Scores of Malaysian businessmen involved in forest fire in Indonesia’s Riau province, which cause haze covers the province and neighboring Malaysia, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Friday.
Kalla made the statement a day after his visit to the province.
“Yesterday I got a report from the governor of Riau province, that they have arrested more than 20 people,…there are some Malaysian plantation businessmen,” he told reporters here.
The vice president said that authorities would beef up law enforcement to prevent such kind of annual problem.
The Indonesian government bans the practice of using fire to clear land, but the enforcement of the law remains weak, many violations still occur.
Haze in the provinces of Riau, Jambi in the Sumatra island and in West Kalimantan province in Borneo island have thickened and spread to neighboring country of Malaysia recently.
In 1997 and 1998 choking haze caused mainly by forest fires in Indonesia covered parts of Southeast Asia for months, causing the region loss of some billion U.S. dollars due to a disruption of air traffic and other business activity.