Whipping proposal for wildlife smugglers gets thumbs up

This April 7, shows an Orang Utan baby found in a basket, by Marine police in Muar during an inspection.- NSTP/Adi Safri© Provided by Media Prima This April 7, shows an Orang Utan baby found in a basket, by Marine police in Muar during an inspection.- NSTP/Adi SafriKUALA LUMPUR: Stiffer penalties are needed to deter the smuggling of wildlife in the country.Malaysian Nature Society president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail welcomed the recommendation for whipping wildlife crimes, adding that the move was “timely”.

“It is time that the government implemented severe punishment on wildlife poachers and smugglers, as well as on authorities who abuse their power.

“The current fine and imprisonment are too low to curb illegal wildlife activities, and the recommendation for whipping can help as a deterrent,” he told the New Straits Times.

Currently, the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 under Section 38(2), carries a maximum fine of RM500,000 and imprisonment of not more than five years for those found guilty of hunting totally protected wildlife without a special permit.

Ahmad also praised the police for mobilising their battalions in the jungles to assist the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).

He however said more needed to be done to raise public awareness and the importance of conserving our wildlife.

“The society still lacks knowledge about the importance of saving tigers, for example,” he said.

On Tuesday, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the police would be recommending mandatory whipping for criminals involved in the smuggling of wildlife.

He said the recommendation would be sent to the Legal Affairs Division for tougher penalties in efforts to combat poaching and wildlife trafficking.

The police’s Internal Security and Public Order Department, the air branch and marine police, together with Perhilitan carry out joint patrols in the jungles, by air and sea, under Op Bersepadu Khazanah.

The operations were also boosted by the expertise of the Elite Senoi Praaq Team and the General Operations Force.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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