Posts Tagged ‘Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’

Ministry of Ouroboros

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

In the Thanksgiving rush, I forgot to post this letter.  It is the Malaysian Environmental Ministry’s response to letters written to the New Straits Times newspaper after the paper ran a series of stories and letters on The Lizard King.  To summarize events so far, the NST profiled me and the book; the Malaysian Wildlife Department “Perhilitan” called my book complete fiction (and other bad words); conservationists objected to Perhilitan’s defensive response to The Lizard King and called for a corruption investigation of Perhilitan.  At points along the way the Ministry overseeing Perhilitan, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, also wrote letters to the NST and to other newspapers.  In some cases the Ministry promised to do more, in other cases it said it was doing more than enough.  Below is the Ministry’s response to two letters criticizing the Ministry for not doing enough on corruption and wildlife crime.  I’ll let you judge the Secretary General’s letter yourself.  It is worth noting that Anson Wong admitted in U.S. court to a decade of smuggling protected wildlife to the United States…

To The Editor
New Straits Times, 2008/11/24
By AMERJIT SINGH for Secretary-General Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment, Putrajaya

I REFER to the letters by E.L. of Petaling Jaya and Tan Yok Koon of Puchong (“Don’t skirt the central issue” and “Disheartening” — NST, Oct 24) on the issue of the export of illegally obtained wildlife. The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has always addressed corruption issues seriously, especially when it concerns its officials.

In the case of Anson Wong, the wildlife dealer from Penang, Perhilitan had monitored his import/export activities closely since 1985 in ensuring that he abided by domestic laws and procedures.

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Malaysian Government “Does Acknowledge” Wildlife Crime Law is Inadequate

Friday, November 28th, 2008

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.

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Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Responds to The Lizard King

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Interesting news from Malaysia.  Last month the New Straits Times ran a terrific 3-part feature on The Lizard King, which included a rather severe accusation by officials inside the Wildlife Department that my book was “fiction” (along with some other not nice words).  In response to the Wildlife Department’s comment, I wrote a letter to the paper and so did Ms. Azrina Abdullah, Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.  Both were published.  Ms. Abdullah called on the Wildlife Department (known as Perhilitan) to investigate the scenario described in The Lizard King.  

Yesterday, Dr. Amerjit Singh, writing for the Secretary-General of the Ministry overseeing the Wildlife Department, responded to the paper with a letter, which I’ll leave to you (and time) to judge: 

Perhilitan’s role: Enforcement going on
New Straits Times, October 19, 2008
 By : DR AMERJIT SINGH for secretary-general, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

THE Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) appreciates the issues highlighted in the letter “Take a close look, Perhilitan” (NST, Oct 1) by Azrina Abdullah on the wildlife trade monitoring network, Traffic Southeast Asia. (more…)