Malaysian sentenced to a year in jail for Riau forest fires

Malaysian sentenced to a year in jail for Riau forest fires

12 September 2014

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Indonesia — An Indonesia court took a firm stand against ecological damage caused by forest fire today in its precedent ruling, which saw a Malaysian manager of a plantation firm sentenced to a year in prison and fine of RM539,492.

Jakarta Post in an article titled, “Malaysian firm fined, executives get prison for role in forest fires” stated that the manager of plantation firm PT ADEI Plantation and Industry, was found guilty on Tuesday for causing forest fires in Riau last year.

The Post said the forest fire caused by the firm, a unit of Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, had resulted in a severe haze that affected Indonesia’s neighbouring countries Singapore and Malaysia.

“The Pelalawan District Court in Riau sentenced ADEI general manager Danesuvaran KR Singam to a year in prison and the option of paying Rp 2 billion (US$168,800) or serving an additional two months’ jail for violating Article 99 (1) of the 2009 Environmental Protection and Management Law,” stated the Post.

It quoted the case’s presiding judge Donovan Pendapotan as saying that the defendant Danesuvaran was negligent in his supervisory role of the estate.

The Singapore Straits Times also reported on the matter in its article, “Riau court jails and fines Malaysian plantation manager over forest fires”.

It stated that the company also received a fine of 1.5 billion rupiah (RM404,619), and a further fine of 15.1 billion rupiah (RM4,073,160) to repair the environmental damage.

The Straits Times added that the judgment was an active response taken by the Indonesian authorities following the criticisms they received from their citizens, environmental groups and neighbouring countries over last year’s haze.

“We have been stepping up efforts to enforce the laws. The president (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) has ordered police, attorneys, ministries and state agencies to act faster,” said the director for forest fire control at the Forest Ministry, Rafles Panjaitan, said to The Straits Times.

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