Hazy Singapore at a loss


Singapore has been shrouded in haze this week due to high air pollution. EPA

It's not just the haze that has polluted the air in Singapore, it is a sense of hopelessness too. The small island state has become a beacon for development and advancement across Asia, its model exemplified and copied by other countries, particularly in the GCC. The government's use of technology has won it global accolades, but there is little technology can do to prevent the haze coming in from Indonesia where illegal forest fires conducted by companies after palm oil have become a yearly event.

A combination of pictures shows Singapore's haze, above, and what the city is like on a clear day. Roslan Rahman / AFP

Outside of diplomatic talks between foreign ministers the government is still keen to make the most the technology at hand by providing its citizens with hourly Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading, which recently hit an all time high, through it's e-government portal.

Singapore's small population is adept with the government's technological offerings. Besides providing a platform for information, each resident has their own government email and inbox where they receive their bills, can enroll their children at school or update local authorities if something goes wrong in their building or area.

And satisfaction levels are high at more than 95 per cent. It is a shame that a firewall cannot keep out the haze.