Tiger conservation centre already built so no allocation needed in Budget 2022, Dewan Rakyat told

KUALA LUMPUR: There was no allocation for the National Tiger Conservation Centre in Budget 2022 because the construction of the 40ha centre in Lanchang, Pahang, has been recently completed, says Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

He also said several tigers that are presently in rehabilitation centres across the country will be gradually released into the national centre.

"I was informed that the centre has been fully completed and is a fully gated area where tigers will be released in a process called 'rewilding'.

"These are tigers from several rehabilitation centres in Sungkai and other parts of the country," he said in his winding-up speech on Budget 2022 at the Committee Stage in Parliament on Monday (Nov 29).

He was responding to several MPs who had questioned the absence of allocations to the centre.

Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) earlier pointed out that RM1.7mil was allocated to the centre last year and RM1mil in 2019.

He asked why no funds were set aside for the centre in Budget 2022 while RM4.5mil was allocated for the international panda conservation programme.

"I agree that we should protect the pandas but we shouldn't sideline the tigers which are 'made in Malaysia'," he said.

The issue was also raised by Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir (PN-Setiu), who said studies by the National Tiger Survey had estimated fewer than 200 tigers in the country.

"The population of Malayan tigers is at a worrying stage. If there is no drastic action by the authorities, it isn't impossible for these tigers to be extinct in Malaysia in the near future."

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