19 Feb 2004

Malaysian multinational defends its operations in Papua New Guinea

12:13 pm on 19 February 2004

The Malaysian multinational forestry company, Rimbunan Hijau, which has been criticised for its illegal logging activities in Papua New Guinea, says it's prepared to rectify any shortcomings.

Environmentalists claim its illegally harvesting and exporting wood from one of the world's last remaining rain forests.

But Rimbunan Hijau's corporate affairs secretary, Bala Subramaniam, says the claims are an attempt to assassinate a good corporate citizen.

"We pay taxes, we comply with all the rules and regulations. Of course many big companies, multinationals, who come to these territories might have one or two shortcomings. We are prepared to rectify that, but to use those very small shortcomings here and there to name us as illegal and operating illegally is not fair and you are not giving us a fair chance."

Bala Subramaniam says the independent verification of their exports by the import surveillance specialists, SGS, should allay fears.

However SGS says it only monitors the products on PNG's wharves, while Greenpeace says the monitoring needs to start before the trees are harvested.