October 2019


  1. The sociology of EDSA traffic
  2. South Korea: woman reportedly kills herself after being secretly filmed by doctor
  3. Muji, Marie Kondo, and Asia’s tiny house movement
  4. Why can’t Southeast Asia snuff out its haze problem for good?

The sociology of EDSA traffic


Of course you can call or text on your phone while driving. You can even read your e-mail and reply quickly on your iPad. You might want to catch some quick news on Yahoo, or get your daily fix of cute dog antics on YouTube.

Better to do something fun rather than cry at Waze app street maps veined in bloody red, showing heavy traffic. On the highway that is called EDSA, the pulse of traffic is a faltering 10 kilometers per hour when it moves and engines are idling in near comatose standstill more often than laboriously heaving forward. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) publicly declared in 2017 that there were around 7,500 vehicles using EDSA per hour per direction, well beyond its carrying capacity of 6,000 vehicles per hour per direction.

A BusinessWorld graphic last May showed that a total average of 367,728 vehicles pass through EDSA daily, composed of 247,527 cars, 69,438 motorcycles, 20,022 taxis, 12,283 buses, 8,830 trucks, 7,229 utility vehicles, and 2,399 various “others.” Intrapolating the graphic’s total average divided by two directions into the MMDA’s per hour per direction would roughly show that EDSA is tight 24 hours a day, perhaps only easing in the wee morning hours. EDSA = traffic = EDSA, any day including weekends and holidays. The MMDA is now strictly enforcing the rule that buses and other mass transit must keep within the two-lane “yellow lane” that segregates them from private cars, and that busses must not linger to pick-up or unload passengers at designated stops. Clearly the more numerous private transport suffer more as their space in the 10-lane (five each way) EDSA has been constricted to the three unrestricted lanes that funnel into two in places where the monster columns footprint of the overhead Metro Rail Transit (MRT) stomp on precious EDSA space.

Many plans and programs to improve traffic in Metro Manila have been designed by the Transportation Departments of this and previous political administrations. A Manila Bulletin editorial on July 6 showed a chronology of these efforts, including the attempt at the beginning of the Duterte administration to ask Congress for emergency powers which, the government said, are needed to solve the problem that is EDSA. Nothing came of it. Yet by the “President’s own optimistic projection… by December (2019), a trip from Cubao to Makati along EDSA should take just five minutes,” it noted. Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) hastened to correct this to “EDSA traffic will return to ‘acceptable’ levels by the end of the President’s term in 2022,” the editorial quoted.

The absurdity of the promises call forth absurd solutions aired by the government itself, such as cable cars over EDSA and point-to-point helicopters to pluck commuters from chosen starting points to plop them on contracted destinations. And then of course the textbook solution to traffic congestion is a developed public transport network. But the Boston Consulting Group, in a study called “Unlocking Cities,” said even government plans to increase the capacity of rail-based public transport services “will not be sufficient to meet growth in transport demand” over the next five years, an article in the Inquirer pointed out.

We could have done better, if we had done proper urban planning well and early enough. Metro Manila’s population has boomed in recent years to about 12.2 million individuals (swelling to 15 million in the daytime), or about 12% of the country’s total population, according to government statistics. City streets are narrow, and have become more congested as there is thin and weak access to the huge subdivisions built within already over-populated traditional communities. Towering vertical developments (condominiums and office buildings) pour tens of thousands of their occupants into the dyspepsia of traffic on the tiny access and feeder roads and onto EDSA, which is the main and only workable artery to work and home for many commuters. Notice the huge and dense mixed-use condominiums being built along EDSA itself!

And so we must talk of too many cars that are the main reason for the traffic problem of EDSA. The over-population of communities along and near EDSA comes with an automatic increase in the number of private cars. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association declared that vehicle sales had grown by 16%, from more than 292,000 units (additional to existing vehicles) in 2016 to close to 340,000 units in 2017, and this is still growing. They say this is mainly because many buy an extra car (or two or three for family members) for the dead days when the family car is “coded” for off-road.

But why are people buying cars instead of using public mass transport?

