Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mahouts and the weapon of fear

Have you taken an elephant ride in Thailand or Nepal? If you have then have a second look at the weapon the mahouts used.
In Thailand, from Phuket to Kanchanaburi to Koh Samui, the mahouts used spikes to hit at the elephants. However, in Nepal, the mahouts used only sticks that do not hurt.
Lesson learnt: Are the mahouts from Thailand more cruel? I just love the humble and animal loving people of Nepal.
Nepal 1 vs Thailand 0.
The first 3 photographs showed the mahouts using sticks. Pictures from Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
The stick won't hurt the elephant at all.

Can see the stick clearly.

Both mahouts only carry sticks.

All photographs below were from Thailand. The first one below was from Phuket Zoo and the rest from Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

 No different in a zoo.

Just look at the fearful looking baby elephant's eyes!

This guy using the spike to drag the elephant!

Can you see the old wounds on the head?

The weapon of fear!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On Cameron - Blame They or Blame You

When I was in Bangkok early this year, the florist told me the flowers were from Cameron Highland, Malaysia. Of course I was very surprised that Malaysia was exporting flowers all over the world. And the consequences of that is beginning to show today...... who shall we blame? THEY? The farmers?
If you stop buying flowers for birthdays.
If you stop buying flowers for convocations.
If you stop buying flowers for wreaths.
If you stop buying flowers for garlands.
If you stop buying flowers for prayers.
If you stop buying flowers for decorations.
Only if you stop buying flowers.....then farmers will not be expanding farmland for this lucrative business.
YOU are to blame for the Cameron's catastrophe. No matter where you are, if you support the flower business, then you are supporting environment catastrophe.
I just came back from Nepal. I refused to accept the garland given by the guide when I arrived at Kathmandu. I honestly think I have done my part. Do you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Anti-Lynas 300km march to Parliament (When Government is BLIND)

Photo source from FB @ Himpunan-Hijau-20-Langkah-Lestari
The on-going 14-day, 300km march to Parliament House from Kuantan will instead stop at Dataran Merdeka on 25 November 2012. When the government of the day refuses to listen to logical effect of radioactive material, when corruption is ok, the people have no choice but to march on.....

We support this Himpunan Hijau 2.0: Langkah Lestari. Visit the FB and "like" it.

Your support needed on the evening of 25 November 2012 @ Dataran Merdeka.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elephant Conservation Vs Mass Tourism

The news below prompted me to write.....

It is true that tourists are not coming to Kuala Gandah as the Wildlife Protection Act 2010 was enforced. Elephants are not allowed to entertain tourists - so the law says. It is a strange law in Bolehland. Do you know that there is also a clause in the Wildlife Protection Act 2010 that says Government agencies can "bulldoze" salt licks for development? But salt licks are important for wildlife and especially elephants. Elephants are the flagship of the living ecosystem in jungle as they are able to dig up salt licks for other smaller animals. Its just hypocritical to have law that can destroy salt licks on one hand but on the other its a no-no! It is a noble gesture to prevent elephants from carrying tourists (as they said wildlife are best left in the wild) but then elephants can be playful and some are known to be highly intelligent.
The problem with dangerous elephants arises when the mahouts became stressful and started to torture the elephants. And that was the reason elephants trampled people. In another case, a friend  witnessed an elephant tour that saw two elephants attacking each other because the first elephant was fed with bananas while the second one which the tourist did not purchase for his elephant became angry. This jeolousy caused the elephants to fight although they didn't harm the tourists. It was a frightening experience for the two tourists riding on their backs. Also there are cases where mahouts used iron spikes to hit at their elephants so that the elephants can walk faster because there is a large crowd waiting for their turn to ride. After going many rounds, the elephants became tired but were forced to continue. That was the problem.
Community should be fed inorder for them to appreciate wildlife conservation. If laws are make to victimize rather than to find a win-win solution, then wildlife conservation might not work. Perhilitan should continue with the elephant rides but limit to certain hours. Well trained and tactful mahouts that are passionate with elephants are the solutions for elephant tourism. In the meantime, let see how this conservation issue could become another political issue.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Natural Habitat Gone

Interesting news - "Residential areas in Setapak, Cheras and Jinjang, which were all once oil palm plantations, have been identified as areas frequented by snakes, especially reticulated pythons and cobras, of late"

Threat to natural habitat forcing snakes into KL's residential areas (Star, 5 Sept 12).

While we talk about wildlife coming out of the jungle, we are missing out wild domestic dogs going into forest and eating up the wildlife of Malaysia.

The Forestry and Wildlife just don't bother about this because it has not cause any problem for now. Ten years down the road, when the population of these wild dogs increased, human life may be at risk. And it will be too late to control them.

Its happening in all forest reserves. So people, go into the forest in group or else you may not come out alive. Beware!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Latex timber clone plantations threaten natural forests

August 16, 2012
FMT LETTER: From Malaysian Nature Society, via e-mail

We wish to congratulate Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on the various successes of his administration. You, Sir, have spearheaded the introduction of National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which have been described as among the most effective methods to enhance the performance of the government.

Your Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) initiative with the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) is also commendable and we join others in support of your efforts to lead Malaysia to new heights. The present efforts and noble objectives notwithstanding, we are concerned over the seeming lack of an environment component.

This is despite the widespread acceptance of, and several national policies on sustainable development as the over-arching and guiding principle for our country which stresses on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits.

Malaysia needs urgent and decisive action to address several mounting environmental problems. Protection of our natural heritage needs the same emphasis as economic and human development. This has been enshrined and consistently followed in the previous Malaysia Plans. According to the latest IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 686 plants and 225 animals in Malaysia are at risk of extinction, placing Malaysia third in the list of countries with the largest number of threatened species, behind only Ecuador and the United States.

