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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Dear Caring Malaysians,


Sunday, 26th Feb 2012 , 6.00pm

Speakers Square

Padang Kota Lama (Esplanade)


Concerned citizens and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Penang will hold an event to show our support to the people of Kuantan in their 3rd year fight to stop the Lynas factory from producing radioactive wastes to poison our land and our people.

Pollutants and radioactive waste once leaked into the soil, water and air will quickly spread throughout our country. A poisoned Kuantan will mean a poisoned Penang.

People from all walks of life have the right to be informed of the danger. They have the right to take part to protect the natural environment, their health and their livelihood.

The Penang event is part of the nation wide solidarity campaign on 26th February.


Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang and Kota Kinabalu

For more info, visit:

In solidarity with Himpunan Hijau 2.0: Langkah Lestari in Kuantan

Please forward & Share, Thanks!

Event co-organizers:

People's Green Coalition

Green Voters Penang

Coalitions of Good Governance Penang

Suaram Penang

Sembang-sembang Forum

For enquiries:

Lee Hui Fei
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Penang Branch Coordinator,
63B-01-07, University Heights,
Jalan Sungai Dua,
11700 Penang.
Tel: +6 04-6582285


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2 Stories - Anson Wong Freed & Iman threw shoes at Judges

Wednesday February 22, 2012
Wildlife trader Anson Wong freed after court reduces jail term

PUTRAJAYA: International wildlife trader Anson Wong Keng Liang walked out a free man Wednesday after the Court of Appeal here allowed his appeal to reduce the jail sentence imposed on him for illegally exporting boa constrictor snakes without a permit.

Justice Datuk Wira Low Hop Bing, chairing a three-member panel, reduced Wong's jail term from five years to 17-and-a-half months.

The panel, also comprising Court of Appeal judges Datuk K.N. Segara and Datuk Azahar Mohamed, held that the 17 months and 15 days jail term, which Wong had served from Sept 7, 2010 until Wednesday would serve the interests of justice.

The court allowed Wong's appeal to set aside a Shah Alam High Court's decision in enhancing his jail term from six months imposed by the Magistrate's Court on him to five years jail.

"The appellant (Wong) would walk out this court today a free man in view of the custodial sentence he served," said Justice Low.

Justice Low said the High Court in enhancing the jail term on Wong, had erroneously considered certain facts such as the squeezing of the 95 boa constrictor snakes into a small bag, thereby torturing the snakes.

He said the High Court judge had also erroneously considered two venomous rhinocerous viper snakes (found in Wong's bag) but were not stated in the charge against Wong and also the fact that Wong was greedy in profit making.

Low said the charge against Wong was one of exporting the 95 boa constrictor snakes without a permit, therefore any other considerations would be outside the ambit of the charge which warranted the Court of Appeal's intervention.

He said the High Court did not make any reference to Wong's guilty plea.

"It is trite law that Wong's plea of guilt is a mitigating factor. It is trite law that the fact Wong was the first offender is another mitigating factor," he said.

The panel also affirmed the High Court's decision in setting aside the RM190,000 fine imposed on Wong by the Sepang Sessions Court as it was beyond the ceiling of RM10,000 which the Sessions Court could legally impose.

On Jan 24 last year, the 53-year-old trader obtained leave from the Court of Appeal to appeal against the decision of the High Court on Nov 4 last year which had enhanced his jail term from six months to five years.

On Sept 6, last year, the Sepang Magistrate's Court sentenced Wong to six months' jail and fined him RM190,000 after the Penangite pleaded guilty to illegally exporting the endangered species without a permit at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang at 8.50pm on Aug 26, last year.

Wong was in KLIA on transit from Penang to Jakarta when the snakes were found in his suitcase.

The High Court imposed the five-year jail term on Wong after allowing the prosecution's appeal for a heavier sentence. The court, however, set aside the RM190,000 fine.

Wong was represented by lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah while Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup appeared for the prosecution. - Bernama


Malaysia: Angry Imam threw his shoes at Three Senior Judges at the Federal Court

An imam threw his shoes at three senior judges in the country’s highest court today after they struck out his bid to challenge an eviction order from a city mosque here four years ago.

Hoslan Hussin, 46, stunned the judges, lawyers and members of the public that packed a courtroom at the Federal Court this morning when he stood up, took off both his shoes and lobbed the pair right at the Bench.

Even more astounding perhaps was that the three-man Bench, chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya, Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, let the imam go without a fuss. They could have cited him for contempt of court. The judges were embarrassed.
“The courts have failed to uphold justice,” he told.
“I am an Imam. How can I keep quiet? I threw my shoes because I could no longer stand it. How can an Imam keep quiet when he sees injustice being done? I am not a coward,” he said.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Curi-curi Gaharu Again - a mockery of CAT

Today after watching the youtube (below), I came to know that Penang CM only knew about this now. So what happen to the past few years when the illegal chopping was first reported in this blog? It seems after the reports and exhange of email to YB Phee Boon Poh which he subsequently forwarded to Forestry Department for immediate action, the illegal felling became more widespread. Infact after the first report (Link HERE) in Tukun, BM, more felling was seen 2 weeks later. Is there a corruption in the Forestry? Hello, where is the CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) the state government so talked about??

