World Pangolin Day with a difference this year


Liew (third right) receiving the invitation from Ong. Third from left is Dr Jamili.

KOTA KINABALU: This year, observance of World Pangolin Day which falls on February 15 (Saturday) will be one with a difference, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

Dubbed KeTamu 4 Pangolins, the event is being organised by LEAP Social in collaboration with the Sabah Art Gallery, Sabah Cultural Board, Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), Sabah Parks and Sabah Tourism Board (STB).

“I am pleased with the preparations for celebrating World Pangolin Day which provides a great opportunity for Sabah communities and artisans to promote locally produced foods, crafts and art. It will be a boon for rural entrepreneurs.

“I urge locals and visitors alike to support KeTamu 4 Pangolins which simply means ‘To the People’s Market for Pangolins’,” said Liew who has been invited as guest of honour at pangolin-themed activities (a cocktail event and an auction of commissioned Sabah pangolin art pieces) at Laman Seni, Wisma Budaya from 6pm to 8.30pm this Saturday.

She received the invitation from the director of LEAP (Land Empowerment Animals People), Cynthia Ong who led a five-member delegation to pay a courtesy call on her on Monday. Others were the assistant director of SWD, Dr Sen Nathan, Sabah Cultural Board deputy general manager, Jennifer Linggi, CEO of LEAP Winnie Long and curator of KeTamu Suzanne Chong.

Briefing the minister on KeTamu 4 Pangolins over the weekend (Feb 15 and 16), Ong said it is an artisanal market where food, art, music, craft, tradition, and contemporary, rural and urban features as well as friends and family meet in the spirit of community.

“KeTamu is a Sabahan concept which opens a space where we can bring our wares and fares, and dare to bare our creativity and curiosity. It will also feature multiple ways to celebrate pangolins and secure their future as part of our heritage in Sabah.

“Launched in 2019, KeTamu is a LEAP Social initiative to create a space for eco-social equality, Sabahan enterprise, fair trade, sustainable production and consumption, and celebration of innovation encompassing the handmade, the simple and the beautiful,” she shared.

According to Ong, Sabah’s pangolin specialist Elisa Panjang, who is also a doctoral student, will advocate for pangolin conservation in her presentation on Saturday.

LEAP Social is a social enterprise registered under company law in Sabah. It is a sister organisation of LEAP (Land Empowerment Animals People), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

LEAP Social will engage in partnerships that can create sustainable business activities that benefit Sabah. One priority for activity is finding markets for developing products that achieve value-addition for farming and fisheries.

Also present was the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Jamili Nais.