Saturday, January 28, 2006

What? Only RM10K fine?

They did it again! I read with dismay the STAR's headline (25 Jan 06), “Good… and Bad”. In Malaysia, if you know how to pull the string, you can do it again and again without serious repercussion! This time a logging contractor's RM10,000 deposit will be forfeited and the company blacklisted. Period. Nothing more than that.

I am sure there were many trees being logged beside this tualang tree. The timber from the huge tualang tree easily fetch more than RM10,000. Our tualang tree is the largest tree in South East Asia. This huge tree can easily be a tourist attraction and it can be constant revenue for the locals. The income will never be ending and it will be many times more than RM10,000! Foreign tourists always admire our huge trees and with the added bee hives, this tree will be an instant ecotourism product!

The bees that helped pollinate the orchards and jungle produces will be affected too. Imagine the enormous amount of livelihood that will be affected. Orang asli and kampung folks will have their incomes reduced – because there are fewer bees to pollinate their fruit trees.

The huge profit from the timber is only a fraction of the fine! After that, the contractor can form a new company and start all over again. There will be more of these illegal logging in Malaysia if there is no stringent law on it. Isn't it time to give the contractor mandatory jail and whipping before our natural heritages are destroyed by greedy contractors?