Thursday, 1 April 2010

Corruption taking the bite out of Perhilitan

Corruption taking the bite out of Perhilitan

Mar 29, 10 Malaysiakini

I refer to the letter Tiger battle: Take up call to arms with a roar.

Time and again one reads of so-called legally protected wildlife being either caught in or, illegally traded (laundered) through Malaysia.

Millions of birds and animals have been sent to a cruel death in foreign countries such as China and the United States with Perhilitan making no serious effort to stop it. Why would this be?

According to the prestigious National Geographic magazine it is largely because of corruption within Perhilitan; something of an open secret anyway.

How do the people of Malaysia feel about their country being at the heart of the world's illegal trade in wildlife? Why does the government not take swift action to rid Perhilitan of its corrupt officials? It surely knows by now who they are.

Whatever happened to the five orangutans confiscated last summer? Was anyone prosecuted?

The Malaysian tourism authority, and Sabah's in particular, go to great lengths and a lot of expense to promote themselves as an eco-tourist destination. Unless Perhilitan is held to account soon there will be very little wildlife for anyone to see.

Besides which, the world can now see Malaysia is really a wildlife hell, not haven.

The writer is chief executive, Nature Alert.