Manong Frankie, is it because cars are a big status symbol for Filipinos? F. Sionil Jose, National Artist for Literature, writer-sociologist-historian, was consulted for his deep insight into the Filipino soul and mind, and his perception of Filipino values and mores, as conveyed with such clarity and impact in the realism of his novels and writings. He said, “You are talking about the traffic in EDSA, and wondering whether we Filipinos have created this monster, as we have created many monsters for ourselves? Yes, we are a specially different people and culture. Look at the streamlined and efficient public transport system in Japan!”

But, Manong Frankie, the Japanese of all social classes are using their mass transport system. Would an executive in a stylish business suit or pristine barong Tagalog ride the MRT or LRT, much less a public bus or a tired jeepney, and press bodily with the “unwashed masses,” going to and from work? Would his/her family be seen riding public transport? For proffered reasons of safety and security, and doubtful “convenience,” a family that has “arrived” in the ascending elitism of society must arrive in day-to-day destinations in a car — a long-standing status symbol, not only in the Philippines, but in most of the world since early history when nobility rode in personal chariots or carriages.

In many businesses, an employee who has reached supervisory or managerial rank is offered a company car plan to buy a car commensurate to his/her self “packaging” as a person to be looked up to by the lower ranks and the public. As promotions come, the employee is exhorted, if he/she does not voluntarily opt to upgrade to a higher-model car, partially financed, or wholly paid for by the company. These efforts in the business organization to “package” the employee for internal and external “marketing” shows that cars are indeed a persistent status symbol in society.

The difference between the Japanese and us is their discipline and guiding harmony in the present, Zen Buddhism permeating their demeanor and social interactions. We have a different make-up, influenced by the hierarchical templates imposed by colonizers and the Catholic Church, Manong Frankie said. And thus driving an air-conditioned car that sits on EDSA for the two hours from Cubao to Makati would be reinforcing social status, in lieu of sitting in low-class public transport that would take the same two hours on the road as well.

And so, we will have more cars and more traffic on EDSA. The banks and car companies are gleefully enjoying double-digit profit growth from easy-installment sales of more cars. It has been suggested by many that the purchase of new cars should be limited on a quota basis like in Singapore, but officials said this is not feasible here because purchases in the provinces of cars to be used in Manila cannot be controlled.

So, playing on the status-symbol aspect of car-owning and the seeming aversion of the social classes to mix in mass public transport, perhaps a new genre of limited public transport can be installed on EDSA: Super-streamlined, state-of-the-art, point-to-point coaches with “snob pricing” (expensive, but cheaper than bringing a car) can be made available to the higher-status commuter. And those rickety buses beyond an age limit, and those scraggly jeepneys should be banned from EDSA. Motorcycles, too, should take the side roads, not EDSA.

Yes, perhaps the EDSA mess is all about status.


Amelia H. C. Ylagan ([email protected]) is a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of the Philippines.


By                    :               Amelia H.C. Ylagan

Date                 :               September 15, 2019

Source             :               BusinessWorld




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South Korea: woman reportedly kills herself after being secretly filmed by doctor


Family said she was suffering nightmares and trauma after the incident as nation’s spy cam epidemic continues.


A woman in South Korea has reportedly killed herself after discovering she had been secretly filmed in a hospital change room, amid growing public alarm at the voyeurism epidemic gripping the country.

The woman, referred to in local news reports as “A”, was found dead at her home in the south west of the country last week. Her family said she had suffered “nightmares and trauma” after finding out that she had been filmed at the hospital without her knowledge.

A statement from her family said she had made an “extreme choice”.

A clinical pathologist at the same hospital was arrested in August for allegedly filming female co-workers in the employees’ changing room. Police allege he made a hole in the changing room wall to film the four victims.

They are investigating a link between the allegations against the pathologist and the woman’s death.

The woman is among thousands of South Korean victims of “molka”, in which women are covertly filmed and the footage uploaded to websites visited by men who often pay subscription fees to access the illegal films.

In 2017, there were a reported 6,400 cases of illegal filming reported to police in South Korea, up from 2,400 in 2012.

Earlier this year, two men were arrested for secretly filming 1,600 people in 30 hotels across 10 cities in South Korea. The films were uploaded to a subscription website.

Na-Young Lee, a professor of sociology at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, saidSouth Korean women were increasingly alarmed by the molka epidemic.

“There are cameras everywhere – from toilets to motels, houses where you are living alone, to school, and these pictures or film footages are distributed on pornography sites while you are not aware of them,” she said. “They are combined with other graphic images to be pornographies and circulated again.”

The molka crisis has sparked widespread protests in South Korea. In August last year, 70,000 people marched in Seoul with signs stating “my life is not your porn.”

Lee said many women felt that the police and prosecutors were not taking the cases seriously.

“Even [if] they make a report to police, [police] just dismiss the case and men are soon released,” she said. [Women] insist there are biased investigations and rulings involved.”

Lee pointed to a case last year where a female model was sentenced to 10 months in detention for filming a male colleague and deliberately posting his pictures online, while in a similar case with the genders of the perpetrator and victim reversed, there was just a 2m won fine.

“The spy cam itself is problematic, but the attitude of police prosecutors and the judges who are dealing with the cases are also problematic.”

Josh Taylor travelled to South Korea as part of the Walkley Foundation’s Australia-Korea journalist exchange program in partnership with the Korea Press Foundation.

• In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National SuicidePrevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org


By                    :               Josh Taylor

Date                 :               October 2, 2019

Source             :               The Guardian




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Muji, Marie Kondo, and Asia’s tiny house movement


  • Would you live in a 100 sq ft hut in a forest? Believe it or not, a growing number of millennials are choosing to do so as part of the ‘tiny house movement’
  • Some are going small for financial or environmental reasons, while others simply no longer believe big is beautiful


It was only a garlic press – 20cm of stainless steel and lighter than a tennis ball. Yet Atiqah Nadiah Zailani deliberated for days over whether to buy it.

The cooking utensil could easily fit in a drawer or hang on a kitchen hook, but the NGO worker was downsizing.

Atiqah, 32, was moving from her spacious family apartment in Kuala Lumpur to a 300 sq ft home she had built in a forest on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital.

She is among a growing number of proponents of the “tiny house movement” worldwide.

Espoused by trendy, minimalist brands such as Japanese firm Muji and lifestyle gurus like Marie Kondo, the idea is that less is more.

No exact criteria exist but the general consensus is that a tiny home is 400 sq ft or smaller. Examples include Muji’s US$26,000 Muji Hut, which was released in 2017 and clocks in at a mere 100 sq ft.



Many in older generations dreamed of upsizing to sprawling houses in suburban areas, but millennials are increasingly doing the opposite, seeking affordability or a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Jeff Yeo, co-founder of Big Tiny, a Singapore-based developer that manufactures homes in Malaysia, says the movement began in the United States about six or seven years ago and has spread rapidly. His company exports its tiny homes globally and also runs leasing operations.

Since launching in 2017, the firm has sold 220 sq ft units to more than 200 clients worldwide. Each costs S$80,000 (US$58,000). Ironically, most buyers are from countries where space is far from tight, such as Australia, but some are from Asia.

What do small flats in Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul look like?

“In Singapore, I have clients really interested in getting one for their backyards,” Yeo says.

“Many Malaysian clients are looking at installing one on their private land.”

He says the homes are easy to set up, thanks to a patented locking system that allows first-time builders to assemble them in under three hours. His firm sells the shell, leaving customers to furnish the property themselves.

“It’s supposed to be Ikea-style … You can get together with friends and build the house,” Yeo says.

Atiqah was inspired to make the switch while working with an NGO in Tanzania, where she found 100 sq ft village huts and minimalist living commonplace. She painstakingly designed and built her home with the help of friends and a local community organisation in Kuala Lumpur, despite having no experience in architecture.

“My budget was 250,000 Malaysian ringgit, or about US$60,000,” she says. Her aim was to prove she could build a small home for half what it costs to buy a studio apartment in the city.

The interior is kitted out with a sofa, a kitchenette, a bathroom with composting toilet, and a loft that doubles as a sleeping space. A wardrobe is built into the steps leading up to her bed. The house’s electricity is supplied by a solar panel, and the taps run via an off-grid rainwater collection and filtration system.

Atiqah reasoned that she could live comfortably enough because she spent most of her time outdoors. She therefore equipped the exterior with a veranda that added 200 sq ft. Lush jungle sits outside.

Living in such a remote space did come with a setback, however. Atiqah, who is often away on work trips for long stretches, suspects teenagers who live nearby of breaking into her house. But after installing a wireless CCTV and alarm system in July, her home has yet to be disturbed. “I do feel a lot better as I can monitor the house even while I’m away,” she said, adding that it had less to do with living in a tiny home than the neighbourhood in which it was located.

“I could definitely see myself living there for a very long time,” Atiqah says. “It’s designed for me, with my lifestyle and aspirations in mind.”

And, if she changes her mind, she says she can build more when she “needs it”.

“I’ve already had experience building the house, so it’s easy to add extensions. When family come up, I’ll add to it. We are quite rich in terms of land space in Malaysia, but you have to be willing to go outside the city. However, tiny homes don’t have to be on open land.”



In Hong Kong, tiny homes have long been a reality, but not by choice.

From wardrobe-sized partitioned flats, to brand-new “micro-flat” developments, the city is home to not only some of the smallest, but also the most expensive, properties in the world.

Architect Simon Hui says Hong Kong homes have always been on the small side.

“I grew up [in a flat] in a very, very old public housing estate in the southern part of Hong Kong,” he says.

“It was about 400 sq ft with a decent kitchen and toilet, and it accommodated four or five. That was still considered fairly spacious, because in most cases more than five people would live in these flats.”

Today, Hongkongers are crammed into an average of 170 sq ft of living space per person. In Tokyo, the figure is 210 sq ft, and in Singapore, 270 sq ft, according to local researchers.

Contributing to the trend towards smaller flats are unaffordable prices. For the past nine years, Hong Kong has been the most expensive city in the world in which to buy a property. Homes cost an average of US$2,091 per sq ft, which is double that in Singapore, at US$1,063, and four times that in New York, at US$526, according to US real estate services firm CBRE.

How small is too small? The trend towards micro flats is disturbing

And the city’s homes are getting smaller. Apartments under 430 sq ft make up 45 per cent of housing in the private sector, up from just 5 per cent in 2010, according to local think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation.

Hui says prices were much more affordable in the past, allowing older generations to get on the housing ladder more easily. In the 1980s, many flats cost less than HK$1 million, and while the average worker made only about HK$5,000 to HK$6,000 a month, prices were considered affordable as down payments were only about 10 per cent.

“Property prices have risen by at least 250 to 300 per cent just since 2014. That means on average a 20 per cent increase per year,” he says.

Andrea Mak, a Hongkonger in her 30s, bought her 400 sq ft one-bedroom home in the New Territories for HK$6.8 million last year. Since then she has been feeling the financial strain.

“It has given me so much pressure – the mortgage payments are eating up most of my salary each month.”

With homes costing HK$10 million or more, millennials like herself cannot even dream of buying a more spacious 700 sq ft two-bedroom family flat, she laments.

“Unless people have family support, they will end up like me – forever living in a one-bedroom apartment and unable to afford to have kids.”

But for some, the experience of living in Hong Kong has opened their eyes to the benefits of going small.

John Hwang, a Korean-Australian working in information technology, says he did not expect he would be living in such a minuscule property after relocating from Sydney, but he soon adapted to the change. He rents a 100 sq ft studio flat in Sheung Wan.

“Hong Kong apartments are the size of my bathroom in Australia,” he says. “Everything fits like Tetris blocks – my fridge, sofa-bed, 100cm by 30cm carpet, sink and toilet. “But after adding bits and pieces, I realised you don’t need many things to live. I can do everything here – except run around.”

Lam Hau Chai, in her nineties, lives alone in a 176 sq ft flat in Shek Hei House, a public housing estate that was built in 1994. She rents the studio under Hong Kong’s public rental housing scheme for HK$1,196 a month.

“I moved in more than two decades ago when it was first built, after my husband passed away. It’s enough space for me, as I have everything I need here,” she says, gesturing at her room which contains a single bed, wardrobe, folding table, television and rattan chair.

She says she rarely dines out, opting to shop at the wet market downstairs and cook every meal in her kitchen.

Lam grew up in mainland China and moved to Hong Kong almost 70 years ago. “I was 20 years old and newly married when we arrived,” she says. “My late sister’s children and her kids still come to visit me here once a month.”

Downsizing Hong Kong empty nesters mix the old and new



However, experts say living within the confines of such extreme minimalism is not healthy in the long run.

