Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said a DNA testing must be done to prove that the tusk was from Sabah. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

KOTA KINABALU: There is a need to increase border security if the elephant tusk seized at Nunukan port in North Kalimantan originated from Sabah.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said a DNA testing must be done to prove that the tusk was from Sabah.

"I have already asked my officers to get in touch with their Indonesian counterparts. But DNA sampling takes time.

"So we will wait for the results from investigations to establish whether the tusk comes from Malaysia or other countries," he told reporters after chairing the Malaysia Day 2017 main committee first meeting here.

He was referring to a recent Indonesian media report that an Indonesian worker was arrested with the tusk on July 24, at Nunukan port.

On claims that tusks were used as wedding dowry in certain cultures in Indonesia, Masidi said it was unfair to say that was the primary motive for ivory trade.

"I have heard of stories of Timorese people coming here to get married as they find it more difficult now to obtain tusks to be given as dowry.

"But we have never really established that ivory trade is driven by (dowry)," he said.

Meanwhile, Masidi expressed disappointment with stories of exotic wildlife cuisine like pangolins being served to Chinese tourists here.

"We don't know for certain as it is hearsay; no one has been caught serving them, so we have to prove it.

"But if there are Sabahans involved, you are doing a disservice to your own state, and those who have worked hard for wildlife conservation," he said.

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