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Title: Open burning: Najib wants action against rogue Malaysian firms
Date: 17-Dec-2006
Category: Malaysia
Source/Author: New Straits Times online
Description: MALAYSIAN plantation companies involved in open burning in Indonesia should be severely dealt with.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who met Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday, said no one was above the law. This was especially so when it involved polluting the air and causing millions of people in the region to suffer.

Reminding Malaysian plantation companies operating in Indonesia to follow their host country's laws, he said if Malaysian companies were found to flout the laws, 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 about it.

"If there are rogue companies involved in open burning, then let them pay the price for it," he said.

Najib said he had reiterated to Susilo, Malaysia's commitment to assist Indonesia 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 to allow Asean nations to assist in combating the haze.

He said Indonesia would prepare the framework for the assistance and preventive measures 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 in Indonesia and vice versa.

"I told the president that Malaysians found it easy to invest in Indonesia and were more than willing to carry out corporate social responsibility programmes such as providing scholarships to Indonesians."

Najib said the two also talked about increasing tourism promotions between Malaysia and Indonesia, especially in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

"We talked about increasing flights between the two countries, not just in terms of Garuda Airlines, but low cost carriers as well.

"The president informed me that Garuda is in the process of restructuring and after that, they will have the capacity to increase flights."

Najib said Susilo was appreciative of Malaysia's efforts in helping to rebuild Aceh.

Author(s) Leslie Andres
Website (URL) http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Sunday/National/20061217100615/Article/index_html


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