One hundred sq ft represents the absolute minimum, according to Hui, but only for temporary stays in places such as dormitories and hotels.

Hong Kong universities offer dorms of about 150 sq ft for two people, but “that’s a set-up for only a short period of 180 days a year”, he says. On the other hand, the city’s micro-flats are permanent fixtures of 128 to 160 sq ft.

“I wouldn’t say it’s inhumane, but this is your home, not a hostel … It’s not quite right.”

Tiffany Chuang, a Singaporean postgraduate student in sociology at the University of Michigan, studies the role of public housing in community-building in the island nation. She cautions against any glamorisation of the tiny-home lifestyle.

“The minimalist movement is itself an adaptation – making a virtue out of necessity,” she says.

Millennials are much less affluent compared with their baby-boomer parents and more aware of the detrimental effects of rampant consumerism, Chuang explains.

She believes these long-term economic trends are “facilitating the aestheticisation of living with less”. Chuang cautions against buying into the ideas of corporations or policymakers keen to promote the upsides of minimalism, which may just be a cover for charging more for less. She cites Hong Kong’s micro-flats as an example.

Most importantly, Chuang warns that minimalism as an aesthetic produces an “economy of prestige” that penalises the working class and the poor, who may then be shamed for their less trendy consumption habits.

“I think a responsible way to promote the concepts of downsizing and minimalism is to focus equally on how goods and services are produced, rather than merely how they are consumed.”

For Atiqah in Malaysia, this was exactly why she chose her tiny home.

“Living a minimalist lifestyle leads you to become more aware of what it costs to live on this planet, and how you can make it better,” she says. “It’s about living a lifestyle that suits your needs without negatively impacting other people or the environment.”

She says she rarely suffers from buyer’s remorse after what minimalism has taught her. “Now I’m trained to make these choices,” she explains.

The garlic press now sits inside a drawer in her tiny kitchen. “I put a lot of thought into it, and I came to the conclusion that I really did want it,” Atiqah says.

“When I buy something, I’m able to know whether I will keep it for a long time.” ?


By                    :               Crystal Tai

Date                 :               September 27, 2019

Source             :               South China Morning Post




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Why can’t Southeast Asia snuff out its haze problem for good?


  • Singapore flagged off its Formula One race under clearer skies on Friday after days of bad air there and in Malaysia
  • Experts urge Jakarta to crack down harder on those behind illegal fires as the haze affects ‘health, wealth and well-being


Singapore on Friday heaved a sigh of relief as it flagged off its Formula One (F1) night race under relatively clear skies, after a week of being blanketed by smoke pollution.

The haze, an annual event caused by fires blazing in neighbouring Indonesia, had cast a pall over the race, one of Singapore’s biggest tourism events.

Even though organisers on Thursday said there were no plans to amend the schedule for the three-night race, they also noted the situation was “highly changeable”.

The haze has worried racers, including F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. “I have been told not to go for runs outside, but I don’t know how that would impact us in the race,” the British racer told AFP on Thursday.

“Tonight and tomorrow, I will speak to my team about it, but there’s only so much we can do, we can’t wear an extra mask in our helmets, so it is what it is,” Hamilton said.

“Naturally, you blow your nose after a race and loads of soot comes out … you’ve got the carbon and all the other stuff you are breathing in, so clean air is an important part of it.”

Malaysia, Indonesia shut thousands of schools as toxic haze intensifies

The smoke blows over from Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo during the dry season from July to October, when peatlands burn and forested land is cleared for agriculture by the slash-and-burn method. The peat fires spread quickly and are difficult to put out.

The haze is worse in some years, when the air reaches such unhealthy levels that normal life comes to a standstill.

Singapore and Malaysia have been the worst affected this year.

The emergence of the haze this year forced schools in Malaysia to shut, and had Singaporeans reaching for face masks and staying indoors, as pollution levels hit the unhealthy range for the first time since 2016.


Each time the haze makes its presence felt, the question that arises is why it remains a perennial problem despite years of diplomatic talks, international agreements and local regulations targeting culprits behind illegal fires.

It is clear who the culprits are, based on satellite pictures showing the sharp increase in the number of hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Massimo Lupascu, an assistant professor of geography at the National University of Singapore, said three factors determined if the haze reached Indonesia’s neighbours: fire, wind direction, and weather conditions.

