“Well Done to the Minister”

Letter to the Editor appearing in today’s The Star, Malaysia.  Those of you who follow this blog, or the story of efforts to improve law enforcement in Malaysia, know that Azrina Abdullah, former director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, has been an outspoken champion.  Here’s my coverage of her work (Full disclosure:  She also gave The Lizard King a positive review).  Her courage to stand up and speak out on behalf of the country she is proud of and its wildlife has inspired positive change in her home, Malaysia, in the U.S., and no doubt in a few other places, too.

The question remains whether Minister Uggah will make this a meaningful reform or a paper one.  Is this the beginning of improvement or the end?  The forthcoming investigative audit will tell.

The Star
January 29, 2010
Check on wildlife permits hailed

I REFER to the article by Hilary Chiew “Minister to chair special wildlife permit panel” (The Star, Jan 24).

Well done to the minister for taking the initiative and positive step towards improving Peninsular Malaysia’s special permit system.

The proposed change is certainly welcome, especially in light of the numerous reports and letters from the public expressing dismay and concern over the mismanagement of wildlife trade over the past year.

In addition to the change, the ministry should also make public the list of special permit holders since the holders are entrusted to trade in highly endangered species, which are our precious assets.

All Malaysians have the right to know which species are being traded and that the trade is conducted within the law. The transparency that is promised by the minister, getting the views from the NGOs and establishing an audit unit to review the conduct of enforcement agencies will hopefully enhance Malaysia’s reputation as a responsible and law abiding country where the wildlife trade is concerned.

AZRINA ABDULLAH, Petaling Jaya.

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One Response to ““Well Done to the Minister””

  1. Bryan Christy » Blog Archive » New Wildlife Law for Malaysia?! Says:

    [...] enforcement.  The Ministry of Environment has taken positive steps to reform law enforcement and administration in the past year, but the Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) has a history of speaking one way to the [...]