Malaysia — Malaysian plantation companies involved in open burning inIndonesia should be severely dealt with.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who met Indonesian PresidentSusilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday, said no one was above the law. This wasespecially so when it involved polluting the air and causing millions of peoplein the region to suffer.
Reminding Malaysian plantation companies operating in Indonesia to follow theirhost countrys laws, he said if Malaysian companies were found to flout thelaws, action should be taken against them.
“Whoever does it, whether Malaysian or Indonesian, action should be taken.We do not want to be in a state of denial, nor do we want to be defensive aboutit.
“If there are rogue companies involved in open burning, then let them paythe price for it,” he said.
Najib said he had reiterated to Susilo, Malaysias commitment to assistIndonesia to help put out fires during the dry season to combat the haze problem.
“We are ready to help. We can send our firemen and specialised equipment.We may look into leasing water-bombing aircraft for the purpose.”
Najib said Susilo had also given an assurances that Indonesia was prepared toallow Asean nations to assist in combating the haze.
He said Indonesia would prepare the framework for the assistance and preventivemeasures to ensure the haze problem would not recur.
These preventive measures would be inculcated at the grassroots level,especially in villages.
Najib said Susilo had also expressed hope that Malaysians would invest more inIndonesia and vice versa.
“I told the president that Malaysians found it easy to invest in Indonesiaand were more than willing to carry out corporate social responsibilityprogrammes such as providing scholarships to Indonesians.”
Najib said the two also talked about increasing tourism promotions betweenMalaysia and Indonesia, especially in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007.
“We talked about increasing flights between the two countries, not just interms of Garuda Airlines, but low cost carriers as well.
“The president informed me that Garuda is in the process of restructuringand after that, they will have the capacity to increase flights.”
Najib said Susilo was appreciative of Malaysias efforts in helping to rebuildAceh.