Posts Tagged ‘N. Surendran’

Malaysian Tentacles in Madagascar, Courier Fingers ‘Lizard King’

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Malaysia wildlife trafficking syndicates extend to Madagascar.   Those inside have known this for years.  Last summer, Malaysian authorities intercepted two Malagasy couriers trafficking wildlife to Malaysia.  The women were arrested and sentenced to a year in prison.  One of the women gave birth there.  Remarkably, Malaysian authorities made no significant investigation of the couriers one of whom filed a police report just before her departure last month fingering Anson Wong as her boss, along with a man she knew as “Vijay.”

Wildlife Department director, Abd Rasid Samsudin is accused today in Malaysian press of ‘Sleeping on the Job.’   ROAR, N Surendran, Lawyers for Liberty, and others are right.  Perhilitan has failed to make a single case against a wildlife trafficking kingpin in Malaysia.  There is a reason for it.

Drunk or Sober–Fishing for Mr. Big

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Two news items out of Malaysia: In the first, from The Star, Malaysia’s wildlife department (Perhilitan) demonstrates why more and more people see the wildlife department as a bigger problem than even the wildlife traffickers who exploit the country.  “Illegal trade in wildlife is happening in Malaysia but it is still under control with effective enforcement,”  said Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Per­hilitan), in an interview with The Star newspaper of Malaysia(emphasis added).  “The department is doing everything within its authority and jurisdiction to curb illegal wildlife trade in Peninsular Malaysia.” 

Really?  That’s the department’s official response to years of wildlife trafficking, to a reputation for so little law enforcement that Malaysia is a favorite hub for criminal syndicates moving endangered wildlife from Africa, Asia, the US and Europe?  We have it under control?

Obviously, the wildlife department cannot and will not fix itself any more than an alcoholic can fix himself without help.  The Malaysian people and the world have confronted the department with its problem (we have had the intervention)–everyone (except the wildlife department) recognizes years of abuse has occurred–of smuggling, of issuing endangered species permits to smugglers, of poorly managed rescue centers, and on and on (click perhilitan in my blog and you’ll see some examples over just the past 2 years; here’s a good story today).  The first step to reforming an alcoholic is for the person to admit he has a problem.  Despite all the endangered species that have passed through Malaysia, the wildlife department is not even at this stage yet.  It still denies it has a problem.  A person in denial cannot be cured.

In the second news item, from The Sun, Azrina Abdullah makes the case for increasing the punishment on Anson Wong, listing major laws Anson recently broke, “Come Down Hard on Illegal Wildlife Traders.” 

(BTW, news outlets around the world have picked up The Lizard King to describe Anson Wong, drawing the moniker from my book.  As Ms. Abdullah points out, Wong is not The Lizard King; he was part of the syndicate described in my book.  Wong was, of course, the subject of the National Geogprahic story, The Kingpin, which makes a good nickname, too.)

Last up, Malaysia’s Ministry of Environment (MNRE), which oversees the wildlife department, announces today it is creating an internal audit committee to review standard operating procedures in enforcement of laws and regulations on poaching, whatever that means.  A similar announcement was made last spring.  Malaysia’s new laws are excellent steps forward, but the audit committee idea sounds like just another way of saying, We aren’t going to do anything.

Which brings me back to the first sentence of this post.

The Lizard King In Center of Tiger Permits Corruption Probe

Friday, August 28th, 2009

The following story appears today in Malaysia’s national newspaper, The Star.  The implications of this investigation extend well beyond Malaysia.  One corrupt, or even lax, regulatory regime can enable traffickers to move endangered wildlife from every corner of the earth–all they need is a signature, and a CITES stamp.

The Star Online > Starprobe
Saturday August 29, 2009

MACC gets wildlife memos

By YENG AI CHUN

 

Paper trail: This letter about an application to export tigers is among the documents handed over to the MACC.

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of animal rights activists has submitted documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to back their allegations against the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).

The documents allegedly show Perhilitan deputy director-general Misliah Mohamad Basir endorsing the renewal of special permits for convicted wildlife trafficker Anson Wong. (more…)