Charismatic and iconic wildlife species such as the Malayan tiger are disappearing while species previously thought to occur in abundance such as the sambar deer are becoming scarce. The main cause of this decline is undoubtedly the loss of habitats, in particular our tropical rainforest, and poaching. Despite Malaysia’s pledge to retain forest cover at 50% of our land area, there is tremendous pressure to convert these forested areas into other land uses, such as industrial “forest” plantations.

An independent study found that in 2010 the area of natural forest in Malaysia was 14,962,000ha or only 45%. Most of these remaining forests are within forest reserves and protected areas, with remaining state land forests unprotected in any way. The continued loss of natural forest will invariably lead to an increase in human-wildlife conflict, which will be a tricky challenge to tackle.

There is also frequent conversion of the legal status of so-called “permanent reserved forests” into state land forests for subsequent development. These forests are cleared for agriculture, property development or industrial development. Between 2001 and 2005, more than 40,000ha of forest reserves were excised in Peninsular Malaysia alone.

Forest excision or “degazettement” is the prerogative of the respective state governments and they are only required to notify such acts through individual state gazettes after the fact. A sterling exception, however, is the Selangor state government which has made it compulsory to hold public enquiries or open hearings before “degazetting” a forest reserve. In recent years, a new trend has emerged where natural forest is cleared without first excising the forest reserves concerned, followed by the establishment of monoculture plantations of mainly Latex Timber Clone (LTC) rubber trees and oil palm.

According to published Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia statistics, the area within forest reserves planted with LTC increased dramatically from 2,195ha in 2005 to 17,443ha in 2007, with other crops (including palm oil) increasing from 2,673ha to 21,944ha within the same period. This trend is driven by the high price of timber, soft-loans from the federal government and other incentives for the establishment of “forest plantations”.

While we recognise that these plantations do play an important part in the country’s economy, they should not be established at the expense of natural forests but instead should be created on degraded areas and idle land. Additionally, these plantations cannot mimic the diversity and complexity of a natural forest but in fact undermine the wider natural forests and species that live within them.

The root cause for the clearing of forest is the dependence of state governments on a very narrow revenue base, namely exploitation of natural resources and land taxes. This small revenue stream leaves states dependent upon over-extractive and exploitative activities for short-term gains. In today’s globalised economy, such perverse incentives stymie innovation and diversification at the state level and contribute to undermine your wider vision for Malaysia.

Furthermore as seen in Kedah, Johor and in various parts of Sarawak, land clearance of this nature has the added issue of incurring the wrath of local communities, whether they are Orang Asli, Penan, Bidayuhs or Malays. The increased siltation and contamination of the water catchments and the water source itself is a major concern as humans depend on it and it is a major ingredient to life itself. These plantations do not just physically affect the water quality, but also affect the long-term water source as there is continued pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser use which seeps into the soil and thereafter into the water courses.

We thus call on your premiership to walk the talk that you have portrayed to Malaysia by making the ETP more accountable to the people, who will all be affected by the loss of ecosystem services which forests provide. To reduce the further degradation of our natural forest, perhaps it is prudent to consider the following points:
•To freeze all new LTC projects, conduct a stocktaking of the locations of all LTC plantations and identify alternative sites for those slated to be developed inside forest reserves.
•Increase incentives for environmental protection, including protecting forests for their strategic role in water security, flood mitigation, climate, erosion control and biodiversity conservation. This can include a diversion of government revenue earned from visitors to natural areas towards the protection of these sites, to decrease the pressure to exploit them unsustainably (e.g., a portion of the service tax from tourist establishments can be diverted to state funds where their use can be linked to protecting natural areas crucial for tourism development.
•Increase disincentives for extractive industries such as forest clearance and mining (e.g., introducing conservation tax).

This letter is endorsed by the Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme,WWF-Malaysia

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Internet Blackout STOP 114A

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eyesore of Mengkuang Dam circa 2012

We had done a research on the feasibility of enlarging the dam in this blog years ago (check archives). Apparently, the present Pakatan state government just couldn't bother with reasoning. They are more of developing the green hills. Perhaps not to offense the contractors which already been given to the cronies of the federal government. FYI, this project is funded by Federal government. The water authority PBA is chaired by the Chief Minister of Penang. I would believe what CAP and SAM said....that Penang government is not protecting enough of the green of Penang. That is why we believe that the government must be change every two terms. They are destroying our green lungs! But first, we have to bury the corrupt and racist Barisan Najis! Just pity the raping of the north eastern part of Bukit Mertajam.

 July 2012. Earth work to korek, korek, the hill. They are suppose to widen the dam...but how come they korek the hill? Picture taken from the BM tukun trail.

 July 2012. Wide angle of Mengkuang Dam, mainland Penang.

Google Map 2010. No development yet. Check google map in another few years and this patch will not be the same again!

Monday, July 09, 2012

When Forked Tongues rule...

Making a killing from palm oil
July 6, 2012
FMT LETTER: From Sean Whyte, via e-mial

If there was an Olympic event for shooting oneself in the foot the Malaysian palm oil industry would be able to provide any number of contenders. This week saw yet another MPOC public relations debacle. The MPOC released a ‘report’ which 100% contradicts scientific reports, the director of the Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah’s very own Minister for the Environment.

The MPOC’s report claims the palm oil industry does not harm wildlife or rainforests. While on the other hand on 27th January of this year in an article carried in the New Straits Times Sabah Wildlife director Dr Laurentius Ambu cited ‘the conversion of small patches of forests for oil palm planting was the main cause for the decline of the orangutan population in Lower Kinabatangan.’

He was at the same time quoted in The Star saying,”Today, Sabah is considered as being rich in wildlife but in actuality, much has been lost and what we are trying to do today is damage control, which is why we have prepared action plans for keystone species”. He should know.

