Pulp executives no show, MPs blast

EoF News / 26 September 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)—House of Representatives’ Commission VII blasted both President Directors of PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper (IKPP) and PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) who decline to attend a hearing that discussed Riau’s illegal logging issues on Monday (24/9/2007),  official House website (dpr.or.id) reported Tuesday (25/9).

The parliamentarians were “upset” due to the absence of the invited directors of PT IKPP (Asia Pulp and Paper/APP subsidiary) and PT RAPP (Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited/APRIL) and decided to postpone the meeting by next week, the website reported. Commission VII handled Environmental Affairs.

Deputy Speaker of the Commission, Sutan Bhatoegana, said that his institution rescheduled the hearing next week and reinvite the top management of both pulp and paper companies.

“In line with procedure and mechanism existing in Indonesian’s DPR, for the absence of the invitees, therefore we will reschedule and reinvite [them], but if they do not attend it we will invite them by force,” warned Sutan at the Parliament Compound, the website reported.

 “We expect the next week’s hearing will be attended by the respective president directors to make it better. To make them understand what a serious we debate here is,” the deputy speaker added.

APP’s Sinar Mas management at the hearing was represented by its corporation director, Yan Partawijaya, along with other directors. Meanwhile, APRIL’s PT RAPP sent a letter to the Commission saying that its president director were on leave and requested the hearing postponed after Idul Fitri holiday, Sutan said.

Before the Commission announced the postponement, PT Indah Kiat got opportunity to explain their position. Yan Partawijaya said that his company contributed much to the state export revenue.

Responded to this statement, Ade Daud Nasution, a parliamentarian, suggested the company not too arrogant due to their contribution.

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“It is in vain as a company with the highest foreign exchange revenue if its analysis on environmental assessment is totally poor. Indonesia’s forests  have been all cleared, therefore the foreign exchange is not needed, while the people do not get [the benefit],” he told the company at the hearing.     

In another development, Chairman of Team I of Joint Team for Riau Illegal Logging Cases, Sojouangon Situmorang, said that his group found that some big forestry companies and local top officials allegedly involved in such crime, reported Riau Terkini website (21/9).

The Joint Team had visited Riau two weeks ago to verify the illegal logging probe by Riau Police in an attempt to accomplish the 8-month controversy between the police and the Minister of Forestry. The team set up by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has yet to announce their verification findings.

Meanwhile, Chief of Riau Police Brig.-Gen. Sutjiptadi said last Friday here the findings on illegal logging probe in the field said that the companies operate in the area which breach the license they granted, violate the law procedures, the permit issued by government on protected areas, on wildlife reserve, as well as the permit not comply with the ideal criteria, Riau Mandiri reported Saturday (22/9/2007).