Indonesia not opposing Singapore's efforts against forest fire culprits: Official

The country is only concerned about ensuring these actions are being conducted in line with international regulations, says foreign ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir.
Saifulbahri Ismail Channel NewsAsia 16 Jun 16;

JAKARTA: Indonesia has been wrongly perceived as opposing Singapore for acting against Indonesians suspected of causing forest fires, its foreign ministry said on Thursday (Jun 16).

Spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said that whatever actions any country wishes to take against Indonesian companies and its employees have to be in line with international regulations.

“He has to be guaranteed of his legal rights, it must be ensured that it’s in line with the law, he has to be given counsel and so on. This is what we are concerned about,” said Arrmanatha in a news conference.

Last month, Singapore’s National Environment Agency said it had obtained a court warrant after the director of one of the Indonesian firms linked to illegal forest fires failed to turn up for an interview when he was in Singapore.

Singapore passed the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) in 2014 to go after companies that start fires or let their concessions burn.

Arrmanatha added that it is Singapore’s right to call the director for the interview, but stressed that it has to be done according to the law.

He reiterated that Indonesia is serious about and has a high commitment to tackling the haze-causing forest fires, and is doing this by using existing mechanisms in the context of ASEAN.

- CNA/hs

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