MYCAT Deeply Disappointed with Sentence for Illegal Possession of Tiger
The Malayan Tiger is critically endangered with only 250 to 340 tigers left in the wild. The 90% population decline since Malaysia’s Independence is primarily caused by the loss of habitat, poaching and illegal trade.
The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) is deeply disappointed with the sentence.
“We commend the Ipoh Sessions Court for meting out the fine of RM 100,000 to the accused. However, a one month imprisonment for a serious crime against a totally protected species that is critically endangered in our country sends out a misleading message to perpetrators. After narcotics, human trafficking and weapons, wildlife crime is still the fourth most lucrative illegal business in the world. If we do not consider heavier punishments in terms of imprisonment, we will continue to struggle to bring wildlife crime and poaching threats under control,” said Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director / CEO of WWF-Malaysia.
“At a time when various species are on the verge of extinction and rhinos have just been listed as extinct in Peninsular Malaysia, this punishment of one month is difficult to comprehend. It sends out mixed signals to poachers that wildlife crimes are not taken seriously,” said Dr Melvin Gumal, Director of Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Programme.
“The fact that we are down to the last few tigers, has not sunk into the national consciousness. This has to change if we want a future with tigers,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.
It would be a pity and a great shame to us as Malaysians to have the Malayan Tiger on our Coat of Arms, in the stripes of our national sports team jersey as well as in every Malaysian Court while the real tigers remain critically endangered and face extinction.
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For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer, TRAFFIC
Tel: +603-7880 3940
Communications Coordinator, Peninsular Malaysia Terrestrial Conservation Programme (WWF-Malaysia)
Tel: +603-7450 3773