Friday, July 10

Sabah, Sarawak urged to tighten wildlife-related laws


Dr Xavier Jayakumar – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources has urged the governments of Sabah and Sarawak to amend the wildlife-related laws in their respective states so that more severe penalties can be imposed against offenders.

Its Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said the action was aimed at streamlining the laws with the Federal government’s proposed amendment to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 which is scheduled to be tabled during the first session of Parliament next year.

“Sabah and Sarawak have their own (wildlife) legislation, however, I would urge them to follow suit after the (amendment to) the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 is formulated and (passed) in Parliament.

“It is high time for the jail term and the amount of the fine to be increased, so that more severe punishment can be imposed on poachers,” he said in the Parliament lobby today.

He was asked to comment on the incident at an oil palm plantation in Beluran, Sabah last Saturday where an adult pygmy elephant was found dead with gunshot wounds and missing ivory tusks.

On Sept 25, the carcass of a pygmy elephant was found in Sungai Udin Dumpas, Kalabakan, Tawau riddled with bullet wounds, and six individuals were subsequently detained to assist with investigations.

Meanwhile, Dr Xavier said the ministry had planned to increase the number of forest rangers to enable more effective and stringent enforcement and patrol activities.

“This is a request from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, so we have a budget for this and it is being reviewed, including determining the number of rangers and forest areas that need to be focused on,” he said. – Bernama