Putrajaya in dark on companies identified as causing haze

Modified 22 Mar 2016, 6:59 am

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said it has no information about companies identified by Singapore and Indonesia as having caused the haze which blanketed the region for weeks last year.

The ministry was responding in a parliamentary written reply to Kampar MP Ko Chun Sen who asked for the list of the companies and what action would be taken against them.

Responding to Ko's second question, the ministry said under existing laws, it doesn't have the jurisdiction to act against Malaysian companies which violate environmental laws abroad.

"The legal provisions to control open burning which causes haze, as laid out in the Environmental Quality Act 1974, is only applicable for offences committed in the country and does not cover offences by Malaysian compaies operating abroad.

"However, the government is always ready to cooperate with the Indonesian government if the Indoensian govenment is able to identify the companies involved," he said.

The bulk of open burning happens in Indonesia which then see winds bringing haze to countries to the north.

At the height of the haze crisis last year, Indonesia said it identified more than 100 companies which saw open burning on their land.

Singapore also initiated legal action against some of the companies which also have operations in the city state.