Indonesia asked messaging app LINE to remove stickers like this citing local sensitivities.

First a senior Indonesian government minister called for a ban on gay groups on university campuses. Then another pressured instant messaging services to drop gay- and- lesbian themed emoticons, prompting one to cave in. All this, just before the TV regulator and child welfare agency teamed up, calling for an end to programming “advocating” LGBT themes, in part, because of a rash of cross dressing among boys.

An orangutan in the haze-shrouded territory of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in Nyaru Menteng in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province. PHOTO: REUTERS

In the village of Berengbengkel, about 20 kilometres outside the capital of the province of Central Kalimantan of Palangkaraya, thick yellow smog blots out the sun, making midday seem more like dusk. The air at times a deadly mix of fine particles that can be an order of magnitude than what is considered unsafe.

Emmanuela Shinta is a young local activist. She encourages locals to don some of the 25,000 masks on offer from donors in Singapore. She explains that the flimsy surgical masks found in local stores are useless at filtering out fine particles. In all, 15 fires surround the village of 700. Residents are ill prepared.

Lenggang Jakarta

On a recent weekday evening Sukowati Sosrodjojo surveys the gathering dinner crowd. Filtering in from the government and corporate offices downtown, they make their way to his $2 million labor of love: Lenggang Jakarta–an array of new hawker stands three years in the making.

Nestled in a leafy corner of the 75-hectare National Monument Park–known as “Monas”–the green space is a welcome respite from Jakarta’s calamitous traffic and woeful lack of amenities. “When people are suffocated all day by traffic and noise out there, they come in here looking bewildered,” says Sosrodjojo, who is better known as “Suko” and is the president-director of food-and-beverage company Rekso International. “They wonder, ‘What’s the catch?’ ”