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Sabah’s killing fields must stop

December 2, 2014


From Jason Tan of Malaysians Friends of the Animals

gajah sabah_sprm__1_300Last week brought the welcome news of two MP’s requesting that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or MACC investigate illegal logging and the killing of at least 14 elephants in Sabah.

We all hope this will expose those behind these heinous crimes which the Sabah Wildlife Department have until now glossed over.

Readers will probably be alarmed to know that between 1998 and 2008, 179 orphaned orangutans arrived at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

1998 – 54
1999 – 20
2000 – 17
2001 – 15
2002 – 14
2003 – 15
2005 – 15
2006 – 11
2007 – 12
2008 – 6

The babies become orphans only when their mothers are killed, usually by employees associated with the palm oil and logging industries, both of which appear above the law in Sabah.

We can be certain 179 murdered adult female orangutans is an underestimate.

Even more shocking: All this killing of a ‘protected’ species has gone virtually unpunished. Only one case of orangutan killing has been brought to court but the company whose workers were sentenced was never mentioned for being at fault. No mention about what the company will do to avoid more orangutans getting murdered.

The sentencing of two foreign workers is probably a show trial to appease critics. No one has ever been arrested or prosecuted for harming and killing elephants and we suspect rhinos as well.

Sabah, once only known for its wildlife diversity and palm oil plantations, is now regularly seen in the press as a lawless state where illegal logging and illegal wildlife trading is rampant. This can only happen because law enforcement has broken down.

It’s no wonder there has been a big drop in tourism to Sabah and it’s likely to get worse unless the laws governing wildlife and environmental protection are enforced.



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