Malaysian environ­ment minister: Unfair to point finger at Malaysia over haze for companies' wrongdoing

Malaysian environ­ment minister: Unfair to point finger at Malaysia over haze for companies' wrongdoing
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia is disappointed that some parties are blaming the country for causing the haze.

Natural Resources and Environ­ment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said it was unfair to blame Malaysia for any alleged wrongdoing committed by its companies that were being investigated in connection with forest fires in Indonesia.

"This is just finding fault with us," he said after chairing a meeting on the haze here yesterday.

He said some parties were holding the country partly responsible for the haze problem just because Malaysian companies were involved in plantation there.

Dr Wan Junaidi was asked to comment on a blog post that had blamed Malaysia for the haze, which is also affecting Singapore and Indonesia.

"If anyone is to be blamed, it should be the companies or individuals responsible for the companies.

"Malaysia, the Government or the ministry cannot be blamed if the companies investing in Indonesia did something wrong," he said.

It has been reported a Malaysian-owned company is among more than 20 firms being investigated by the Indonesian authorities in connection with forest fires.

"If the company committed an offence, action should be and must be taken against it based on the law there," Dr Wan Junaidi said.

He also announced that his meeting with his Indonesian counterpart on Sept 25 in Jakarta to discuss measures to tackle transboundary haze had been postponed.

"We are trying to get a new date. The meeting would include talks on a memorandum of understanding by Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand on action to be taken if haze recurred," he said.

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