It was a flashback to 2013, when Agung Laksono, a minister in the previous government, hit out at murmurs from Singapore, which was shrouded in the haze.
A senior executive from the South Sumatra-based firm, identified by his initials JLT, was arrested on Wednesday morning and is now being interrogated.
The situation has been made worse this year by an El Nino weather system, which produces tinder-dry conditions and increases the risk of fires.
This year, provincial police units in the six areas affected by the haze have been investigating 24 companies and 126 individuals for breaching environmental laws.
Wildfires are an annual occurrence during the dry season in Indonesia and are responsible up to 10 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions each year.
These remarks prompted then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to apologise for the haze.
All problems between Malaysia and Indonesia will be resolved through goodwill by the leaders of the two countries, said Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
In order to alleviate the recent haze problem, Singapore has offered to assist Indonesia to put off the forest fire. In short, the Asean secretariat should have adopted the term “transboundary air pollution” in its documents.
A Cassa 121 aircraft (right) prepares to take-off for a cloud seeding operation in Pekanbaru, Riau province on September 17, 2015. This annual slash-and-burn activity sometimes causes the smog to go to unhealthy levels and at present, it is rated from low to midrange levels of “unhealthy” air quality by the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), possibly affecting the race driver’s visibility as well.
One Greenpeace media campaigner in Indonesia has described how he left his village with his daughter and pregnant wife to try to escape the haze.
House member Herman Khaeron said that the state budget for the Environment and Forestry Ministry was quite insignificant, Rp 6.7 trillion in 2015, and decreasing to Rp 6.3 trillion in the 2016 state budget.
They could face up to 15 years in jail and heavy fines if found guilty of breaking Indonesian laws that ban starting forest fires.
The 2009 world champion, a dedicated triathlete, said he had to skip outdoor workouts due to the acrid smoke being blown over the city-state from forest and farm fires in neighbouring Indonesia.
However, despite these harsh measures, companies continue to flaunt the law.
“It’s a question of political will, investigation and enforcement”, Balakrishnan said. The authorities there should not be timid and indolent in dealing with this seemingly unstoppable menace.