KOTA KINABALU: Tapirs will be reintroduced to Sabah with the cooperation between Perhilitan Department and related agencies in the state, soon.
Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM) academician Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said the state government had already agreed with the effort proposed by Pencinta Alam Association but stated that a more in-depth discussion needed to be undertaken before the programme’s cooperation was implemented.
He said they were still in the process of acquiring monetary resources to implement the joint programme.
If the programme materialises, the Perhilitan Department in West Malaysia will hand over three to four tapirs to Sabah.
“Hence, more discussion must be undertaken to determine where and who will be responsible to look after the tapirs when they are brought here in Sabah,” he said.
He also said the joint programme could speedily materialise if the monetary allocation was available.
The programme is expected to start early next year.
Salleh said the proposal to reintroduce tapirs back to Sabah was presented to the state government two years ago.
He said tapirs existed in Sabah in the past but had become extinct.
Speaking at the Kinabalu public lecture held at Universiti Malaysia Sabah yesterday, Salleh also commented that he disagreed about forestry being a sunset industry.
“That’s the perception of people who lack understanding. People who think that we can chop down and not carry out replanting and misuse the forest,” he said.
He added that in principle, the forest was not a sunset industry but rather, a sunrise industry since the uses of wood were many.
He also noted that Sabah was good in her sustainable efforts.
“Sabah has Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon and Danum Valley. And there are government bodies to look after the forest for the future generation,” he said, adding that this was something commendable, and that Sabah was leading the way for other states to emulate.
The leadership of the government can implement such forest sustainability programmes, he said.
He also said the environment was the responsibility of all.
“No one can get away with that. We must look after the environment ourselves, we must look after the forests, we must look after our sea and rivers for the future generation,” he said, and added that the duty was not the government’s duty alone.
“It’s a shared responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, UMS vice chancellor Professor Dr D Kamarudin D. Mudin said human resource, finance and the environment must be managed well to ensure the university would be sustainable.
He was represented by deputy vice chancellor (research and innovation) UMS Professor Dr Shahril Yusof.