Malaysian firms deny involvement

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 13 Aug 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian plantation companies have objected to allegations by the Indonesian government that they are guilty of open burning in Riau and northern Sumatra. 

“We categorically deny that. We believe none of the large Malaysian companies are involved in the open burning that has caused the haze in Malaysia,” said the general manager of a Malaysian company in Sumatra, who declined to be named. 

He said that instead of pointing fingers at Malaysian planters, the Indonesian authorities could easily identify the culprits from the hotspotsvisible from the satellite photos. 

Big local plantation giants operating in Indonesia include Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and PPB Oil Palms Bhd. (See chart)  

The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said in a statement that it was unaware of any of its members being involved in the open burning of forests in Sumatra.  

MPOA chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad said: “The reports that there are 10 Malaysian companies involved in land clearing by burning forests may be an exaggeration.” 

He added that Malaysian companies had adopted the “zero-burning” policy.  

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