Haze report - Easy to start a plantation in Indonesia for M'sians with money

  • Sea Dragon and other probes that can go deeper may take over if mini-sub fails, says CNN
    Sea Dragon and other probes that can go deeper may take over if mini-sub fails, says CNN

    The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is nearing the end of its 40th day without any significant development and CNN aviation consultant Mary Schiavo said underwater probes which can go deeper may be deployed if current efforts using a high-tech mini-submarine fails. The mini-submarine or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), known as... …

  • Police cadet delivers baby in toilet while under training
    Police cadet delivers baby in toilet while under training

    A police trainee who was undergoing training at the police training centre (PULAPOL) delivered a baby girl in a toilet at a hospital yesterday, three months after she was tested negative for pregnancy. A source said the trainee, delivered her baby in a toilet of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital at 11am. Both mother and child are in good health. It... …

  • Mahathir wants Causeway replaced with ‘Friendship Bridge’ to Singapore – Bernama
    Mahathir wants Causeway replaced with ‘Friendship Bridge’ to Singapore – Bernama

    Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) today suggested the removal of the Johor Causeway in order to build the Friendship Bridge proposed by the government.    He said the Johor Causeway causes various problems, mainly involving environmental issues and traffic congestion, in Johor Baru.   "If it is a bridge, then what need is... …

  • MACC reaches out to Chinese community – Bernama
    MACC reaches out to Chinese community – Bernama

    The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has invited more Chinese non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to participate in the "Amalan Kredibiliti, Masyarakat Berintegriti" (Credible Practices, Community Integrity) Programme at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity in Kuala Lumpur on April 26. MACC Community Education Division director... …

  • Indira can turn to Shariah Court to get justice, ex-hubby’s lawyer tells High Court
    Indira can turn to Shariah Court to get justice, ex-hubby’s lawyer tells High Court

    Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi (pic) must go to the Shariah Court to challenge a custody order given by the religious court to her estranged husband, the High Court was told today. Lawyer Asmuni Awi, who was appearing for Indira’s ex-husband Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah (formerly known as K. Patmanathan), said disallowing non-Muslims to... …

  • BN says bid to back Jais in Malay bible row blocked by Hannah Yeoh
    BN says bid to back Jais in Malay bible row blocked by Hannah Yeoh

    SHAH ALAM, April 16 — Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) had tried to push for the state legislative body’s backing of the seizure of over 300 copies of Malay language bibles by the Islamic religious... …

Pekanbaru, Indonesia (The Star/ANN) - Original title: Haze: Starting a plantation in Indonesia is easy with money

It was the third day of our stay here yesterday and finally we were able to do away with our masks and take in some fresh air.

The air quality was a stark contrast from when we first arrived at the Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport on Friday, at about 8.40pm local time, after taking flights from Singapore to Jakarta and then here.

Our eyes were tearing due to the smoky air almost immediately as we got off the plane and walked to a bus at the tarmac.

When I awoke at about 7am the next day, there was not much to view from our hotel room on the seventh floor.

Related story: Indonesian president apologises over haze

The entire town and surrounding areas were heavily blanketed in the haze.

We headed to the outskirts of Pekanbaru yesterday to find out if it was any different.

We were prepared for the worst as we left the hotel at Jalan Jendral Sudirman at about 10am in a SUV driven by our hired supir (driver) Pak Tarmi.

To use a Hokkien word familiar to our southern neighbours, we were so kiasi (afraid to die) that we wore two masks each instead.

Yes, Singapore's famous traits of kiasu (afraid of losing) and kiasi (afraid to die) have rubbed off on us too.

Related story: KLK denies Indonesian unit causing haze

An hour after passing villages and plantations along the way, we noticed the sky was getting clearer and brighter.

But there were signs of blackened areas in some of the plantations, which Pak Tarmi said could have been places that were burnt a week ago.

"Lihat tu, lahannya bekas dibakar, praktisnya normal di sini, pak (See, the burnt areas there. It is a normal farming practice here)," he said, pointing to the spots.

We then decided to enter the village road at Simpang Durian in the Kampar district.

As Pak Tarmi said, there was smoke emitting from a heap of dried oil palm fronds and palm kernels.

Related story: Haze fires: Influential group demands maps from Malaysian plantations

As we drove further into the village, we saw a newly cleared plantation.

There were piles upon piles of drying forest tree trunks which had been felled to make way for the plantation.

Looking for more answers, Pak Tarmi and I decided to stop at the small hut made from bamboo just a few metres away from the newly cleared oil palm plantation.

Pak Rizal, 60, and his son Firdaus, 25, greeted us.

Both were shirtless and in the midst of enjoying their coffee and kretek (clove cigarettes).

Related story: Identify and punish haze offenders, opposition tells Indonesian ambassador

I introduced myself as a Malaysian businessman looking for land for cultivation.

"Aduh, Bapak udah terlambat, ini lahan baru aja dibuka kurang lebih satu minggu lepas (Alas, you are late, sir. This plantation was just opened a week ago)," said Pak Rizal.

"Gi mana ya Pak, proses buka lahan di sini?" I asked, putting on my best face as a prospective buyer of plantation land.

Firdaus said the process was fairly easy as long as one had money, adding no permit had been given to the newly cleared plantation yet.

"Semua bisa diatur (Everything can be arranged),'' he said and asked us to give him our contact numbers.

Pak Tarmi gave his mobile number and the father and son promised they would call if there was any land nearby for sale.

As we made our way back to the hotel after a six-hour trip covering 200km to and fro, we had to put on our masks again but only one each this time.

We were back in the thick of the haze.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Related story: Tourists still flock to Kuala Lumpur despite haze

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • ‘All the best’, Selangor MB tells Bible society at exit The Malay Mail Online
    ‘All the best’, Selangor MB tells Bible society at exit

    SHAH ALAM, April 15 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today he wished the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) well on its decision to move its headquarters out to Kuala Lumpur to... …

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …

  • Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper The Malaysian Insider
    Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper

    A wreck hunter is confident that the search teams had pinpointed the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and believes that the black boxes will be located soon, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports. David Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries told the ABC's 7.30 programme yesterday, he was confident that, because of their... …