Speaking at the same Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloquium in January of this year Dr Marc Ancrenaz who has studied orangutans in Sabah for 10 years had this to say following the release of his report showing some 300 orangutans had ‘disappeared’ from Sabah since 2004, “As we speak, more islands of forests are created, more areas are opened, and these are privately owned. These are not protected areas but they do have a lot of orang utans. “Orangutans living in pockets of forests within plantations will not survive (in the long term).”

Prior to that ill-fated and controversial colloquium Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun, no less, said “Sabah is losing her flagship species.” Why?

Last but by no means least Dr Ancrenaz said in November 2011: “If oil palm companies want to contribute to orangutan conservation today, they have the opportunity to do so in the Lower Kinabatangan by stopping what little land conversion they are still planning to do,” he said.

All of which paints a totally different and much darker picture than the rosy one the MPOC would like us to believe. Who do you choose to believe?

In an attempt to seek some clarity and evidence to back up their multitude of imaginative claims I have written to Dr Yusof Basiron, CEO of The Malaysian Palm Oil Council. He has not yet replied.

I have also written to the journalist Alex Singleton. His web site offers advice etc with media issues, so I wanted to know if he was commissioned to write this so-called “investigative” report or was it in fact a sponsored PR project for the MPOC? He has not yet replied.

Just as worrying, given the compelling evidence of palm oil companies destroying endangered species and protected habitat is the total absence of any prosecutions. 300 orangutans killed in eight years and not so much as an arrest let alone a prosecution. Not forgetting countless other ‘protected’ species have also been sacrificed. So why no prosecutions?

According to the MPOC’s article the palm oil industry give “massive” funding to the Sabah Wildlife Department – the people who are supposed to enforce the law but seemingly do not. Might the absence of law enforcement have anything to do with the palm oil industry’s financial muscle? We can only wonder.

Surely a police force, even a wildlife protection one, which accepts large sums of money from anyone even suspected of committing criminal offences, leaves itself wide open to all kinds of allegations does it not? Attempts to solicit answers from the SWD and Minister Masidi Manjun concerning the absence of prosecutions have met with silence. Why? Again, we are left to our own imagination.

I would like to invite the Sabah Wildlife Department’s director Dr Laurentius Ambu to respond to this letter and answer the questions raised about the acceptance of money by the SWD and the apparent absence of prosecutions of anyone connected with palm oil industry or otherwise.

On numerous occasions in the past, I have made clear my own view on palm oil. For those with selective amnesia I repeat it here: I am not opposed to palm oil. But I do oppose with every cell in my body, as do millions of other people, the unsustainable way in which many palm oil companies ruthless and unsustainably conduct their business. And for the record, I do not solicit or receive any public, commercial or government support in any shape or form. I voluntarily do what I do because I care.

I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to go home at the end of the day knowing you are making a living from destroying rainforests and literally millions of irreplaceable animals. I often wonder if people in the palm oil industry have feelings or is market share and profit all that matters to you?

Now we read of the Malaysian palm oil industry’s intention to move into West Africa, home (at the moment) to gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants and many other protected and unique species. What do you think will then happen to the forests and animals of Equatorial Africa?

When all the orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos and other protected species are gone, what will future generations think of those who could have prevented this environmental holocaust, but chose instead to pursue obscene amounts of money.

The point is, you can make money from palm oil without all this reckless and relentless destruction, if you choose to grow and harvest palm oil truly sustainably. Just look at Unilever’s environmental pledge; they know which side their bread is buttered.

The writer is CEO of Nature Alert ….supporting Malaysian NGO’s.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

44 Zoos in Malaysia - a Bolehland record

Imagine 44 zoos in Malaysia and only 1 in Singapore! The mother of all the problems in zoos is corruption. If only we have a transparent and competent government. If only the anti-corruption agency is fearless. If only wildlife personnel do their job well...all zoos would be well kept. Until then, even with strict enforcement and laws, the operators will get away with minimum charges. So for SAM and Foto, just dream on....


Thursday June 28, 2012
Please give two hoots

SOME of the zoos in the country are still in deplorable conditions, according to two non-governmental organisations.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and Friends of the Orangutans (Foto) claimed that many animals were suffering in these zoos due to poor maintenance.

SAM president S.M. Mohamed Idris, who said Malaysia has 44 zoos, which include mini zoos, aviaries and animal parks, claimed that some of them were in disgusting condition.

He said that, in contrast, Singapore has only one zoo which is of world class.

“Due to the lack of enforcement, many animals have suffered over the years at the hands of zoo operators whose main purpose is to make money.

“Zoos must be responsible to keep animals in conditions that satisfy their social behavioural and biological needs. The operators should also meet the standards of health and husbandry welfare of the animals,” Idris told a press conference at the Consumers Association of Penang’s office in Jalan Mesjid Negeri yesterday.

Foto founder Upreshpal Singh said an investigation conducted by the organisation at 15 zoos (including mini zoos, aviaries and animal parks) across Malaysia since July last year revealed that most of them were in terrible state due to lack of maintenance.

He cited as examples an ostrich farm, which had animals that looked sick, and a mini zoo with snakes kept in fish tanks that did not meet their species-specific needs.

Idris and Upreshpal also provided photos taken by SAM and Foto to back their claims. One of them showed ostriches without feathers.

Upreshpal also claimed that there was a theme park where elephants were used for entertainment purposes, with the animals made to draw and their drawings sold for profit.

Both SAM and Foto urged the Wildlife and National Parks De­­part­ment (Perhilitan) to stop issuing licences for new zoos unless existing ones are properly maintained.

Their claims of deplorable conditions at the zoos come as the six-month grace period for zoo operators to comply with requirements of the Wildlife Conservation (Operation of Zoo) Regulations 2012, which was gazetted on Feb 1, is about to expire.

The new law requires zoos and animal parks to adhere to minimum cage sizes, which are specified according to various animal groups; to have a quarantine area and a veterinary clinic or hospital; and to employ a full-time veterinarian.

