Saturday, 10 May 2008

Speaker : Malaysia not to protect officials involved in illegal logging

05/06/08 14:45

Speaker : Malaysia not to protect officials involved in illegal logging

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Malaysia will not protect any of its officials who proves to be involved in illegal logging activities in Indonesia, House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Agung Laksono said following a meeting with visiting Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Rais Yatim at the Parliament building here on Monday.

"They (Malaysia) promised not to protect any of their officials involved (in illegal logging)," Laksono said as quoted in the DPR website on Tuesday.The Indonesian House leader at the meeting with Yatim said there was suspicion some Malaysian high ranking officials were behind illegal logging cases.

They were suspected of accommodating logs cut illegally from forests in Indonesia.The Malaysian foreign minister, according to Agung Laksono, assured him that the Malaysian government would not protect illegal loggers or prevent any investigation into officials if they were involved.

However, the minister did not mention any names. Lasksono quoted Yatim as saying Malaysia was ready to cooperate with Indonesia in dealing with activities that damaged Indonesia`s forests"They want to cooperate" the House Speaker said.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Forestry Minister MS Kaban last month said the Indonesian government would soon lodge a protest against Malaysia for accepting illegal logs smuggled on a large scale from West Kalimantan.

Minister Kaban made the statement in Muara Sungai Pawan, West Kalimantan, on Thursday when inspecting 12,000 cubic meters of logs that had been seized by the police and 19 boats detained for transporting the illegal logs.The forestry ministry believed the seized logs were about to be smuggled to Kuching, Malaysia.Minister Yatim, who was only recently appointed Malaysian foreign minister to replace Syed Hamid Albar, had come to Jakarta mainly to introduce himself. (*)