Posts Tagged ‘Royal Malaysian Customs Department’

New Wildlife Law for Malaysia!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Malaysia’s Parliament passed yesterday a comprehensive new wildlife act, the first major overhaul of its wildlife legislation since 1972!  Everyone involved–legislators, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment officials, Perhilitan supporters, NGO advocates, the Malaysian press, and the Malaysian public should be commended for taking this important step toward wildlife protection. 

The next, and more important step, is to enforce the new law.  (The last one was not well-enforced.)

This means funding for enforcement, and it means Ministry, Perhilitan and Customs officials investigating wildlife traffickers using controlled deliveries instead of simple seizures, moving against criminal kingpins instead of their couriers. 

Finally, it will mean prosecutors and judges taking the new law seriously. 

Perhilitan raided an operation recently with good success.

The new law comes none too soon, as this story today also demonstrates:

from  The Star

From The Sun (Malaysia)

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The Lizard King in Malaysia

(Feb 11, 2009), The Sun, Malaysia

BRYAN CHRISTY, author of The Lizard King – The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers, was in the region to promote his book recently. Christy spent nearly four years researching his book, focusing on a true story of America’s biggest reptile smuggler, Mike Van Nostrand, and Chip Bepler, the federal agent, who built a case against Van Nostrand, in the face of many challenges.

The book has made people take notice of wildlife trade in Malaysia, and that it is an issue which should be addressed effectively by the government and civil society.

The issue of illegal wildlife trade has been recognised by the government as something of a concern. Malaysia became a member of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, in 1978. However, the outdated Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 is still used in Peninsular Malaysia to protect wildlife from being illegally traded. The Act has inadequate provisions to penalise illegal traders, including very low penalties, which many consider as a slap on the wrist for the offender trading illegally in valuable and endangered species.

Many NGOs have pushed for the review and changes to the Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 since 1998 to (more…)

NST Publishes My Response

Friday, September 26th, 2008
Lizard King:  Facts Tell the Tale of Book's Intentions, NST, 9-26-2008

Lizard King: Facts Tell the Tale of Book's Intentions, NST, 9-26-2008

Last Sunday, Malaysia’s national newspaper, the New Straits Times, ran a terrific 3-part feature on THE LIZARD KING. The story covered the book, my background in writing it, and included the story of Malaysia’s Anson Wong, who went to prison in the United States for reptile smuggling. 

A side-box to the main story was titled, provocatively, “A Work of Fiction, Says Wildlife Department.”  Naturally, a response was in order…  I am grateful to the NST for running it.  See the posts below for the original news article.