Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Malaysia Will Not Protect Officials Involved in Illegal Logging Case

Malaysia Will Not Protect Officials Involved in Illegal Logging Case

Source: Tempo Interactive - May 6, 2008 Jakarta

The Malaysian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Syed Hamid Albar, has promisednot to protect Malaysian senior officials involved in an illegal loggingcase in Indonesia. "They have promised to not protect them," said Speaker of the House ofRepresentatives (DPR) Agung Laksono after receiving Hamid Albar at the DPRbuilding yesterday (5/5).

During the meeting, Agung asked Hamid Albar about the possibility ofMalaysian high officials' involvement in the illegal logging case. Agungsaid Hamid confirmed that the Malaysian government would not hamper theinvestigation into its officials. Hamid Albar did not mention any names butstated his government's position as being cooperative with Indonesia forthis case.

"They are being cooperative," said Agung.Earlier, Forestry Minister Malem Sambat Kaban said that an officialnotification has been sent to the Malaysian government. "We sent it through the Foreign Affairs Department," he told Tempo.

The notification was sent after the illegal logging case in Ketapang, WestKalimantan, was uncovered.vBased on the investigation conducted by the Indonesian Police and the Forestry department, most of the illegal logs were distributed to timber factories in Malaysia, including a factory managed by a Malaysian senior official. During a large operation on 14 March, a team from the Indonesian Police Headquarters confiscated 12,000 cubic meters of logs, valued at Rp208billion.TOMI DWI RIYANTO