Sime Darby: No fires in our operating areas in Indonesia

PETALING JAYA - Sime Darby Plan­tation has clarified that there are no fires in any of its operating areas in Indonesia.

In a statement, the company said it strictly abided by its zero burning policy in its operations.

Among the hot spots reported in Riau, where the peat and forest fires are raging, is an area within a Sime Darby Plantation company, PT Tung­gal Mitra Plantation's (PT TMP) concession area.

The company said the total concession area of PT TMP was 13,836ha, with 2,474ha occupied by local communities.

"PT TMP is unable to exert control over activities beyond its operating areas and where it is occupied by others.

"Nevertheless, PT TMP will continue to monitor the situation, cooperate with local authorities and assist with its fire prevention teams to ensure that any hazards are managed appropriately," it said.

Meanwhile, Asia News Network (ANN) reported that the big companies which Indonesian officials and watchdogs said might be responsible for the fires behind the haze had rejected these claims, saying they did not square with facts on the ground.

The rebuttals came as Indonesia's Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said in Pekanbaru, Riau, yesterday that 14 companies were being investigated - up from eight on Friday.

He said they would be named, adding that some were from Malaysia.

For more haze updates from AsiaOne, click here: