Academy of Sciences Malaysia: A Great Honor

Yesterday I had the great honor of speaking to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.  In introducing me, Professor Mohd Nordin pointed out to the audience that the Academy normally invites only Nobel laureates to speak. It was a very generous introduction to a very packed auditorium, and I am grateful to the Academy for making an exception. 

We had very good discussion regarding what it took to improve wildlife enforcement, the story behind the phrase ‘Fortress Malaysia,’ and the story of Operation Chameleon and the arrest of Anson Wong.  I was pleased to clarify that the book was non-fiction and that every quotation in the chapter ‘Fortress Malaysia’ is taken verbatim from recorded telephone conversations or actual correspondence. 

In the audience we had conservationists from Malaysia Nature Society, TRAFFIC, World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations, and others, as well as veterinarians, scientists, and those interested in the story of Malaysia and wildlife trafficking.  I was very pleased that not only did former Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) Director General Mohd Kahn attend but so did wildlife officers from nearly every state in Malaysia.  Dir. General Mohd Kahn told me he enjoyed the book very much and through his thoughtful questions, shared the difficulties of protecting wildlife with the audience.  Afterwards Dato Dr. Salleh Mohd Nor, Secretary General of the Academy, and Professor Nordin hosted a lovely tea.

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One Response to “Academy of Sciences Malaysia: A Great Honor”

  1. Jeff Boundy Says:

    Evidently your book has chagrined the Texas State Legislature for they have completely shut-down the pet Western Blind Snake industry in that State — http://www.pethobbyist.com/sitenews/index.php?/archives/146-Garter-Snakes,-Cornsnakes,-Pet-Mice,-and-More-Banned-in-Texas!.html

    And now you’re turning your attention to the Orient! How soon will the Malaysia State Legislature inflict a novel set of reptile laws in their own State — pick up a Chanard’s Reed Snake and you get 8 strokes across the knuckles with a frayed yardstick.

    You may think I’m joking but I do plan to shortly visit the Malay Peninsula. I have a new friend there, Mohd. bin Sharif, who just this morning sent me an e-mail stating that his late husband, Commander Chief Barister Mohd. Lim Liat has left a substantial sum nearing 2,00,000,0,0 US for deposit in my account. All I have to do is drive to Melakka and provide my ATM card…