Screenshot from Thankyouindoforthecleanair.com
A lot of people in Singapore, including politicians, are pretty upset about the current haze crisis that is blanketing their country in a thick cloud of noxious smoke. But some Indonesian politicians are upset at those Singaporeans for daring to be angry. Why?
Well, as some of you may remember our eloquent and diplomatic vice president, Jusuf Kalla, explaining back in May: “For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us. They have suffered because of the haze for one month and they get upset.”
Or you might have heard his remarks from just last week, when he again said, ““Look at how long they have enjoyed fresh air from our green environment and forests when there were no fires. Could be months. Are they grateful? But when forest fires occur, a month at the most, haze pollutes their regions. So why should there be an apology?”
Kalla’s anger at Singapore’s ingratitude for all of cool clean air they get from Indonesia has also been echoed by other senior Indonesian politicians, such as President Joko Widodo’s chief of staff, Teten Masduki, who recently said: “I think Singapore has quite enjoyed all of the oxygen supplied to them from Indonesia…”
Maybe they have a point. When was the last time Singapore thanked Indonesia for all the grade-A premium oxygen they receive from Indonesia the rest of year (when they aren’t choking on toxic smoke from forest fires taking place in our borders)?
Hearing the words of our politicians, some Singaporeans have decided to step up and show Indonesia just how grateful people in their city-state are for all that awesome O2 they get from us for 11 months of the year by setting up a website: thankyouindoforthecleanair.com.
The website, which utilizes a cutting-edge (for 1998) Geocities-inspired design, greets visitors by telling them “Thank You Indonesia for 11 months of clean air!” above a button you can press to express gratitude to Jusuf Kalla.
There’s also a section for people to write personalized notes to express their thanks to Indonesia for those 11 wonderful months of picture perfect oxygen. There are some truly heartwarming expressions of humble gratitude amongst them:
“Sometimes we need go through bad experiences to appreciate the good. If not for the haze, I really would not have appreciated the days with good air. Thank you Mr Indo VP for teaching us this lesson!”
“Singapore residents are humbled by Indonesia’s generous FOC export of clean air to us. The clean air trade industry is so profitable but instead you chose to give it all away to us, such charity.”
“Thank you Indonesia VP for the Lovely Toxic Haze! Hope you and your family enjoy breathing in as much as they can! If it isn’t enough, feel free to come Singapore to breathe more too!!”
– Por Lam Par
There are also plenty of comments that are so, uhm, “colorful,” we can’t reprint them here.
But hopefully seeing all of this gratitude will help our politicians, and in particular VP Kalla, realize just how much Singapore appreciates clean air from Indonesia. And perhaps it’ll even get them to work harder on bestowing upon them an extremely generous 12th month of clean air – even if it takes them 3 years to do so.