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NRE asleep, clueless, complicit, or all three?

June 29, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Sean Whyte, via e-mail

The NRE would like us to believe their beloved Perhilitan are no friends of the illegal wildlife traders or owners of seriously bad zoos and wildlife parks. The evidence suggest otherwise.

Why then do we see no arrests of wildlife traders or poachers, despite their almost plague-like presence throughout Malaysia?

Zoos, often no strangers to illegal wildlife and frequently guilty of caging wildlife animals in horrific conditions, clearly do benefit from a very cosy relationship with Perhilitan.

We are led to believe this August the NRE and Perhilitan will clamp down on bad zoos.

If they do it, will it involve confiscating hundreds, maybe thousands of animals? The NRE has said nothing yet barely a month from the deadline.

Where they will take these unfortunate animals? Melaka zoo is already crammed full of animals confiscated over the years in its so-called quarantine area.

The conditions there are eye-watering for any observer but must be hell for the animals.

All this at a time when Minister Douglas Uggah Embas thinks it a good idea to bring pandas all the way from China to entertain zoo visitors.

Surely the first priority must be to take care of wild animals already in Malaysia before devoting scarce resources to China’s? This is an obligation of the NRE, not a choice.

The bad zoos, flourishing illegal wildlife trade and disgusting pet shops throughout Malaysia are a terrible indictment of the NRE’s failure to get a grip on even one of these calamities.

The writer is CEO of Nature Alert ….supporting Malaysian NGOs.


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