Other requirements are to provide vaccination of animals by a veterinarian or anyone under his supervision, to ensure the cleanliness of the facility and that wildlife shows can only be conducted if it involved the animals’ natural behaviours.

Operators who contravene these provisions are liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or/and a prison term not exceeding five years.

It was reported on May 16 that Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, which mistreat animals, would not be allowed to operate under the new guidelines to be enforced from August.

He had said that zoos that flouted the regulations would be denied a licence at the end of the six-month grace period.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Story of Two Pandas

Year 2020: According to news report, two pandas from China will be on loan to Bolehland for 10 years for a sum of RM20m. Wow that's alot of buta money for China who is famous for eating exotic wildlife and animal cruelty. The report mentioned about the initiative by the 1Bolehland government to name the two young pandas. It was said that the name Altantuya and Bersih were selected by the public. A little bird was sent to China to eavesdrop the pandas. Their conversation here...

Altantuya: Bersih bro, do you know that we are going to Bolehland for a long holiday?

Bersih: Sis, how do you know?

Altantuya: I overheard Ah Jib discussing with Ah Mah. They said they will be coming to Bolehland too to take care of us.

Bersih: Sis Altantuya, I am very scarce to go to Bolehland because in Bolehland everything also can. Long time ago the Australia gave several kangaroos and they die after sometime in the Penang Botanic Gardens. There was a mini zoo in Penang Botanic Gardens and all the animals eventually die. So how huh? We are going to die in Bolehland?

Altantuya: Yeah I also heard that there are many zoos that don't really take care of the animals. Many of the animals were under fed and some even tortured. The primate zoo in Perlis was very bad, all the monkeys were so miserable and sad. But I think this time we only eat bamboo. As the workers don't eat bamboo mah so they can't curi our food hehehe...

Bersih: How to stay in Bolehland.... so hot?

Altantuya: Don't worry, we will be given air-cond room lah.

Bersih: What? Air-cond? I prefer fresh air than the suffy air.

Altantuya: Don't worry, we will be treated like king and queen. They paid RM20m for our long holiday and so i think they will take care of us!

Bersih: What? They want us to be King and Queen....want us to f**k to produce babies? How can lah? We are brother and sister only mah!

Altantuya: In Bolehland, everything also can. The rakyat in Bolehland said they don't need sex anymore because the government of Bolehland f**k them everyday!

Bersih: Wah, so syiok one! Quick, quick, i want to go Bolehland and get f**k everyday too!

Altantuya: Gatal ke?

------------news report below-----------

A plea for the Pandas
June 15, 2012
FMT LETTER: From Shenaaz Khan, via e-mail

China’s much publicised loaning of two Giant pandas to Malaysia is hardly an event to be received with rousing merriment. The exercise is in equal measure preposterous and superfluous and is unworthy of festive fireworks.

In an atmosphere of economic imbecility and political pandering, the Malaysian government has come up with the kind of inane idea that exemplifies its governing greatness. Their little reform agendas now include Giant pandas. Under the greedy guise of conservation, two Giant pandas are to bear the burden of bridging diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia.

How this is to be achieved is beyond baffling. But it yet again illustrates a blatant manifestation of Malaysia’s institutional pattern of exploiting animals to serve selfish human interests. To assume otherwise is grossly foolish.

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Koh Tsu Koon has reportedly said that China’s gesture in lending a pair of pandas shows that it recognises Malaysia as a special country. Yes, Malaysia’s specialities include licensing countless zoos to abuse animals for human fortunes.

Malaysian zoos have for years abused and neglected their animals with complete legal immunity despite legislated codes of animal welfare clearly not being adhered to. Their registry of crimes include drugging tigers for photo taking sessions, forcing elephants to ride tricycles, cramping orangutans into runty cages and trafficking totally protected wildlife!

Zoos such as Taiping zoo, Danga Bay and A’Famosa, are fairly representative examples of these atrocious zoos and are in clear conflict of conservation. Nonetheless, the Malaysian government has habitually dedicated itself to ignoring and facilitating animal abuse as animal welfare and conservation have never been on the forefront of their political consciousness.

Hence, it is incredulous to imagine Malaysia being chosen for a conservation effort given its hideous track record. This whole panda loaning scheme has also made apparent the very deep pockets of the Malaysian government. While they feign financial frugality, they are ever ready to take on the colossal technical and architectural tasks necessary to house the pandas.

Malaysia’s decision to spend obscene amounts of money bringing in a non-native species for a decade long visit is further appalling given its complete and absolute disregard for its very own Malayan Sun bear. The Malayan sun bears are routinely orphaned and victimised by habitat loss from excessive logging, poaching for bear products and surging demand in the pet and zoo trade.

Amongst other conservation efforts, the 20 million ringgit could well be spent on saving the endangered Malayan Sun bear. Yet, the Malaysian government is not concerned in conserving them for they would serve no value to capital investments in China’s economic empire.

While I do not begrudge Malaysia the industrious opportunities China has to offer in trade and commerce, it is important to underscore here that China is the leading capital of animal abuse, illegal wildlife trade and wild meat consumption.

Across the world, elephant numbers are dwindling owing to China’s ruthless demand for ivory. China also remains the primary consumer of traditional Chinese medicine and wild meat, the two commodities driving the illegal wildlife trade and pushing many endangered species to near extinction.

And while China hands out pairs of pandas to various countries, their own horrific fur and bear bile farms kill, maim and brutalise bears every single day! Across China, bears are kept in cramped cages, their gall bladders implanted with metal catheters and their bodies clamped down with metal grilles to enable the extraction of their bile!

Their catalogue of abuses is endless! Therefore, like Stalin and Hitler advocating human rights, it is a complete travesty that the Malaysian and Chinese regimes should engage on conservation efforts given their respective reputations for animal cruelty.

Let us not be fooled by this farce! These pandas have been ripped from their homes, held hostage by their man masters and have now been pimped for profit! It is indeed a shameful day in Malaysian history as we have allowed pandas to be pawned for pungent political pursuits!

