Indonesia/Malaysia — Two Malaysians holding high-ranking positions in a subsidiary of a Malaysian company have been identified as suspects for their role in starting forest fires to clear land for plantations in Riau Province in June 2012.
However, the Jakarta Post reported on Friday that the two Malaysians working for PT API have not been arrested yet, according to Riau Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tejo who spoke to the Antara news agency on Thursday.
We are still conducting an investigation in the case,” Guntur said, adding that the suspects, who are identified with the initials TKY and DKRS, allegedly helped locals burn forested lands in Pelalawan regency to clear land for oil palm plantations.
Last June, Riau province was blanketed by thick haze due to large-scale forest fires, forcing thousands of people to move from the area. Even neighboring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia filed complaints with Indonesia as the haze from the burning forests spread into their territories. Previously, the police named seven other companies for their alleged involvement in setting off the forest fires, namely PT JJP, PT LIH, PT BMS, PT BBHA, PT RUJ, PT SPM, and PT SRL, according to Antara.
However, no individual suspects have been named from the seven companies yet. Investigations into the case are ongoing.