Singapore on Smoke

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Thanks to the Singapore government, Sukanto Tanoto is living happily in his Palace. Singapore welcome him like a king. So a bit if smoke from Sukanto Tanoto’s oil palm shouldn’t hurt.

Since Singapore government enjoy so much money from the oil palm, they should enjoy a bit of its smoke as well.

Big palm oil companies that operate in Indonesia are based in Singapore or have Singaporean investors.Such as Sukanto Tanoto’s Asian Agri and APRIL.

According to a BBC report, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that if any Singaporean companies, or companies with a presence in Singapore, played a part in the fires, they would be held responsible.

Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International), which has palm oil operations on Sumatra and offices in a number of countries including Singapore, was one of the companies named by Indonesian officials in connection with the fires.

Indonesia’s government blamed eight companies, including Jakarta-based PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL), for the raging forest fires yesterday that blanketed neighbouring Singapore in record levels of hazardous smog for a third straight day.

“The majority of hotspots in Riau (province) are inside APRIL and Sinar Mas concessions,” senior presidential aide Kuntoro Mangkusubroto told Reuters. An APRIL statement said the company and third-party suppliers had a “strict no-burn policy” for all concessions in Indonesia.

 A spokeswoman for Golden Agri Resources, SMART’s Singapore-listed parent, said the company knew of no hotspots on its concessions.

“Given the current situation, we have intensified our fire surveillance patrols with sufficient firefighting equipment,” she said.

“If illegal fires are started near our estates, we will take prompt action to put them out and report to the local authorities.”

Meanwhile, CTP Holdings, a joint venture between Cargill and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, reiterated its strict no-burn policy and has confirmed that there are no hotspots or fires on its plantations.

Temasek said on its website that it had sent a team to South Sumatra to verify that there were no hotspots or fires on CTP’s plantations.

Non-government organisation World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said it was ready to help Singapore and Indonesia “identify the perpetrators behind the worst haze experienced by Singapore in two decades”.

Now of course all companies denied burning practices, all accuse small farmers operating on their property. How can a small farmer generate so much smoke in their properties.

One of the Malaysian companies named by the Indonesian presidential official denied that it was burning forest to clear land, but said some small farmers operating on its property were doing so.

All big Palm oil giant such as Sime Darby said in a statement that it was strictly following its zero-burning policy throughout its operations, but that it could not control the activities of local growers farming on its concession area.

One of the companies named by Indonesia’s Senior Presidential Aide Kuntoro Mangkusubroto as among several responsible for a majority of fire hotspots in Riau Province, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited, has issued its rebuttal.

In a statement released to the media, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) said Indonesia’s accusation requires verification. That is because statements by the Indonesian side do not correspond with intensive monitoring on-the-ground conducted by it in its own concessions over the past several weeks.

APRIL also denied ever caused deforestation… Just check the satellite picture. Thanks Sukanto Tanoto

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