Updates on 23-6-2013 @ 9:45 pm: Asia Pulp & Paper aka APP is a Singapore based company. It is founded by Eka Tjipta Widjaja, who had significant tie to the family of the ex-President of Indonesia, the late General Suharto. It was known to have appointed the PR firm Ogilvy & Mather to improve on its green image. The background of APP is in HERE.
Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited, aka APRIL, is a developer of fibre plantations and the owner of one of the world’s largest pulp and paper mills with operations mainly in Indonesia and China. APRIL is part of the Indonesian Raja Garuda Mas Group and owned by Indonesian business man Sukanto Tanoto living in Singapore. Raja Garuda Mas Group or conglomerate RGE Royal Golden Eagle or Royal Golden Eagle International (RGEI), is a holding company with its activities ranging from paper,palm oil, construction, and energy business sectors, owning papermaker April and palm oil firm Asian Agri. It is believed to be also well connected in Indonesia. It has been reported that APRIL is related to one of the eight companies involved in the open burning in RIAU recently, in HERE. The background of APRIL is in HERE.
The Indonesian Environment Minister, Hon Balthasar Kambuaya, told a press conference in Jakarta today that “A preliminary report of an investigation conducted by the Environment Ministry has indicated eight palm oil plantation companies belonging to Malaysian investors involved in land burning in Riau. The companies allegedly involved in the land burning are Adei Plantation, Bumi Reksa Nusa Sejati, Jatim Jaya Perkasa, Langgam Inti Hibrida, Multi Gambut Industri, Mustika Agro Lestari, Tunggal Mitra Plantation, and Udaya Loh Denawi.”
Below is the full report by Jakarta Post :
Malaysian companies burning land: Ministry
Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said that a verification process on the companies’ activities in the fields was ongoing to get evidence on their alleged involvements in burning land.
“But one thing that can be sure about it is, fires have been found in their concession areas,” he said in a press conference in Pekanbaru, on Saturday.
The companies allegedly involved in the land burning are Adei Plantation, Bumi Reksa Nusa Sejati, Jatim Jaya Perkasa, Langgam Inti Hibrida, Multi Gambut Industri, Mustika Agro Lestari, Tunggal Mitra Plantation, and Udaya Loh Denawi.
Balthasar said that he would meet his Malaysian counterpart to discuss the issue. “I will reveal the findings of the investigation,” he said.
Deputy Environment Minister for Environment Damage Control and Climate Change, Arief Yuwono, said if proven guilty, companies involved could face sanctions under the Law No.32/2009 on environment protection and management.
“Company owners are required and share responsibilities to protect their areas from land burning,” he said. (ebf)
Whilst we appreciate that 8 Malaysian owned companies were found to be responsible for the open burning in Riau, Indonesia. Yours truly believes that there may be more Indonesian companies were also involved in open burning in Riau.
The above statement would appear to be just a face saving exercise by shifting the blame to Malaysian companies. But the Hon Minister of Indonesia has totally forgotten that it is the responsibilities of his ministry to take action against the companies involving in the open burning in Sumatera. Assuming these are the only eight companies involved, which is definitely not the case, they are all under the jurisdiction of the Indonesian government to take the necessary drastic actions against them. The principle should be “BURN and BE DAMN”!
Upon receiving the report from the Indonesian government on the irresponsible activities of the said eight companies, our government should also find ways and means to penalise its parent companies in Malaysia for not only causing health hazard to the environment but also for bringing our country into disrepute.
The issue at hand is not about how many Malaysian owned companies or Indonesian companies were involved but what drastic actions have been taken by the Indonesian government against the culprits for the past few years. If drastic actions had been taken in the past against the culprits, open burning will be things of the past. Malaysians and Singaporeans need not had to face the dangerous level of haze for the past several days.
Does the Ministry of Environment of Indonesia has the political will to act against the culprits of open burning in Sumatera? The answer is a definite “NO” otherwise we should not be facing the haze problems in Malaysia again.
Indonesian Minister accused Singaporean “behaving like a child”
When Singaporeans and Malaysians are facing a dangerous level of haze, which has been caused by the open burning in Sumatera the Indonesian Minister has the cheek to make fun of the Singaporeans, who are facing the API of above 400 now.
Indonesia accused Singapore of “behaving like a child” by complaining about severe haze from raging forest fires on Sumatra island that has cloaked the island. “Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise,” Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia’s response to the haze crisis, told reporters in Jakarta. This statement was most irresponsible from a Minister and also shown to the world that Indonesia is not fit to be a member of ASEAN!
Full full report please read HERE.
If you want to know why. Please read what had happened to the serious case of open burning in Riau, Sumatera, in 2007 that have cost of US$225 billion damaged to the environment and the case was closed in 2008 by the Indonesian government!
In 2007 the Environment Ministry was supposed to institute a civil suit against Asia Pulps & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL) but the case was closed in 2008.
WHY? WHY? WHY?
It has been reported in May 2012 that Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment was planning to sue 14 pulp and paper companies for illegally clearing forest land in Riau Province on the island of Sumatra, reports Tempo. 12 of the 14 companies are linked to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asian Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), pulp and paper giants that have been heavily criticized by environmentalists for destroying rainforests and peatlands that serve as critical habitat for endangered tigers, elephants, and orangutans.
According to Tempo, the Ministry of Environment is preparing a civil suit against companies named in a 2007 illegal land-clearing case that was closed in late 2008 under pressure from officials with the National Police. Damages in the case are estimated at 2,067 trillion rupiah ($225 billion) based on figures from the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force. The value of illegally logged timber represents only 4 percent of damages, the balance — 1,994 trillion rupiah — is for “ecological losses”, including carbon emissions, degradation of water sources and functions, erosion and soil damage, and biodiversity loss.
The Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force last year urged the police to reopen the investigation, but its plea was ignored by the National Police Chief, the Attorney General, and the Environment Ministry until after the task force’s charter expired December 31, 2011. In January however, the Ministry of Environment said it was looking into the illegal logging allegations. In February, Ministry officials discussed the possibility of a lawsuit, according to Tempo.
The Ministry of Forestry is opposing the lawsuit, according to the report.
The above was extracted from an article dated 3-5-2012 entitled “Indonesia’s Environment Ministry to sue APP, APRIL in $225B illegal logging case“ from mongabay.com which was founded by Mr Rhett A Butler.
Our Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel will meet his Indonesian counterpart on this coming Wednesday to discuss ways to tackle the haze currently choking some parts of peninsula Malaysia and Singapore in HERE.