NEA obtains court warrant against director of Indonesian company with suspected haze links

A man crossing a bridge at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park when the PSI was 91-102 on Sept 6, 2015.
A man crossing a bridge at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park when the PSI was 91-102 on Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A director of an Indonesian firm suspected to be linked to the region-wide haze in 2015 did not turn up for an interview with the authorities here, even though he was served a legal notice to attend it when he was in Singapore.

But the director, who has since left Singapore, may be detained if he tries to enter Singapore again.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (May 11) that it has obtained a court warrant against the director, but did not name him or his company.

"This means that if the director enters Singapore, he can be detained by NEA officers for the purpose of investigations," said a NEA spokesman, adding that the move is in accordance with Singapore's Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.

Forest and peatland fires in Indonesia, widely believed to be caused by errant pulp and paper companies, resulted in haze conditions in Singapore and the region in September and October 2015.

Since then, the NEA has given notices to six of these Indonesia-based firms, asking them to explain the steps that they are taking to put out and prevent fires on their land.

NEA's latest move comes after Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli told reporters in April that only two firms had replied.

Referring to the same director who missed the interview, Mr Masagos said the director, who is from one of the other four firms, had been served a notice to give information about his firm's move to mitigate fires on its land and prevent a repeat of last year's haze.