The writer is president of the Malaysian Animal Welfare Society
Source here

More stories here and here

Monday, June 11, 2012

You can't trust politicians - Bob Geldof

Today I read an interesting piece of news (news below). I would like to give an example of our natural environment, a salt lick. Meranto Salt Lick was destroyed by a Felda plantation. The Jeli-Gua Musang highway is less than 50 metres from the salt lick. Salt lick is an important component for the survival of wildlife. And the Laws of Malaysia, Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) of Chapter 4, Section 85 on Disturbing salt lick or its vicinity, clearly spell out the protection...BUT..upon reading further in that Section 85, I found some clauses that have no genuine interest of wildlife at all. If the offence by government then its ok to destroy salt lick. Bob Geldof is quite right!

 A local pointing to the destroyed Meranto Salt Lick

You can't trust politicians. It doesn't matter who makes a political speech. It's all lies - and it applies to any rock star who wants to make a political speech as well. - Bob Geldof

Laws of Malaysia, Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) of Chapter 4,
Section 85. Disturbing salt lick or its vicinity

(1) Save as otherwise provided in this section, any person who disturbs-
(a) any salt lick; or
(b) the land in the immediate vicinity of any salt lick, which land if disturbed would render the salt lick unattractive or unsafe to any wildlife,
commits an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "disturb" includes to remove or agitate any soil, mineral, water, tree, shrubs, undergrowth or other vegetation in or on the salt lick or in or on the land in the immediate vicinity of the salt lick.
(3) This section shall not apply to-
(a) the Federal Government; or
(b) any State Government,
acting, as the case may require, in pursuance of any rural development scheme, urban development scheme, forestry management scheme or industrial undertaking.

-------read news below------

Monday June 11, 2012
DPM: Malaysia to protect environment while pursuing development

YEOSU (South Korea): Malaysia has assured that it would never sacrifice its natural environment, which is well-endowed with flora and fauna, in its eagerness to become a developed country.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government had taken various measures to protect the national treasures, including introducing laws and policies on conservation of the environment and biodiversity.

"We have also required states in the country which have jurisdiction over land and flora and fauna to undertake housing and industrial development without harming the environment," he told Malaysian journalists after launching Malaysia Day and visiting the Malaysian Pavilion at the Expo 2012 Yeosu on Monday.

Also present were his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, Malaysian Ambassador to South Korea Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim and Expo 2012 Yeosu Committee chairman Kang Dong-suk.

"The demand for development is always there, the demand for land utilisation in plantation areas is always there, but there must be a balance between development and conservation of the environment.

"This is the responsibility of not only the ministries and the Government but also the states," he said.

"In our eagerness to become a developed country, Malaysia will not sacrifice the environmental treasure we have," he said.

He said the Government was committed to ensuring that at least 50% of the country remained environmentally green as agreed upon at the Rio Earth Summit 1992.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said it was also important to educate the young to enable them realise the importance of protecting the environment.

"We know that there is lack of proper conservation of the environment in some places in Malaysia and this has to be attended to not only by the ministry and the Government but also society," he said.

Commenting on the country's participation in the three-month expo, which will end on Aug 12, he said it helped Malaysia to display its rich biodiversity and culture and the Government's efforts to protect the environment. - Bernama

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Wildlife laws vs Animal Welfare Bill

Shooting of stray dogs and other animals will be banned if the proposed Animal Welfare Bill is passed with all the suggestions intact (Star, 9 Jun 2012). So those canine and pussy lovers should be happy today!

Interesting news today on ‘Inhumane act’ to domestic animals but lets compare the Wildlife Acts on cruelty to wildlife....after reading the proposal on the 'Inhumane act' vs the 'Wildlife act', we could roughly presume that killing a tiger and killing a dog sama-sama saja. If this 'Inhumane act' is justified, then 'Wildlife act' should be amended, if not how can killing a tiger = killing a dog? 

Read the Wildlife act below.....

Under Section 86 of  Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716), Laws of Malaysia on Cruelty to wildlife it says
(1) Save as otherwise provided in this section, any person who-
(a) beats, kicks, infuriates, terrifies, tortures, declaws or defangs any wildlife;
(b) neglects to supply sufficient food or water to any wildlife which he houses, confines or breeds;
(c) keeps, houses, confines or breeds any wildlife in such manner so as to cause it unnecessary pain or suffering including the housing, confining or breeding of any wildlife in any premises which is not suitable for or conducive to the comfort or health of the wildlife;
(d) uses any wildlife for performing or assisting in the performance of any work or labour which by reason of any infirmity, wound, disease or any other incapacity it is unfit to perform;
(e) uses, provokes or infuriates any wildlife for the purpose of baiting it or for fighting with any other wildlife or animal, or manages any premises or place for any of these purposes; or
(f) wilfully does or wilfully omits to do anything which causes any unnecessary suffering, pain or discomfort to any wildlife,

commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.

(2) This section shall not apply to any person who wounds any wildlife in the course of lawfully hunting it under this Act.

Now read the news on dogs and cats....

June 9, 2012
‘Inhumane act’ may be banned

PUTRAJAYA: Shooting of stray dogs and other animals will be banned if the proposed Animal Welfare Bill is passed with all the suggestions intact.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said shooting was “an inhumane act” and there had been too many complaints over the mistreatment of stray dogs.

“Generally, the ministry does not condone nor support such acts,” he said. “However, there is a need to include a clause in the Bill for exceptions, such as in an emergency or for disease control,” he said in an interview.

Banning the shooting of animals is one of several proposals under the Bill, which Chua described as “a stepping stone to strengthen the welfare and protection of animals”.

He said the ministry would hold an Open Day on June 19 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang to gather feedback from the public, NGOs and other stakeholders on how best to improve the Bill.