“The chance of haze is high for Singapore and Malaysia if surface winds blow mainly from the southeast or southwest, and at times, from the west,” Lupascu said.

This year, the region is also experiencing drier and hotter weather due to a climate phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole – the irregular oscillation of sea-surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean, which makes it optimal for haze to spread.

Strong fires, the right wind direction, and dry weather conditions occurring at the same time have likely contributed to Singapore’s worst air pollution in three years, Lupascu said. 

As air pollutant levels reached unhealthy levels, Singaporeans were advised to avoid outdoor activity. Classrooms in schools and kindergartens have been equipped with air purifiers, and some private companies are ensuring that employees who work outdoors have masks.

In some parts of Malaysia, such as Sarawak on Borneo island, visibility was reduced to 200 metres as air quality worsened, according to Malaysian media reports. On the peninsula, small airports in Ipoh and Subang saw flight disruptions.

Malaysia’s health ministry said there was a 16 per cent increase in the number of people suffering from asthma this week, compared with the average in the past 10 weeks. The number of conjunctivitis cases also rose by 25 per cent in the same period.

Helena Varkkey, a senior lecturer at the University of Malaya’s Department of International and Strategic Studies in Kuala Lumpur, said the haze would affect productivity and the tourism sector.

Fish supplies could be affected as fishermen stay home due to low visibility, and there could also be crop failure because of reduced photosynthesis, added Varkkey, who has written a book about the haze in Southeast Asia

“The incidental costs are additional firefighting services and equipment, cloud seeding and water bombing. The World Bank report for Indonesia said the 2015 haze cost them about US$2 billion,” she said.

Azmi Hassan, a geostrategist at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Perdana Centre and Geospatial Institute, said the haze could also have an indirect impact on the Malaysian economy, as a number of events had been postponed or cancelled.

“Taking into account the lost opportunity from the cancellation of events, children not going to school, and health issues that arise, the haze may very soon put a dent on our GDP,” said Azmi, adding that much depended on how long the haze lasted.

Malaysia on Wednesday closed 1,484 schools across several states, affecting more than a million students.

To bring an end to the haze, slash-and-burn practices for agriculture should be minimised or stopped altogether, Azmi said, but this was where Indonesia “holds court”.


Although Jakarta has taken various steps over the years to deal with the source of the haze, no real solutions have been seen.

Sometimes it shifts the blame to its Southeast Asian neighbours, saying they have their own firestarters. At other times, Indonesian officials have said countries affected by the haze complained too much.

“Malaysia has offered to help Indonesia fight the forest fires by providing appropriate firefighting assets but Jakarta refused,” Azmi said.

In 2014, Singapore enacted the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) to deter companies – both in and outside Singapore – from taking part in activities that contribute to the haze.

A year later, Singaporean authorities clamped down on five errant firms from Indonesia, including multinational Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is regularly listed among alleged culprits behind the Indonesian fires.

In Indonesia, the Peatland Restoration Agency was established, and laws were enacted to ban the use of fires for clearing land.

Last week, Indonesian authorities arrested more than 200 people suspected of involvement in activities that led to fires getting out of control.

Jakarta also deployed more than 9,000 personnel to battle fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

A year later, Singaporean authorities clamped down on five errant firms from Indonesia, including multinational Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is regularly listed among alleged culprits behind the Indonesian fires.

In Indonesia, the Peatland Restoration Agency was established, and laws were enacted to ban the use of fires for clearing land.

Last week, Indonesian authorities arrested more than 200 people suspected of involvement in activities that led to fires getting out of control.

Jakarta also deployed more than 9,000 personnel to battle fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

A year later, Singaporean authorities clamped down on five errant firms from Indonesia, including multinational Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is regularly listed among alleged culprits behind the Indonesian fires.

In Indonesia, the Peatland Restoration Agency was established, and laws were enacted to ban the use of fires for clearing land.

Last week, Indonesian authorities arrested more than 200 people suspected of involvement in activities that led to fires getting out of control.

Jakarta also deployed more than 9,000 personnel to battle fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.


By                            :               Dewey Sim

Date                         :               September 20, 2019

Source                     :               South China Morning Post





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