Tag Archive | "indonesia haze"

Vivian Balakrishnan gets downgraded to postman

Vivian Balakrishnan gets downgraded to postman

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Travels to Jakarta to deliver PM Lee’s letter and conduct small talk. Nothing gets done.

Alright, we knew Vivian was messed up. What we didn’t realise was how self-congratulatory he could get after making a huge song and dance about fixing the haze, and not actually fixing it.

Patting himself on the back in a Facebook note on Friday evening for going to Jakarta to “personally deliver PM Lee’s letter to President SBY” (by hardcopy I would assume, because Indonesian email doesn’t work?), Vivian then proceeded to boss his Indonesian counterpart, Balthasar Kambuaya around.

Vivian gives himself a thumbs up at 845pm on Friday

Vivian gives himself a thumbs up at 845pm on Friday

Seriously, we did not make up his name.

 

This was what happened, in summary:

1) Vivian complains to Indonesia about the haze

2) Balthasar agreed that the situation sucked and they were going to use water bombs.

3) Vivian learnt that Indonesia had identified 8 offending plantation companies, and urged Balthasar to investigate and prosecute the companies.

4) Vivian told Balthasar to sign the 11 year-old ASEAN haze agreement which had been sitting in parliament because no one gives a shit.

5) Vivian offers to help Balthasar put out the fire and work on sustainable agriculture management projects.

 

Here’s what’s missing:

1) Actual action from Singapore to fix the haze

2) Taking some fucking responsibility for the situation since the 8 suspected companies are likely to be listed in Singapore, instead of passing on the blame

3) Promises to prosecute the suspected companies should investigations prove to identify the culprits, instead of leaving it up to the weak enforcement institutions in Indonesia (hey, they know it too)

 

Vivian says “All in all, it was a good meeting, but we need to see results on the ground”.

Yeah, show some results please.

In the meantime, Indonesian firefighters battle forest fires in Sumatra island while Singapore firefighters wait to get deployed. (AFP PHOTO / HAFIZ ALFARISSI)

In the meantime, Indonesian firefighters battle forest fires in Sumatra island while Singapore firefighters wait to get deployed. (AFP PHOTO / HAFIZ ALFARISSI)

Wilmar fires entire compliance department

Wilmar fires entire compliance department

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Hires new staff from fired officers at Sime Darby

Stock picture of slashed and burnt land in Indonesia. Orang Utans used to live there.

Stock picture of slashed and burnt land in Indonesia. Orang Utans used to live there.

Singapore-listed Wilmar International Ltd has fired its entire compliance department after it found that its local contractors in Indonesia were clearing land for its oil palm business by burning. In a statement emailed to New Nation, the world’s largest palm oil firm reiterated its policy of “zero burning“, and that measures had been taken to tighten its policy enforcement on the ground.

“We have punished those responsible for the lapse in our corporate policy though we still cannot prevent local practices of slash-and-burn for agricultural and other purposes,” said Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong who is also the seventh richest person in Singapore, according to Forbes and is estimated to be worth US$ 2.6 billion.

Wilmar is now on a hiring spree for new compliance officers. However one source from WIlmar’s human resources department says that positions have already been informally filled up.

“Cargill, Sime Darby, Golden Agriā€¦ they’ve had zero burn policies for years which were only for show. All those firms whose negligence have led to the haze situation have all fired their compliance departments. We’re just playing a game of musical chairs now,” said Wilmar’s human resources manager Ai Huan Bao, who is a supporter of Greenpeace.

Not all compliance officers are happy with this new development though. Having had to massage the books to cover up extensive facilitation payments in Indonesia, one has decided to leave the industry altogether.

“The last straw came when I had to send my wife to work amid the PSI 400 haze,” said Bo Zho Kang who used to work for Sime Darby. “It reminded me of the cigarette filled air at the sheds in our Indonesian oil plantation where I waited for Agung Laksono to finish having sex with animals. Then I realised that I’m not being paid enough to sit through this shit.”