TAIPING: The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have agreed to assist the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) rangers in carrying out patrols in the jungle.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said the cooperation was necessary to combat poachers, particularly of the Malayan tigers, as well as to destroy the traps set up by irresponsible parties.
“I will make an announcement on the joint operation with the police in the near future, while cooperation with the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) is still in negotiations as it involves technical issues,” he told reporters after opening the Save Malayan Tiger Campaign here yesterday.
According to Xavier, the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 does not allow forest rangers to carry firearms and, more or less, it limits their fight against poachers in areas bordering neighbouring countries.
“For example, poachers encroached into our country through the border of Thailand and Perak to hunt for our tigers. The Royal Belum Forest in Gerik is the largest forest reserve and many tigers live in the forest,” he said.
Xavier said that between 2013 and last year, more than 1,000 snare operations were carried out nationwide that led to the destruction of more than 3,500 snares.
“During that period, 162 poachers were arrested for various offences involving protected wildlife species and 14 tigers were illegally hunted and captured in snares,” he said.
At yesterday’s programme, Xavier said the collaboration made by Perhilitan and Aeon was aimed at collecting funds for the Malayan tiger rescue programme.
“This will also enable more rangers to be deployed to the jungle to carry out patrols, as well as to locate and destroy the snares set up by those poachers,” he said. — Bernama