New Wildlife Law for Malaysia?!

Malaysia’s Parliament is currently debating a new comprehensive wildlife law, the Wildlife Conservation Act.  If passed-and MPs have only a few days to do it-the new law will be the first major wildlife law reform since 1972! 

Having a good law on the books will be a key to protecting Malaysia’s wildlife, to changing Malaysia’s reputation as a global wildlife trafficking hub, and to setting the country on track to becoming a regional leader on protecting its remarkable environment. 

Of course, good laws are only as strong as law 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 media and the Ministry, and another to its “clients” in the wildife trade.  It takes both law reform and law enforcement reform to make a difference.   Passing this new law is certainly the first part of that equation. 

Hopefully, the debate this week will cover both the law and its enforcement.

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