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Who killed 20,000 orangutans in Sabah?

July 17, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Sean Whyte, via e-mail

In a current leaflet from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Malaysia, I was just reading what they have to say about orangutans in Sabah.

WWF says: “There are as many as 11,000 orangutans that live in Sabah today. The number has reduced by 35% in the last two decades.”

In other words, according to WWF, 20 years ago there were about 31,400 orangutans in Sabah.

We can see from this that about 20,000 orangutans have been killed; an average during this period of 1,000 orangutans slaughtered every year.

What the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) refuses to disclose is a) who killed these orangutans; b) how many people have been prosecuted?

We must not forget the tigers, elephants, rhinos and other species which have also been sacrificed (literally) by the Sabah government in the name of progress and prosperity.

Here again no one in authority is saying anything about any prosecutions which might have taken place – but presumably have not.

So what do we know? Well, we know the palm oil industry is heavily implicated in the disappearance of many endangered/protected species don’t we?

We also know the same palm oil industry gives a “massive” amount of money to (according to Hubert Petol of the Sabah Forestry Department) to the Sabah Wildlife Department.

As far as we know, and the SWD refuse to confirm or deny this, the SWD has never arrested let alone prosecuted anyone from the said palm oil industry.

Does this look a bit suspicious to you?

How can a government agency accept massive funding from an industry repeatedly alleged to have broken a law the very same agency refuses to enforce?

Is it not time the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) looked into this matter?

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


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