Penang Wildlife Dept Head Transferred??!!

The head of Penang’s Wildlife Department has been transferred in the wake of Anson Wong’s being caught smuggling wildlife out of Penang.   Let’s take a moment to look at that action.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and the wildlife department (Perhilitan) transferred the official because he was in charge when Anson filled his suitcase with boa constrictors and rhinoceros vipers (and mata mata turtles) and slipped through airport security.   I’ve been through Penang airport many times.   Like most international airports there is no role for a wildlife department official in the movement of a passenger or his luggage onto a plane.  Checking the person and his luggage are the roles of immigration, customs, and airport security.  There is no reason to target the Penang wildlife department official as a result of Anson’s smuggling in this instance.  (In fact, it’s reasonable to wonder whether Anson hand-carried the snakes rather than ship them because the Penang official was doing his job.)

HOWEVER, since that is the punishment for him, what should be the punishment for the official in charge of Penang during the period of Operation Chameleon, after which Anson Wong confessed to years of smuggling the rarest animals on the planet, most in shipments sent directly from Penang?  It is the job of the wildlife department to inspect those shipments.  But, the Penang official in charge then was not transferred as a result of Anson Wong’s arrest in Mexico.  That official was promoted, not once, but twice, and today is a head of Malaysia’s national Widlife Department!

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3 Responses to “Penang Wildlife Dept Head Transferred??!!”

  1. Azrina Abdullah Says:

    I agree that the speed of which the Penang Director was transferred to another State is just amazing. I am more inclined to think that he was made the scapegoat in all this. The snakes were legally imported from South America to Penang, but Wong’s attempt to smuggle is of course, not the Director’s fault. Wong pleaded guilty, which means he knew what he was doing and had no intention to go through the legal channels. Does this mean that the heads of Customs, Anti-Smuggling Unit, Forestry,etc should roll every time someone is caught for smuggling under their respective jurisdiction?And now, Malaysia has been identified as a hub for human trafficking. I have not seen anyone asking for the Minister of the Home Ministry to resign or be demoted because of the hundreds of children and women trafficked into Malaysia weekly. Investigations are underway on how Anson got through Penang Airport. I won’t hold my breath for the result, which will be the typical response “We have conducted a thorough investigation and we have found nothing.”

    Many of the arrests and seizures were by other enforcement agencies. Maybe its time for MONRE to allow Customs and other agencies to take wildlife cases to court, and not automatically expect the agencies to hand them over to the Wildlife Department just because its wildlife. Customs have a comprehensive Act which can be used to charge smugglers and they’re better resourced. I’d rather not waste more of my tax money to pay for the salaries of incompetent and corrupt wildlife officials who do not care about the wildlife. And to those wildlife officials that are dedicated to their work (and honest), I salute all of you for continuing to stick with the department/Ministry with the hope that one day things will change.

  2. doyok Says:

    head director of wildlife is coward

  3. nizimz Says:

    Most people knew the recent transfer of the Penang Perhilitan Director was for the public to speculate that he is the culprit wherelse the culprit is the one who got him transferred.
    Its not hard to weed out the people in cahoots with Anson Wong.
    Just ask SPRM to open their files again. Check who Anson called on the day he was arrested…………
    Seriously, i never gave a damn about this trafficking thing but when innocent people goodnames got smeared it just pissed me off!
    Why can’t Perhilitan make a statement that Penang Director transfer has got nothing to do with the case! They just want people to think he is the culprit….