Malaysian Government “Does Acknowledge” Wildlife Crime Law is Inadequate

The Lizard King has gotten good attention in Malaysia, including two-pages of coverage in a single issue of the New-Straits Times, and similar multi-story coverage in The Star and the Malay Mail (see the blog archive posts).  All three newspapers have published letters to the editor in response to their news stories and I am told there has never been so much coverage of wildlife trafficking in such a short period of time in Peninsular Malaysia before.  Publicity is one thing, change is another…

On November 11, the Malay Mail published a profile of me entitled “Wildlife Trade Flourishes in Fortress Malaysia:  weak enforcement laws attract smugglers.”  Yesterday, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment issued this letter promising legislative reform

 
To the Editor
November 27, 2008      Malay Mail
Based on the input provided by Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), the government does acknowledge that the existing legislation, Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 (Act 76), is inadequate in combating wildlife crime especially the poaching and smuggling of wildlife in large quantities. The department through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) is formulating a new legislation with strengthened provisions on penalties to combat and deter such wildlife crimes.

The department has undertaken a number of measures to strengthen law enforcement activities under the present legislation. This includes the creation of a Wildlife Crime Unit 2005, as a flying squad to strengthen information gathering and respond immediately to wildlife crimes.

As a result, the department has successfully apprehended and prosecuted a number of wildlife cases dealing with poaching and smuggling of protected wildlife, including pangolins and clouded monitor lizards. This includes the recent successful arrest of a poacher and the seizure of illegally poached wildlife worth RM3 million.

The department has also strengthened its inter-agency cooperation, especially with the Royal Malaysian Customs, Anti Smuggling Unit, Maritime Enforcement Agency, army and Royal Malaysian Police. Through such cooperation and through enhanced patrolling, the department has apprehended trespassers, including foreigners into Taman Negara National Park. However, cooperation from the public in terms of information relating to wildlife crime will greatly assist the department in taking immediate actions to combat wildlife crime. Therefore, we urge the public to come forward with information through the online reporting mechanism (e-aduan) that could be accessed through www.wildlife.gov.my. In addition, members of the public can contact any of the wildlife officers through the telephone numbers listed at the website.

Dr Amerjit Singh
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

© Copyright 2008 Malay Mail. All Rights Reserved. 

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Malaysian Government “Does Acknowledge” Wildlife Crime Law is Inadequate”

  1. Bryan Christy » Blog Archive » Anson Wong and Perhilitan Under Fire after The Lizard King Says:

    [...] pressing for investigation.  Those who follow wildlife trade and corruption may recognize that promises were made by the Ministry shortly after The Lizard King was published last fall.  Promise was also made to step up border [...]