PETALING JAYA: The Seremban High Court has dismissed an application by the wildlife and national parks department (Perhilitan) to strike out a suit filed against it for the culling of several “lotong cengkong” (dusky leaf monkeys) in a residential area in Port Dickson in 2021.
The suit was filed by Nurul Azreen Sultan, a resident at Taman Raja Zainal where the culling occurred, and wildlife rights NGO Hak Asasi Hidupan Liar Malaysia (HIDUP).
In April, the department, represented by deputy public prosecutor Mazuin Hashim, filed the application to strike out the suit.
Lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, who represented the plaintiffs, said Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan today dismissed Perhilitan’s striking out application and fixed the trial dates for Jan 8 to 11.
Rajesh told FMT he welcomed the court’s decision for the matter to be heard.
“This is a huge victory for the dusky leaf monkeys and Perhilitan will now have to justify their actions,” he said.
Perhilitan came under fire for culling the primates at the Seri Sentosa education quarters area in Batu 2½ Jalan Pantai, Port Dickson on May 19 last year.
On May 25, the department explained that it had to resort to such action since it had received eight reports regarding attacks on humans by the primates in the area, the most serious being a woman who had sustained serious head injuries.
However, at the time, the plaintiffs were reported to have said that checks with local hospitals found no patient who sustained such injuries.
Perhilitan also said it had conducted operations to capture the animals using traps, but it was unsuccessful.
It added that culling was the best approach to address wildlife conflicts in the area after considering all angles, including its proximity to a residential area.