters try to extinguish brush fires in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Indonesia on Saturday. AP
Indonesia has sealed off 30 companies amid a row with Malaysia over forest fires that are spreading a thick, noxious haze around Southeast Asia.
Forestry official Sugeng Riyanto said on Saturday the plantation companies, including four firms affiliated with Malaysian corporate groups, are under scrutiny and may be penalized.
Indonesia’s forestry minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, said on Friday the government will prosecute a number of companies as a deterrent to setting fires.
The move came days after she disputed that the smoke was coming from Indonesia, noting that hotspots were also detected in Malaysia’s Sarawak state.
Malaysia’s environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, responded immediately, telling Indonesia “not to be in denial.” She cited data that showed the haze impacting parts of Malaysia originated in Indonesia.
Nearly 2,500 schools were ordered to shut their doors in Malaysia over soaring health concerns sparked by toxic haze from out-of-control blazes in Indonesia's Sumatra and Borneo islands.
Forest fires are an annual occurrence in Indonesia. Forest fires in 2015 spread haze across a swathe of Southeast Asia, and according to a study by Harvard and Columbia universities, hastened 100,000 deaths.
Health experts have been concerned about the risks of the coronavirus being spread during religious festivals in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country when people typically gather in mosques and homes or travel to their home towns.
Indonesia unveiled a nearly $40 billion financing scheme for its fiscal deficit, with the central bank set to buy some 397.6 trillion rupiah ($28 billion) directly without receiving interest, to help fund the economic recovery, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.
Backed by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, the event played host to 500 specialised companies, unveiling the latest and most sought-after designs in watches, jewellery, and gold ornaments from around the world.
The tragedy struck the town of Qaraqosh, in a wedding hall with a capacity of “no more than 400 people,” Interior Minister Amir Al Shammari told a press conference. That night, it held in excess of 900 people, he said.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid wished the newly appointed judges success in their new roles and highlighted the importance of constantly enhancing the DIFC’s judicial framework.
The light aircraft, which reportedly belonged to RioZim, crashed in the Zvamahande area of Mashava, killing all six onboard — four foreigners and two Zimbabweans, police said. The mid-air crash is suspected to have been caused by a mechanical fault.