WWF-Malaysia: Revoke all of Anson’s licenses to trade in wildlife following sentencing
Selangor – WWF-Malaysia today receives news of Anson Wong’s sentence by the Sessions Court with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are relieved that the courts saw fit to impose a 6 month prison sentence on Anson Wong who has demonstrated that he is a repeat offender in having in possession protected wildlife illegally. We hope that this prison sentence has the much needed deterrent effect on this individual as well as send a clear message to other would be wildlife offenders.
We also hope that the Sessions Court was indeed presented with evidence of his previous conviction in the US for serious wildlife crimes.
On the other hand, the fine of merely RM190 000 appears to be a slap on the wrist. In view of the fact that Wong had 95 snakes in his possession and that the aggregate maximum fine that could be imposed was RM 1 million, the fine comes up a little short in relation to the offence.
WWF-Malaysia also urges the Ministry to now revoke ALL of Anson Wong’s current licenses to trade in wildlife, including his two wildlife establishments in Penang as well as those linked to his family members.
This is in line with Section 17 of Malaysia’s International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008 under which Wong was charged, where the Management Authority may cancel permits if the holder of such permits has been convicted under this Act. We think it is justified to revoke any such licenses granted to his family members as there is a strong need to pre-empt the risk of illegal wildlife trade being furthered under the guise of legality and still very much under Wong’s control.
Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma