KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya has vowed to take immediate action against a restaurant in Sandakan which served marine turtle eggs during an official government dinner.
The photos of turtle eggs being served to government officials, including federal and state leaders have since gone viral on social media Facebook, yesterday.
“Both Green and Hawksbill turtleS are listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and according to Section 41 of this enactment, it is an offence to possess these animals, or products (eggs) of this species. Those flouting are liable upon conviction to a fine of RM50,000 or an imprisonment for five years or both,” said William in a press statement yesterday.
“I have directed two of my officers to further investigate this case by questioning the owner of the restaurant. We will also seek assistance from the Sandakan Municipal Council as well as the organizers of this dinner function to get a better picture of how the turtle eggs managed to make it on the menu,” said William.
“We hope to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible as we are taking this case as our utmost priority,” he said.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said a probe was being launched into the matter.
“SWD is investigating & we’ll wait for their investigation to complete (sic),” he said in a text reply to The Borneo Post.