SIBU: The full weight of the law should be imposed with maximum penalty meted out to the poachers for killing of the people’s hornbill ‘Faridah’.
Assistant Minister of Youth Development Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who made the unequivocal call yesterday, said only tough uncompromising action could deter an atrocious act such as this.
“I read The Borneo Post article about the Hornbill ‘murder’ at Piasau Garden, Miri, with anger and sadness and I know I am not alone when feeling this way.
“The Hornbill which is the pride of all Sarawakians and synonymous with Sarawak should not have been hunted and killed this way.
“The act of the three poachers is despicable and has aroused much anger from the public. The full weight of the law should be imposed on the guilty parties and I hope the court gives them the maximum of penalty!” Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman, told The Borneo Post, unequivocally.
According to the report, police arrested three men suspected of poaching the hornbills, a totally protected bird in the state at Piasau Garden, on Tuesday.
The captured bird, affectionately known as ‘Faridah’ by frequent visitors to the park, was reported to have died on the same day it was caught.
The suspects later led the police to recover the carcass of the bird from a rubbish bulk bin at Jalan Datuk Edward Jeli in Piasau.
It was also reported that Sarawak Forestry Corporation spokesperson who was also present when the dead bird was recovered, said the suspects would be placed under police custody until investigation had been completed.
Hornbills are totally protected under Ordinance and the penalties for keeping one as a pet, killing, hunting, capturing, selling, trading or disturbing them, or possessing any recognisable parts of these birds, are severe – a RM25,000 fine and three years’ imprisonment.
The killing of hornbill Faridah comes as a strange twist to the lobbying of many naturalists and Mirians alike for the government gazette of Piasau Camp as a nature park.