The Star/Asia News Network
The government is still waiting for the investigations to be completed by Indonesia before taking action against Malaysia plantation companies operating there, says Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin.
The Deputy Primary Industries Minister said Indonesia has identified four Malaysian companies that were responsible for the open burning there that worsened the recent haze crisis.
“However, the ministry will only take the appropriate action against these companies if there is evidence that they were the culprits behind the open burning and clearing of land, ” he said in reply to Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau).
Khairy had asked about the role played by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) established by Malaysia and Indonesia to resolve land-clearing activities through open burning by industry players that results in the annual transboundary haze.
Shamsul said that land-clearing activity was monitored and controlled by the relevant ministries of both countries, and not the CPOPC.
However, the CPOPC was established to enhance best practices when it comes to managing the supply, activities and development of small-holding plantations.
“Through the CPOPC, Malaysia and Indonesia have given their commitment to produce oil palm and products based on it in a more comprehensive and sustainable manner that will comply with both Malaysian and Indonesian sustainable palm oil standards, which prohibits open burning, ” he said.
Last month, Indonesia claimed that four Malaysian companies caused some of the forest fires there.
It was reported that at least four plantation companies whose land had been sealed off because of the fires were subsidiaries of Malaysian groups