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Tuesday, July 21, 1998 Published at 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Indonesian food minister tolerates looting

An Indonesian cabinet minister has denied a newspaper report which quotes him as saying that the current level of looting by people made destitute by the country's economic crisis can be tolerated.

The Food Minister, A.M. Saefuddin, said the Media Indonesia newspaper had misquoted him.

But Media Indonesia said it stood by its report in which Mr Saefuddin is said to have remarked that looting of less than five per cent of property was tolerable.

Correspondentssay Mr Saefuddin's reported remarks may worry investors in Indonesia who fear an unstable environment.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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