“Aside from imposing fines and jail terms for offences related to animal welfare, we are also looking into introducing deterrent measures in the Bill,” he said.

“These include disqualifying a person from keeping pets to prevent the offence from being repeated.”

Chua said the Bill would cover all animals, including domesticated pets, livestock and zoo animals.

“Part of the Bill also outlines the responsibility of pet owners. This is subject to debate and as such, we welcome suggestions from the public at the Open Day,” he said.

So as to have a closer working relationship with the public on the issue, Chua said the Bill would also allow people to assist the ministry's officers in eradicating animal cruelty.

“They will not have the same powers and jurisdiction as the officers but they can keep an eye on behalf of the ministry,” he said.

Chua said the Bill would be ready for tabling only after obtaining clarification from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

“However, while waiting for the Bill to be ready, the existing Animal Act 1953 will be amended to impose heavier penalties for animal cruelty,” he said, adding that the ministry hoped to table these changes this year.

Soon, those found guilty could be fined up to RM50,000, a year's jail term, or both. Currently, the maximum fine is RM200, a jail term of not more than six months, or both.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is MB Lying or Ignorant?

We know Penang sourced her water from Sg Muda. But do you know that there are many catchment areas - from Muda Dam to Baling and even Gunung Bintang (Sg Sedim). Look at the topo map here and understand the flow from different rivers to Sg Muda. After going through the map, tell me whether this MB is lying or pure ignorant!
Read the story below...
Observe the blue lines....the rivers flowing toward Sg Muda

Tuesday May 29, 2012
Kedah MB: Water catchment areas not affected by logging

JITRA: Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak on Tuesday defended the logging activities taking place in Baling forests saying water catchment areas were not affected.

He said the Kedah Forestry Department had made it a condition that the water catchment areas should not be affected in issuing logging concessions.

He told this to reporters after handing over land ownership titles to settlers of Felda Bukit Tangga here.

He was responding to allegations by Kedah Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah that the logging activities impacted water catchment areas.

Ahmad Bashah had made the claims at a press conference on Sunday.

On Friday, some 300 Umno Youth and Puteri Umno members from the Baling Umno division had staged a peaceful demonsration to protest the PAS-led Kedah's government move to allow the logging activities, claiming that waterways there had become polluted because of it.

On this, Azizan said tests carried out by the Kedah Drainage and Irrigation showed the claims were not true. - Bernama

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Tigers and Two Leopards

It was reported today that Thai cops seize carcasses of 2 tigers and 2 leopards from Malaysia. Of all places, it was not seized at the Malaysia-Thai border but in Bangkok! So how can such huge wildlife slipped through the many Malaysian border checks - police, custom, immigration and army? If you ever go to Thailand entering around Sadao, Thailand you will be irritated with so many border checks. But how these carcasses in ice boxes could passed through the border? You tell me.

According to the report, the suspects were a local Thai and a Vietnamese caught at Kannayao area. Initial investigations by Thai cops revealed that the carcasses were destined for the China market, via Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The Thai cop said the carcasses were smuggled from Malaysia through Sadao in Songkhla and each tiger could fetch RM70,000.

Big money involved big players. So long as corrupt officers are in the take there will be more poaching in the jungle of Malaysia. Today, the jungle transversing Ulu Muda Forest Reserve and Belum-Temengor complex has 2 tigers and 2 leopards lesser. Who cares!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Black & White - The true colors of Panda

The WWF is the largest environmental protection organisation in the world. Trust in its green projects is almost limitless. With rousing campaigns, the WWF directly targets the conscience of its donors -- everyone should do their part to save endangered species, the climate and/or the rainforest. The WWF was founded 50 years ago, on September 11, 1961. Today it is the most influential lobby group for the environment in the world, thanks largely to its excellent contacts in both the political and industrial spheres and to its ability to walk a constant tightrope between commitment and venality. A year in the making, this film will dispel the green image of the WWF however. Behind the organisation's eco-facade, the Film uncovered explosive stories from all around the world. This documentary seeks to reveal the secrets of the WWF. It is a journey into the heart of the green empire and may shatter public faith in the panda forever.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Understanding the Lynas Rare Earth Plant in 13 questions..

Seems like so much risk, so little benefit... why do we still want it?

Q1: What is rare earth (RE)?
Rare earth (RE) is just a metal, as ordinary as other metals like iron, silver and gold. The difference between them is we don’t encounter RE in daily life, e.g. you don’t wear RE bracelets, you don’t build the bridge with RE. It’s precious, valuable and essential for many high-tech industries.

Q2: Who is LYNAS?
LYNAS is the owner of the RE Mine and Gebeng plant, incorporated and listed in Australia . LYNAS (M) Sdn. Bhd is wholly owned by LYNAS Inc.

Q3: Where does the RE come from? What is it like?
Like other metals, RE is found in ore (rock) in West Australia . The ore is mined, cleaned and crushed into sand or powder form, before being shipped to Kuantan. The journey is about 5,000 km. The size of a single grain of powder can be 100 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair.

Q4: Why do they take the RE from Australia and process it here?
The official statement said that Australia cannot provide high-skilled manpower, and that Australia cannot supply enough water, acids and natural gas to process RE.

Q5: What do we get in terms of income?
Malaysia has offered 12 years tax break to LYNAS, which means they do not pay us anything during the first 12 years of operation. Eventually, all revenue generated here will probably be channeled back to the LYNAS Inc. shareholders in Australia , and not to LYNAS (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Q6: What do we get in terms of job opportunities?
Only a total of 350 employees are needed, including expatriate, skilled and unskilled workers. The number of employees in a mid-size supermarket is greater than this.

Q7: What do we get in terms of new world-class technology?
Malaysia is not a traditional, major RE-producing country. Transferring RE processing knowledge to Malaysia does not considerably benefit the country and its people.

