Fires raging in Sumatra are due to open burning activity in forests and plantations in Riau and northern Sumatra, and the Indonesian side has implicated Malaysian companies.
Indonesian Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban said 10 Malaysian-owned companies operating in the region were among the culprits.
On Aug 10, Indonesian authorities detected 788 hotspots in Riau, which is one of the main causes of the haze that has blanketed a huge part of the Klang Valley.
Malam Sambat said the fires were mainly due to forest clearing activity, with fires also detected in plantations and farms.
“The major fires are in oil palm plantations and this has caused the thick haze in Malaysia. Fires have also been detected in West Kalimantan,” he told reporters after a meeting with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin who flew in here yesterday.
Declining to name the Malaysian companies involved, Malam Sambat said: “We will consider Malaysia’s offer to conduct cloud-seeding over Riau and also the offer to send manpower to help us put out the fires.
“I will convey this offer to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The earliest possibility for the Malaysian offer to materialise would be by the end of the month.”
He said Indonesia and Malaysia would work closely to overcome the fires and the haze.
“There has to be a change in the way farmers clear land. When they do so in peat land, they have to be told to dig canals between plots to maintain the water table so that fires won’t start,” he said, adding that plantation owners caught conducting open burning would be prosecuted.
While on the flight to Medan yesterday, the Malaysian delegation had a bird’s eye view of the burning as the aircraft approached the island of Sumatra.
Chin said the bosses of the Malaysian-owned plantation firms implicated would be hauled up and given a “piece of our mind”.
“Our Indonesian counterparts have been asked to provide us with the list of those found doing so as soon as possible,” he said.
He added that the ministry would investigate and track down the parent
"They should be put in jail for causing this to their own ppl ..and the Governement should reveal their names asap so that this wont happen again. Your views please?"
Quote :- “There has to be a change in the way farmers clear land. When they do so in peat land, they have to be told to dig canals between plots to maintain the water table so that fires won’t start,” he said, adding that plantation owners caught conducting open burning would be prosecuted.
West coast of Peninsula Malaysia had been suffering severe Haze for the past 10 years. And every year the Indonesian Govt said that they knew the source, locations & the culprits and are taking measures to weed out those responsible for the hazards.
Till today, where is the enforcement & prosecution against the Plantation companies (including Malaysian-owned)? Are the Indonesian Govt serious in eradicating these criminals?
Perhaps answer to their weak prosecutions could be due to the fact that Indonesia is rank 133 out of 146 corrupted countries in the world.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do vaguely remember 2 or 3 years ago that the Indon govt wanted to increase the fines to heavy fines and jail term, even to extend of death penalty to the guilty parties of mass open burning... what has happened since then? Has their law been changed?
The Indo. gomen can come out with all sorts of 1st world laws. But just like bolehland..how many these laws are enforced especially if it involves big bucks and big titles..get what I mean.
Now that the "arrangements" have gone out of hand and has approached catastropy proportations, the Indo gomen is just buying time and hope for a change of wind direction...I hope it will change easterly and cover jakarta for 2 weeks then even their thick heads will ache.
Has the indo given any immediate response to the problem even at this level of emergency when human beings and animals are visibly suffering..few more days of this shi# and we will soon have a death toll not to mention the longer term health effects.
I ask that all Malaysian and indo companies including individuals who are responsible for this mayhem be charged in courts in Malaysia and indo. and be made to pay the highest possible deterrant panelties. No big names must be spared on either side of the straits. Question is, do these 2 pathetic gomens have the gall to clean up this sh#t once and for all and put these fuc#heads behind bars and save the peoples of Asean from another man made fiasco. The last week in Developed Selangor is like every citizen smoking at the same time 10 time over.
I would also like to see the UN doing it's duty as this is a cross boundry man made international environmental disaster. This thing has got out of control and the gomens involved are treating it like a child's game while millions of citizens of several countries are hopelessly suffering year after year with 1 gomen even making the air quality an official secret.
What is the difference between contaminating drinking with toxic waste and polluting the atmosphere 50 times the size of Singapore and getting bigger, with high levels of carbon and sulphur?????
To Pak Lah who asked Malaysian to work with him and not for him, let me say on behalf of many Malaysians....diplomacy does not seem to work with those jokers in indo. please get Asean and the international community to help. Arrest those Malaysian involved and prove them guilty in the court of law and punish them with the harshest panelties that the law provides. We, the sufferers of the NEP ( Never Ending Pollution), stand and work with you to fight for our rights to healty air and a clear and transparant environment.
I think the issue of "Malaysian tycoons" is just an excuse lah.
You mean to tell me that, the Indonesian Govt cannot do anything on their own soil ??????
I hope they ( indo gomen) can and I hope they have the will to punish all resposible for this filth. Who cares if some stupid Malaysians land in Indo. prisons for what they have caused to fellow countryman. But hang-on, these Malaysian plantation managers are probably under orders from the HQ.
The real big fish are the ones in KL sitting in ivory towers. How can they now plea ignorance to this criminal act. Tens of thousands of acres of company land were illegally slashed and burnt and the CEO don't know... who are they trying to kid. If investigations shows that there are strong cases against these morons whether they have funny titles or not, they should be hauled to courts and let all hear what they have to say in defence of their cruelty to millions of fellow bolehlanders.
Funny la...we go to Indon to see how to resolve the problem, they come and tell us its our companies that are the cause of it. And our minister (Peter) happily lambasts Malaysian companies, not knowing if its a substantiated fact. So now we are supposed to apologise to Indonesia instead?
Indonesia says eight out of 10 firms responsible for haze are Malaysian
JAKARTA, Aug 15 (AFP) - Malaysian companies which own Indonesian plantations were mainly to blame for the choking haze which blanketed parts of Malaysia last week, an Indonesian official said Monday.
Forecasters have warned however that a shift in the winds could bring the pollution right back to peninsular Malaysia.
"We have identified that eight of the ten plantation firms who have conducted illegal land-clearing activities (using fire) are from Malaysia," forestry ministry spokesman Masyud told AFP.
The ministry was examining the backgrounds of the companies which will be submitted to police, he said, adding that their officials could face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of illegal land-clearin
That crisis cost the region an estimated 9.0 billion dollars in damages by disrupting air travel and other business activities.
Australia also announced Monday it would send a dozen bush firefighting experts to Indonesia after it requested assistance..
'These criminals should be taught and a lesson and be committed to jail"
Well, there you have it...Bolehlanders have a hand in it. Let's wait and see how the investigations unfold and hope the indos are not bias and punish ALL companies concerned including indo ones. Surely there must be more than just 10 companies responsible to create that many fires.
What about the big AHoles in KL..the dato/tansri bosses who give the greenlight to bakar? What about local burnings?
I don't care who goes to jail as long as justice is done and is seen to be done for the millions of sufferers in Bolehland.
Let hope for once, the gomen is transparent and publish the names of companies and individuals responsible for this horrible man-made disaster.
Its getting more interesting now with Indon Government coming up with data
INDONESIA insists it has evidence of open burning in plantations linked to Malaysian companies.
Deputy Minister for Environmental Compliance Hoetomo said: "We found hotspots located in their area. This can be seen from satellite images of Riau."
The Indonesian Government has accused 10 companies, eight with Malaysian connections, of open burning.
However, on Tuesday, Plantation Enterprises and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin, who met the chief executive officers of Malaysian companies involved in the agriculture sector in Indonesia, said the CEOs had denied the allegations.
He said of the eight companies named by Indonesian Forestry Ministry officials, only five were subsidiaries of Malaysian companies, and their CEOs had denied that any of their plantations practised slash-and-burn land clearing.
He said some had brought photographic evidence that the burning had been done near the boundary of their plantations by Indonesian smallholders.
In Indonesia, burning is the cheapest way to clear land. It costs about 60,000 rupiah (RM24.42) to clear one hectare through burning, compared with two million rupiah to chop down trees.
Hoetomo said his department had sent officers to ascertain the burning sites obtained from satellite images. "My staff are on the ground at the moment, conducting investigations and collecting data on those involved in the burning," he said.
"The majority of the hotspots in Riau province were found in the vicinity of these plantations."
Attorney-General Abdul Rahman Saleh said the maximum penalty for those found guilty of open burning was 15 years’ jail plus a fine of five billion rupiah.