KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah and Sarawak have been urged to follow Putrajaya’s efforts in amending the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, following the death of an adult pygmy elephant in the Beluran district last weekend.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said by increasing fines and heftier sentencing, the activities of poachers can be deterred.
“They (Sabah and Sarawak) have their own legislation, so I’m asking them to follow Putrajaya in amending the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
“Because I think it’s high time for us to tighten laws and increase enforcement. This is to tell people that if they are caught, they will be dealt with severely," he said.
Xavier was speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby on Monday (Oct 21).
According to him, the proposed amendments are expected to be tabled in Parliament on the first meeting next year.
He also said that investigations into the death of the pygmy elephant in Beluran had begun.
“I hope the perpetrator will be arrested and charged in court, ” he added.
Xavier said that the Wildlife and National Parks Department had started a study to ascertain the number of forest rangers needed and where they should be deployed based on the budget allocated by the Finance Ministry.
“But, if Sabah and Sarawak want to increase forest rangers, they will have to allocate their own budget for it, ” he added.
On Sunday (Oct 20), it was reported that an adult bull pygmy elephant was found shot dead with its tusks missing at a plantation in the Beluran district in Sabah.
The elephant had several gunshot injuries compared with over 70 bullet wounds found on an adult male pygmy in east coast Tawau district on Sept 25.