Running Together to Save Our Malayan Tiger
15 JULY 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: With less than 200 Malayan tigers left in the country, the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources recently launched a two-year national campaign to save Malayan tigers. In conjunction with this campaign, this Global Tiger Day, WWF-Malaysia and Maybank are hosting the Malayan Tiger Run 2019 – Roar For Life!
Scheduled for the morning of 28 July 2019, the Malayan Tiger Run is supported by the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS) and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP). The event will take place at IOI City Mall Putrajaya between 6am – 12pm, and more than 4,000 participants have signed up in support of tiger conservation efforts in the country.
“This is the first time a public event of this scale has been organised collaboratively with the support of KATS, PERHILITAN and Maybank as our key corporate conservation partner. The objective is simple - to bring together people who are ready to be a voice for our Malayan tigers through an educational and fun sporting event. WWF-Malaysia aims to raise greater awareness on the critical state of Malayan tigers in the country, and encourage more people to make a stand and speak up in support of on-going tiger conservation efforts,” said Sophia Lim, Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia.
Malayan tiger numbers have been steadily declining since the 1950s. From a number of 3,000, today only less than 200 remain in the wild.
NGOs, enforcement authorities, corporate stakeholders and local communities alike are racing to keep Malayan tigers alive. In 2016, Maybank launched a partnership with WWF-Malaysia to support its ongoing tiger conservation efforts in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex which started in 2007. To date, Maybank has committed over RM5 million in funding until the end of this year.
As a result of WWF-Malaysia’s advocacy efforts under this partnership, in 2017, the Perak State Government announced the registration of Royal Belum State Park, an important tiger recovery and conservation site in Malaysia, for Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS). CA|TS is an accreditation scheme to ensure that the registered area has every aspect needed for effective tiger conservation efforts. This commendable commitment from the Perak State Parks Corporation places Malaysia on the map as the very first country in Southeast Asia to work towards achieving CA|TS.
Poaching, however, still remains the most urgent and critical threat to Malayan tigers. Encik Shahril Azuar Jimin, CEO of Maybank Foundation said that the role of corporates in conservation is a crucial component in fighting poaching in Malaysia. “The support of corporate Malaysia towards tiger conservation efforts can play a major role in improving protection efforts, especially now. The tiger is a symbol of national strength and courage. In fact, Maybank’s Core Values are also inspired by the Malayan tiger and the elements of a tiger are used extensively in many of our initiatives. To further extend our support in creating greater awareness on the need to save tigers, we have also launched the Maybank ‘MyTIGER Values Art Competition and Exhibition’ which is now on until 31 July at Balai Seni Maybank. We believe that concerted efforts must be made to save the Malayan tiger, so that we do not lose that sense of national pride,” he said.
The Malayan Tiger Run hopes to symbolise a unified voice and force of Malaysians, rallying behind the call of YB Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources, to save our Malayan tiger. Director-General of PERHILITAN, Dato’ Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim also reiterated the minister’s efforts in safeguarding Malayan tigers.
“The Department is committed to the “Save Our Malayan Tiger” campaign which was launched earlier this year, and is aimed at protecting our country’s national animal. Working together with NGOs, corporates and the public, is an integral part of this campaign’s awareness objectives, as saving the Malayan tiger is not only the responsibility of the Government or NGOs. The campaign also includes Ops Belang or boots on the ground, which is a wildlife enforcement operation aimed at putting more staff on the ground, particularly at poaching hotspots,” he said.
It is therefore important that protecting Malayan tigers becomes a national priority. To support tiger conservation and the ministry’s efforts towards saving the Malayan tiger, WWF-Malaysia will be officially launching a year-long Malayan Tiger Pledge during Global Tiger Day celebrations this year.
In 2018, Nepal made history by successfully doubling its tiger numbers. The establishment of a National Tiger Conservation Committee and Wildlife Crime Control Coordination Committee chaired by the Prime Minister in this country played a significant role in this, as well as in achieving 365 days of zero poaching for rhinos, elephants and tigers between 2013 and 2014.
Therefore, the Malayan Tiger Pledge aims at providing an avenue for Malaysians to symbolically support the establishment of a National Tiger Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, so that executive decisions on policy, allocation of resources, enforcement and land management favourable for tiger conservation can be made and implemented. The pledge aims to garner the support of 1 million people by Global Tiger Day 2020, in an effort to actively include civil society as a critical component of
WWF-Malaysia and Maybank believe that there is still hope to protect our Malayan tiger for generations to come. We can still ensure their survival if we act now, instead of simply documenting their extinction. WWF-Malaysia and Maybank will continue to support the Government and their efforts in ensuring the survival of the species.
This Global Tiger Day, make a stand, spread the message and be a voice for our tigers. Sign the Malayan Tiger Pledge by visiting www.wwf.org.my/tigerpledge
For further details, please follow WWF-Malaysia’s social channels: