Home English News Malaysian companies not at fault for open burning – APIMI

Malaysian companies not at fault for open burning – APIMI


JAKARTA, June 24 – Malaysian companies are not at fault in clearing land in Indonesia using fire, causing haze which has affected Singapore and parts of Malaysia, said Association of Plantation Investors of Malaysia in Indonesia (Apimi).

Apimi executive secretary Nor Hazlan Abdul Mutalib said open burning in oil palm plantations owned by Malaysian companies was carried out by local smallholders in the land allocated to them.

“Plantation owners have to set aside 20 per cent of land to nurture smallholders in oil palm planting. It is a common practice for the smallholders to clear the land by fire,” he told Bernama Monday.


He was commenting on Indonesian Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya’s statement that eight Malaysian-owned companies were among 14 companies being investigated for burning in Riau that led to the haze.

hazeNor Hazlan said plantation companies did not have the power to curtail open burning carried out by smallholders and could only report it to local authorities so that they would be absolved of any blame in the matter.

“However, when open burning occurred, plantation companies would render assistance to the local authorities to stop the fire from spreading,” he said.

Denying that all eight companies named by Balthasar were owned by Malaysians, he said Malaysian plantation companies in Indonesia were members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which prohibited open burning in replanting activities and emphasised on environmental and eco-friendly farming practices.

“If they are found to be involved in open burning, the RSPO certificate will be withdrawn from them. This certificate is very important to the companies because without it they cannot sell palm oil to the European market,” he said.

Nor Hazlan said RSPO members were compelled to adhere to felling and cleaning practice using tractors in replanting activities while cut palm fronds were reused as fertilizers.

No re-planting activities are carried out by Malaysian companies this year, he said.

He said Apimi Secretariat issued reminders to members through APIMI Bulletin at the beginning of each year and recommended steps that could be taken in case of fire occurring in plantations which were not their fault.