HAZE: Palanivel to ask Indo Environment Minister “Why Indo did not institute the US$225 billion civil suit against Asia Pulp & Paper and APRIL in 2007?”

The Indonesian Environment Minister, Hon Balthasar Kambuaya

The Indonesian Environment Minister, Hon Balthasar Kambuaya. Sir, why  the much talked about civil suit involving US$225 billion against Aisa Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) in 2007 was closed in 2008???green image.

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 ChinaAPRIL 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

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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

Rizal Harahap, The Jakarta Post, Pekanbaru | National | Sun, June 23 2013, 12:32 PM
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.

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)

Riau Province is in marked in green.

Riau Province is in marked in green. Riau is where the slash and burn takes place.  It  is so close to the southern parts of Malaysia and Singapore

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.

It is hoped that our Minister will have to political will to not only discuss about the dangerous level of haze suffered by Malaysians and Singaporeans but to also demand for an answer why the Indonesian Environment Ministry did not institute the US$225 billion civil suit against Asia Pulp & Paper and Asian Pacific Resources Holdings Ltd?  The failure to institute the civil suit worth US$225 billion against the said two companies speak volume of the seriousness of the Indonesian government in wanting to stop the activities of open burning in Sumantera.

The environmental health of our nation can not be compromised for the sake diplomatic expediency. Therefore, YB Datuk Palanivel must stand firm to demand drastic actions against the eight companies that were involved in the open burning in Sumatera. More importantly, he must demand that Indonesian Environment Ministry to insitute the civil suit worth US$225 billion against the said two companies as such action will doubt deter if not stop the activities of open burning in Sumatera in the future.

Please read Thank you Indonesia for the HAZE!.

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9 thoughts on “HAZE: Palanivel to ask Indo Environment Minister “Why Indo did not institute the US$225 billion civil suit against Asia Pulp & Paper and APRIL in 2007?”

  1. zueyusof

    Mr Wee,
    harapnya Palanivel sebijak dan seberani anda! Bacaan IPU di Muar jam 9.00 pagi hari ini mencecah 746! Tak dapat bayangkan betapa seksanya mereka untuk bernafas.

    Reply
  2. IT.Sheiss

    Why civil suit? Arrest and charge them in court. Shut the companies down and freeze their assets till they stop the burning. Jail the directors.

    Reply
  3. George

    Our government is equally to be blamed for not taking stronger actions against Indonesian government over this issue. Had we putting pressure on the Indonesia government during the ASEAN meeting without fear or favor then we may not have to face such dangerous level of haze now.

    Lets hope that the new Minister Palanivel can perform. Chances are that he will screw it up as he has no priority and he is more interested in getting his boys in MIC to be in positions in government..

    Reply
  4. Seng

    By looking at the picture of the Indonesian Minister is enough for me. It tells me all I need to know. Unless Palanivel has the balls to stand up to him nothing will come out from the meeting on Wednesday. This MIC fella is hopeless. We will have to endure the haze as long as it is here. We can only pray hard.

    Reply
  5. Abu Rokok

    This is a political drama which we saw happening for many years.Those idiots who have poluted our airspace should be drag to court and face maximum life sentence for these bizarre problems.

    What i see is there has been loopholes and weakness in environment enforcements,both here and there.

    I dare say,after the haze is over,issues are shut and sum people paid off.

    So,what does the public have to say now? Our kids and us are all suffering from severe medical health issues and no one takes blame for all these.

    The Government must step up and assure our environment is safe and no insidence such as this will happen again.

    Enough is enough – bring those to task and make them pay hard to serve a reminder.

    An Indonesians,please stop pushing the blame on others.It starts from you and should end from you.Take responsibility and do something before every single person files a suit against those responsible.

    Enough of mockery and enough of blame game.TQ YB for highlighting this to the public.

    You have done justice for our rakyat with this exposure and the years of findings who are the culprits who caused these emotion stress to our country.

    Over to you Najib!

    Reply
  6. nizam

    Thank YB. You have been a good MP when you were in Parliament. We will miss you and hope that you will be in the Senate to play a role in our nation. Unfortunately what you have questioned the Minister in 2008 when you were first elected but it falls on deaf ears as usual. Hope that they will learn from their stupid mistake.

    Today the new MPs being sworn in and we hope that they will be following your footsteps and make this nation great again. We dont need more politics but nation building. Lets hope that this YB Palanivel have the balls to stand up to the Indonesians bullshit. This haze problems must be solved once and for all. Thank you YB for highlighting this haze problems.

    Reply
  7. Guna

    That useless MIC minister Palanivel will be meeting his counterpart of Indonesia to discuss how to solve the haze problems. It is simple. No need a genius to think of a solution. Just impose heavy penalty on own the plantation that is on fire. The you will see those culprits will toe the line otherwise it will be melepas batuk ditangga saaja.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Fully agreed with Guna.. Indonesian government should have just heavily penalise the plantation culprits regardless who own them..or perhaps some “arrangement” have been made. Dare not speculate!

      Reply

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