Monday, October 2

‘Contribute towards state’s wildlife conservation’

Sudarsono (centre, seated) with (from left, seated) Melvin and Gregory pose with representatives of the pledge signing and some participants of the ride. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

Sudarsono (centre, seated) with (from left, seated) Melvin and Gregory pose with representatives of the pledge signing and some participants of the ride. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Datu Sudarsono Osman has called upon corporations in Sarawak and Malaysia as well as across the globe to contribute to the state’s Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund.

The permanent secretary to the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment said corporate individuals, who were busy with their businesses, could give money to the fund towards conservation of wildlife.

“Obviously you would not have the time to deal with orangutan directly, but by contributing to the fund, the people with the right expertise will get on with the conservation work.

“By contributing to the fund, they will also be able to enjoy some tax benefits,” he said when met by the press after witnessing a pledge signing by 13 organisations in support of orangutan and shark conservation during a simple ceremony held at Hilton Hotel here yesterday.

Organisations that signed the pledge were Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program, Ulu Ai Conservancy, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Raw Kitchen, Orangutan Sdn Bhd, Royal Malaysian Police, Hilton Kuching, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Borneo Adventure, Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus and Permai Rainforest Resort. Sudarsono said he was happy to be a part of the pledge signing ceremony to conserve sharks and orangutans.

“Especially so when Sarawak, our state, has been accused of orangutan genocide which is not true at all.

“The government has recently declared some 14,000 hectares in the Ulu Menyang Batang Ai as conservation area for orangutan,” he said, adding that the state government would do its level best in the conservation of orangutans.

According to him, it is estimated that about 2,000 orangutans are found in Ulu Menyang Batang Ai.

On the conservation of sharks, Sudarsono said individuals ought to assume responsibility and stop eating shark fin soup.

He was pleased to note that two hoteliers were among those who signed the pledge towards the good cause.

“When we think of ourselves as individuals, we always feel that we are just little tiny dots in this universe. We always feel that we are insignificant. And when we think of the problems of the world, we feel very helpless.

“If all of us as individuals and organisations take that first step, we assume responsibility towards a certain cause, then some of our actions will create a big impact in the universe.”

A ‘Ride for the Wild’, jointly organised by the Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Chapter, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre and Swinburne University of Techology Sarawak Campus, was held in conjunction with the pledge signing ceremony.

Over 260 individuals took part in the ride which began and ended at Swinburne Sarawak.

All proceeds from the event were channelled to conservation education activities to create awareness among the community.

Among those present were director of Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program Dr Melvin Gumal and Swinburne Sarawak deputy vice-chancellor and chief executive officer Prof Janet Gregory.