Cops can shoot to kill if threatened by poachers, says IGP

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador.

KUALA LUMPUR: Top cop Abdul Hamid Bador says officers tasked with protecting the country’s wildlife have been authorised to shoot to kill if threatened by illegal poachers.

He said the decision followed an incident in which members of the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) and the forestry department were attacked by poachers.

“They attacked and our officers were the ones that ran. The illegal foreign poachers didn’t run but even threatened our officers. This cannot be accepted.

“So if they dare to act against Perhilitan officers, we will deploy officers from the Senoi Praaq general operations force (GOF).

“If illegal poachers act, they can harm our officers and even kill them. So shooting to kill is all right,” he said in a press conference at Bukit Aman here today.

He added that two battalions from the Senoi Praaq GOF comprising 1,703 officers had been instructed to assist the forestry department and Perhilitan in their patrols.

On prominent individuals (VVIPs) believed to be directly or indirectly involved in illegal poaching, he said they are under observation and can be prosecuted if found guilty.

However, he declined to reveal their identities.

“I received information that there are VVIPs involved in illegal hunting activities. I take this issue seriously.

“If they’re found to be involved, their firearms licence will be revoked and if they are caught hunting, they will be apprehended and charged under the law.

“There are no exceptions and there is no reason for them to hunt. Why are you competing for the food of bears and tigers?” he said.

Hamid also urged Putrajaya to make caning a mandatory punishment for those involved in crimes against the environment to serve as a deterrent and lesson.