Haze Watch: ‘Contractors to blame’

Haze Watch: ‘Contractors to blame’ 

18 August 2005

publishedby www.nst.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR — Small contractors working with Malaysian companies in Indonesia are suspected to be behind the forest fires in Sumatra and Riau.

Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia S.H. Rusdihardjo said these Malaysian companies were not involved in land-clearing activities but could have instead appointed local contractors to carry out this task.

“It is possible that the culprits are these small contractors who adopted this method of clearing the land as it is cheap and easy.”

Rusdihardjo, at the republic’s Independence Day celebrations here today, was commenting on the denial of five Malaysian companies accused of being among those responsible for open burning.

He urged everyone to wait for the police investigations to be completed.

“God willing, those at fault will be identified in one or two weeks’ time.”

Rusdihardjo said police faced difficulties reaching the remote areas where most of the fires were, to gather evidence and witnesses.

“To date, Indonesian police have arrested six people to assist in the investigations.”


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