Q8: So, what actually do we get?
Save the “Jobs created, new technology and sales revenue of chemicals, water and natural gas”, strictly speaking, in the first 12 years – Nothing! Except large quantities of waste. To be more precise, 500 cubic meters/hour of waste water, 100,000 cubic meters/hour of waste gas and 280,000 tonnes/year of solid waste.

Q9: Is RE dangerous?
Most RE metals are harmless, but in natural ore. RE is normally mixed with the radioactive substances. During the separation process, valuable RE is extracted and exported to US, Europe and Japan, leaving behind harmful substances in Kuantan.

Q10: How dangerous is it?
The radioactive substances release radiation and two major toxic materials – radon gas and lead. Radon is a colorless, odorless toxic gas. When it gets into the human body through inhalation, it can damage cells and cause cancer. As for lead, many years ago petrol gas been changed from leaded to unleaded, as we didn’t want lead to be released to the air through our car exhaust. Lead can harm the nervous system, and cause brain and blood diseases. In short, two key hazards can be found in Gebeng RE plant - the Radiation and the Toxic Materials.

Q11: Where and when can the radiation, radon and lead be found?
The RE raw material (in powder or sand form) arrives at the Kuantan port, then gets transported to Gebeng by truck, where it is unloaded, transferred and processed. Waste gas from chimneys, the waste water disposed into the Balok River , the solid wastes that are stored in Gebeng - possibly in all of the above we can find the radioactive substances, which can emit radiation, radon and lead, wherever and whenever they are present.

Q12: Mr. A lives in Balok, 3km from Gebeng. Mr. B lives in Kuantan, 30km from Gebeng. Mr. C lives in KL, 300km from Gebeng. Can the radioactive materials endanger them?
In short, the answer is NO for all of them if they stay more than 100 metres away from radioactive materials. But, the answer is YES for all three if they consumed these harmful substances, even if they stay hundreds of kilometres away. WHY? The radiation emitted in Gebeng doesn’t travel long distance to harm us, hence if you stand a short distance away from the materials without consuming it, all you will get is a slight radiation. Radon gas and lead in general do not affect our body externally, as we are protected by our skin. However, if these radioactive materials contaminate the solid waste, waste water and waste gas, they will be released to the atmosphere, water streams and eventually the food chain. Once the radioactive materials enter the human body via inhalation, ingestion and wound penetration, the radiation, radon and lead will be released inside the body and these can cause very serious consequences.

Q13: Why did they say that it is safe ? Why did they say that the radioactivity is low? Who should I listen to?
You decide who you should listen to! It’s your life, it’s your family, it’s your home. See above to understand why they said the radioactivity is low. The media, authorities and LYNAS have failed to report the consequences of consuming radioactive materials

*The questions were answered by Dr. Lee Chee Hong, Chemical Engineering Expert on Metals.*

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We are frustrated too...

An interesting email by a frustrated CEO of Nature Alert. We are frustrated too. The gaharu issue in Penang is never ending. We just stumble upon a gaharu camp few days ago in the catchment area of upper Botanic Gardens, Penang. We decided not to report. We have lost hope of any action to be taken even if we have reported. This time it is in the Penang Water authority's jurisdiction. The last time when we reported the issue in Bkt Mertajam in Jan 2009, more trees were cut when visited the area again within 2 weeks. This is how fast they would act if they make a gain. So, by not reporting, at least the illegals will be doing it with caution. Yes, when they saw us, they cabut. If you report, trees will be chopped anyway. The authority won't get any buta kopi and our forest continues to be poached but at least we are not making some people richer. Picture of the gaharu camp taken on 11 Apr 2012.

Will Perhilitan ever turn over a new leaf?
April 12, 2012

FMT LETTER, From Sean Whyte, via e-mail

During the past twelve months we have filed over 30 illustrated reports with the NRE and Perhilitan, detailing illegal wildlife trading and cruelty to animals in zoos. Most remain uninvestigated.

The good news is, in some of the worst cases Perhilitan has acted against zoos such as Johor and Saleng by confiscating animals and in the case of Saleng closing down the zoo – not before time.

None of which would have happened without massive public pressure being exerted on Perhilitan. Mind you, Perhilitan still show great affection and leniency towards A’famosa, the golf resort-cum-zoo which, inflicted over a period of some 12 months some of the worst cruelty on orangutans we have ever seen.

The bad news is, Perhilitan rarely prosecutes anyone for anything. We have first-hand reports of offenders paying regional Perhilitan officers not to prosecute them, but back at head office no one wants to know.

We see and report on protected species of wildlife openly on sale in pet shops. Perhilitan does nothing.

We report such issues directly to minister Douglas Embas and as far as we know and all the evidence suggests, he does nothing about them either.

We even report the NRE and Perhilitan to MACC. They make promises on which they never, ever, deliver. So much for an anti-corruption office.

Despite repeated requests from a myriad of NGO’s, the minister, NRE and Perhilitan all still refuse to answer probing but entirely legitimate questions over their handling of the case against Anson Wong. Rightly or wrongly, but it’s hard to imagine any other motive, their silence implies they have something they want to hide. They appear to think by saying nothing, their critics will go away; they could not be more wrong.

Prime Minister Najib is aware of all this but chooses to turn both a blind eye and a deaf ear to it.

Nowadays we copy all our reports concerning illegal wildlife on sale in Malaysia, to Interpol, the international police agency. It’s only a question of time before whoever in Malaysian government is protecting Anson Wong and his cohorts, feels the long arm of the law when he or she travels through another country. That day can’t come soon enough.

Sean Whyte is the CEO of Nature Alert

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Washing Machine is Polluting Our Waters!

Look like our earth will be doomed as every household has one washing machine. Our clothes especially from the cheap china made fabrics are mostly recycled from "plastics". Right here in Penang, there are many cottage industries breaking up recycled plastic into fibers for export to China. And this is how we are actually wearing plastics! And these plastics eventually get washed down into the sewage system and out into the mighty oceans.
Read the frightening article below:-

How Your Washing Machine is Polluting The Oceans
by Paul Canning

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has found that washing machines are a major source of microplastic pollution in the oceans.

