Senoi Praaq to join the fight against poachers

The Senoi Praaq are jungle fighters with a reputation for tracking. (Facebook pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Two General Operations Force battalions of Senoi Praaq have been deployed to assist the Wildlife Department to hunt down poachers in the forests, especially poachers hunting for the Malayan tiger which is now in danger of becoming extinct, said Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador.

He said one of the battalions, comprising 500 members, would conduct patrols in identified forest areas with the Wildlife and National Parks Department, while the other would be placed on stand-by.

Hamid said as the IGP, it was his responsibility to provide whatever assistance required by the water, land and natural resources ministry in conjunction with today’s Save The Tiger Day.

“My purpose of giving the task to the Senoi Praaq (Battalion) is because they are skilled as trackers and they are also used to the jungle environment.

“This is the land in which their ancestors earned their living and now the situation is getting worse with foreigners unscrupulously coming to rob the rich fauna in the country,” he told the media after attending the Global Tiger Day 2019 and launch of the Save Harimau Malaya 2019-2020 campaign here today.

Hamid said the police would also provide training to Wildlife officers and personnel on the use of firearms and will also provide standard procedures to deal with threats from illegal hunters.

“So, the Senoi Praaq battalion is ready to assist the Wildlife Department… their lives are threatened by illegal hunters from abroad who are bold and vicious. We will shoot them, if necessary,” he added.

Hamid said he had also instructed the Special Branch to set up a special section to gather information on illegal hunters and those involved in trafficking wild animal parts.

“The Special Branch is also given the responsibility to monitor sandalwood. This means we monitor everything including the flora. Everything that is stolen from the jungle, action will be taken by the police,” he added.

The minister for natural resources, Xavier Jayakumar, said three areas would be given focus: Belum-Temenggor Tropical Forest, Pahang-Terengganu National Park and Endau Rompin National Park.