Malaysia smog
A woman covers her mouth with a towel in Muar, MalaysiaReuters

Indonesian police have blamed one of Malaysia's biggest palm-oil planters, PT Adei Plantations, a unit of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) of illegal fire which caused hazardous haze and engulfed parts of Southeast Asia in smog last month.

According to reports, police are investigating and have placed KL Kepong as one of the suspects among four other companies for the illegal fire. The Indonesian environment ministry had named eight South Asian companies as suspects for the haze last month.

National police spokesman Ronny Franky Sompie said that the guilty will be "charged with environmental damage."

"The company is responsible for the fire and has been declared a suspect, but we have not determined the company's employees who were responsible for the burning," Jakarta Post quoted Sompie as saying.

Police have reportedly questioned 16 employees of the palm-oil producing company.

If convicted, the Kepong might be charged under the 2002 Environment Law, the 1999 Forestry Law and the Criminal of Indonesia which sentence a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine of $1million.

However, the Kuala Lumpur multi-national firm denied the accusations and termed it as baseless.

A statement released by the company said, "...[an] analysis of the maps showed that there was only one hot spot identified within the plantations owned by PT Adei which fire had been extinguished promptly when detected and within 24 hours."

"KLK wishes to reiterate that as a responsible plantation company, it does not subscribe to irresponsible burning practices...KLK has no intention, no reason and no interest to clear any of its palm trees in PT Adei as they are mature and of a prime age, and will remain highly productive for many more years to come."

The haze, which blanketed Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia led each country's government declaring the situation as an emergency whereby many schools were shut down in parts of the countries as the air pollutant index reached record high of 500.

Only recently, Indonesia's Riau province lifted the haze disaster emergency status as the air appeared clearer.