Bits of plastic contain potentially harmful ingredients which go into the bodies of animals and could be transferred to people who consume fish. Ingested microplastic can transfer and persist into their cells for months.

The scientists, led by Mark Anthony Browne, a biologist with University College in Dublin, looked for microplastic contamination along 18 coasts around the world and tracked down its likely source.

Much of the clothing people wear today is made with polyester, acrylic, rayon and various other synthetic textile materials. The scientists found that more than 1,900 fibers can rinse off of a single garment during a wash cycle, and these fibers look just like the microplastic debris they found on shorelines.

The authors suggest two possible solutions:

· Washing machine manufacturers should look at ways to reduce the release of fibers into wastewater.

· Research into methods for removing microplastic from sewage.

Another solution is to promote clothing made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, wool, silk and hemp.

Watch AlJazeera report:

Read more:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Anti Lynas Campaign - go do your bit for our future generations


Petition to be sent to the politicians of Australia calling them to ban the export of rare earth by Lynas Corporations to Kuantan, Malaysia.

Bukit Merah's Asian Rare Earth is a lesson learned where our f**king authority has that "tidak apa" mentality. Corruption and rasuah are more important then the rakyat.

Some information on Lynas which will not be published in the local news media.

Rare Earths are used in our iphones, laptops, flat screen TVs and wind turbines, but have you considered what the process involves to extract rare earths? Did you know there is potentially a radioactive fallout from rare earth processing?

Australian corporation Lynas wants to export rare earth from Fremantle, Western Australia to Gebeng, Kuantan in Malaysia to process the ore. But the proposed Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) has been imposed on local communities in Kuantan without their consent.

Touted as the largest rare earth refinery, the LAMP will use 720 tons of concentrated Hydrochloride Acid (sulphuric acid) per day and leave behind 28,000 tonnes of solid waste per year, enough to fill 126 olympic size swimming pools. A by-product of this waste is radioactive Thorium (Th) which is dangerous to human health.

There are approximately 700,000 people living within 30 km from the LAMP and it is located near coastal tourist resorts and an environmentally sensitive fishery area. Construction of the plant has begun in secrecy and ahead of proper environmental and waste management plan.

We are calling for Malaysian and Australian citizens, environmentalists, unionists, health professionals, business people and politicians to get behind the Stop Lynas! Campaign and stop Lynas Corporation from proceeding with their rare earth plant (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant-LAMP) in Gebeng, Kuantan.

"Malaysians are not against new, green technology that rare earth material supports. We just ask for these technology to be clean from cradle to grave, particularly when you are processing it in someone else's backyard."

Take Action! Stop Lynas! Sign HERE

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best Joke from Penang Forestry Department

The gaharu tree that was chopped in Botanic Gardens. Pix taken on 14 Feb 2012

If you want to catch gaharu thieves then announce it to the world.
I think this is more for publicity than to truly solve the problem.
The teams may as well cart away the felled trees themselves.....

February 25, 2012
Dept forms two teams to hunt gaharu thieves

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Forestry Department has formed two teams to investigate those responsible for felling gaharu (agarwood) trees in forest reserves.

Its director Abdul Wahab Deraman said his personnel would camp overnight at the hotspots to catch them under Ops Jejak Karas.

“We have also set up a 24-hour operation room on the island (04-8262716) and on the mainland (04-5932431) for the public to tip us off,” he told a press conference here.

He said the 20 trees that were felled at Gambier Hill near Island Park were actually of the Camphor and Garcinia species and were on private land.

He was referring to report in The Star on Thursday that the 20 trees felled at the location include those of gaharu (agarwood) species.

On Feb 12, Sunday Star reported that syndicates were believed to be felling the gaharu trees in the rainforest on the island.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Anson Wong - culmination of chronic failures in prosecution and investigation

Friday February 24, 2012 MYT 1:37:00 PM
Jail term cut for wildlife trader Anson Wong condemned

PETALING JAYA: Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic has condemned the decision to allow convicted wildlife trader Anson Wong to walk free, calling it a “culmination of chronic failures in prosecution and investigation”.

Its South-east Asia regional director Dr William Schaedla said the prosecution had failed to produce any new charges or evidence in the past year and a half despite claming further investigations were part of its strategy.

He pointed out that Wong's laptop and mobile phones, confiscated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), should have provided the prosecution insight into his international wildlife trade dealings.

“There is no indication that Wong's business contacts or associations were ever investigated,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Wong, who was convicted on Sept 6 last year of illegally exporting boa constrictors by the Sepang Sessions Court, was initially sentenced to six months jail and fined RM190,000.

Heated protests by non-governmental organisations and the public resulted in the High Court's decision to extend his jail term to five years.

However, the Court of Appeal through a three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Wira Low Hop Bing, agreed on Wednesday to reduce Wong's jail term from five years to 17 months and 15 days.

Dr Schaedla also refuted Justice Low's statement that Wong, 54, was a first-time offender, pointing out that he was previously sentenced to 71 months jail and fined US$60,000 (RM180,629) for money laundering linked to wildlife trade in the United States.

“It beggars belief that no effort was made to introduce these prior infractions in the context of the present case,” he said, adding that Wong was also reported compounded for a previous permit violation here.

Dr Schaedla said it now fell to the the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to ensure Wong's licenses remain revoked so he would be unable to trade in any wildlife.

He said Malaysia's push for better laws and enforcement were useless if these were how wildlife cases were treated and warned that this would have long-term impact on the fight against wildlife crime.

“Traffickers will simply work small fines and short jail stays into their calculations as a cost of business. Frontline authorities who put their lives at risk catching these criminals will be defeated in their efforts,” he said.