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Federal minister, Sabah leaders eating turtle eggs goes viral

November 4, 2015

Offenders can face a fine of up to RM50,000 or five years' jail or both if found guilty of consuming the eggs under the Wildlife Enactment 1997.



SANDAKAN: A photograph of a federal minister and local leaders allegedly being offered turtle eggs during dinner at a restaurant in Sandakan has gone viral.

A group of environmental non-governmental organisations and research organisation Danau Girang Field Centre raised the alarm after the photograph, believed to have been taken in August was circulated on social media.

Green and Hawksbill turtles are both totally protected species under Schedule I of the Sabah Wildlife Enactment 1997.

It is unlawful to possess an animal or product of a species listed in Part I of Schedule 1 and the offender could face a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

“Sabah’s wonders are its beautiful islands, its lush tropical forest and its amazing wildlife, offering one of the best eco-tourism destinations in the world.

“What message are we conveying to the world when our own government officials consume products of endangered species,” they said in a statement, today.

They said it was time for people in Sabah to voice out that “it is not all right for politicians or for anyone to buy or consume turtle eggs”.

The environmentalists also urged the Sabah Wildlife Department to take stern action against any culprit, to send a strong message that protected species were not for sale or consumption.

“We should take pride in protecting them. These wildlife species are our national heritage.

“Wildlife provides sustainable economic benefits through tourism, and we should also protect our wildlife for future generations,” they said.



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