PUTRAJAYA: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is on a mission – to debunk myths – so that the killing of endangered species, including tigers, will come to a stop.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the dwindling tiger population worldwide, including in Malaysia, was due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching and trade, as well as man-tiger conflict.
“And it also doesn’t help that there are superstitions on the advantages and benefits of eating tiger meat or other exotic meat.
“There is a need to create public awareness, especially among the young, on the importance of preserving tigers.
“We must tell them that there is no truth behind these myths,” he said during a gathering to commemorate his first year in office, which also coincided with International Tiger Day, on July 29 every year.
Dr Wan Junaidi said correcting misconception that consuming exotic meat had benefits would help to bring down the number or even stop wild animals from being killed.
According to a survey conducted by the Wildlife and National Parks Department, there are three main areas where tigers roam – Taman Negara in Pahang, Endau-Rompin National Park and Belum, Perak.Between 2010 and 2013, some 240 to 350 tigers were found in these areas.
“Our activities and what we do has effect on the environment and wildlife. We must not be excessive in our action and consider other living beings in our surroundings,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.
The Government’s commitment to preserve tigers was reflected in the introduction of a national tiger conservation action plan which identified several strategies, including protecting its habitat and species, research and conflict management.
A sum of RM18.7mil had been allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan to conduct the first national tiger survey.