February 12, 2012
Smaller trees carted away whole

A 10ml tube of agarwood oil, which is used as medicine and perfume, is priced at RM140. It is in high demand in countries such as the Middle East.

Gurdial added that he had noticed remnants of the chopped up gaharu trees in the forest at the Gardens since November last year, with the biggest tree felled measuring more than 1m in diametre.

“The thinner, smaller trees, which are less than 30cm in diametre, are quite light and can be carted away easily,” he said, adding that he has not encountered anyone cutting up the trees.

State Forestry Department director Shah Rani Ahmad Zailan urged those with information to alert the department.

“But if the activities are happening on private land, it is beyond our jurisdiction. We can only advise the land owner to lodge a report with the police,” he said.

State Botanic Gardens department assistant director Salasiah Yusop said security in the garden vicinity had been stepped up.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environmental Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state was aware of the illegal harvesting of agarwood.

“We have to control this abuse with new strategies. We have to get the police involved, and if needed, even the army,” he said in an interview.

Phee added that the syndicates were also believed to be felling trees at Cherok Tokun in Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Panchor in Nibong Tebal as well as at the border between Kedah and Penang.

“Now they are targeting Pulau Jerejak and the Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang.

“We have made headway in our investigations, made an arrest and have submitted the papers to the deputy public prosecutor to charge those responsible in court soon,” he said, declining to elaborate on the arrest.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tiger skins and elephant tusks seized

February 11, 2012

PETALING JAYA: Tiger skins and elephant ivory tusks were among wildlife parts seized by the Wildlife and Natural Parks Department (Perhilitan) in a successful bust.

A team of 12 Perhilitan officers from Kedah raided two houses in Mukim Tokai, Pendang, and Kota Sarang Semut, Kota Setar at around 3.15am yesterday.

The team seized eight tiger skins, nine elephant ivory tusks, 22 plastic bags suspected to be filled with wildlife bones and a tusk suspected to be from a barking deer.

“The seized items were taken from an unnumbered house in Lot 30, Kampung Sungai Dedap, Kota Sarang Semut in Kota Setar,” Perhilitan said in a statement.

It warned that the act of keeping wildlife parts was illegal and offenders could be prosecuted under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

“Owning tiger skins, elephant ivory tusks and wildlife bones without a permit is illegal and offenders can be fined up to RM100,000, jailed up to three years or both for each offence,” it said.

Perhilitan said a male suspect had been detained and remanded at the Kota Setar police station for further investigation.

Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic hailed the bust as very significant.

“It is shocking to learn he had in his possession all these parts from protected animals.

“Further investigation to determine where these items were obtained from and who else was involved is crucial,” said Traffic South-East Asia senior programme officer Kanitha Krishnasamy.

She said the arrest of this individual with nine ivory pieces was an excellent opportunity for intelligence-led investigations to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.

Malaysia has seized more than six tonnes of ivory worth millions of ringgit in the last seven months, most of which were transshipped.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Illegal logging could cost M'sia RM800-900mil yearly

February 1, 2012

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia stands to lose between RM800mil to RM900mil annually if illegal logging is not controlled, Transparency-International (TI) Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan said Wednesday.

However, he believed illegal logging was "pretty much under control" in Peninsular Malaysia, although more attention needed to be paid to east Malaysian states.

He urged state governments to quickly move to designate and gazette selected areas for forest conservation to prevent them from being allocated for forestry activities.

"We are concerned about ensuring areas designated for conservation are quickly marked off and gazetted," he said after the launching of the Forest Watch and Public Awareness Campaign on Forest Conservation here.

He added that it was vital to determine in policy how much forest was allowed for either plantation or development.

"Yes, there are sporadic areas where legal loggers may extend beyond their boundaries. But I think that the issue of forestry conservation also has to be tackled at the policy side," he said, adding that he believed the state governments were carrying out their enforcement responsibilities against illegal logging in their respective states.

The Forest Watch project allows anyone to monitor the forest and track illegal logging activities at will, through simple, easy-to-use Google techniques.

"The Forest Watch Project is developed to engage the public as the eyes and ears of the forest through the use of Google Earth Geospatial Technology (satellite, imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe)," he said.

"The public can then assess and report irregularities through the new website," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali said the commission took the issue of corruption in forestry activities very seriously.

He added that MACC had received around 88 complaints last year from various parties including non-governmental organisations and the public.

Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim said the Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Ministry was in the final stages of revising the National Forestry Act to include new provisions for higher penalties, imprisonment and strict liability.

"The ministry has also established the 1NRE Enforcement team comprising various enforcement departments within NRE to conduct integrated enforcement operations," he read in a speech text on behalf of NRE Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas.