I WAS truly heartbroken and saddened at the sight of the Malayan Tiger – which once stood majestic – being reduced to butchered meat.
It brought tears to my eyes but these were not only tears of sadness. I am disappointed, appalled and extremely outraged that poaching is going on rampantly under the noses of the authorities entrusted to guard the flora and fauna in our rainforest, which is one of the oldest in the world.
I believe many concerned Malaysians feel the same way I do.
It is estimated by the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) that there are fewer than 500 tigers left in our forests.
Despite this small number, we support the largest known tiger population in South-East Asia. These tigers are in dire straits.
Therefore, I urge the Government to enhance the anti-poaching laws, which is long overdue.
We are losing more and more protected wildlife for each day that passes without increased enforcement and stringent punishment against poachers.
A tiger is said to fetch up to RM30,000 on the black market. The maximum fine for poaching is only RM15,000. This, coupled with a few years in jail, is not good enough to deter poachers.
As concerned Malaysians, we have a part to play, too. Contact Perhilitan when you see protected wildlife on sale.
To quote Datuk Dr Mikaail Kavanagh Abdullah, executive director of WWF Malaysia, “Throw the book at everyone involved.”
LILLIAN DANIELLE KHOO,
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