KUALA TERENGGANU: The State Legislative Assembly today unanimously approved amendments to the Taman Negara National Park Enactment No. 6 of 1939, paving the way for the state government to introduce stiffer penalties against poachers.
The amendments, proposed by Ariffin Deraman (Pas-Alur Limbat) and seconded by Ir Saiful Azmi Suhaili (Pas-Kemasik), makes Terengganu the second state after Pahang to amend a similar Enactment with the same purpose.
It also follows the success of the National Parks and Wildlife Department in April when they arrested a group of poachers from Indochina during Ops Belang, aimed at monitoring the habitat of tigers and other protected wildlife.
Debating the motion, Hishamuddin Abdul Karim (Pas-Tepuh) said although the Fatwa Council decreed that poaching was haram (prohibited), it was not sufficient to stop illegal hunting activities.
“We need more deterrent laws and heavier penalties. This is part of our effort to ensure that endangered species will not become extinct. In the case of tigers, it was reported that there are only about 200 animals left but I personally think that the number could be less.
“The threat of poaching by foreign intruders is real. They are involved in the trade of wildlife highly in demand and were willing to spend many days in the National Park to get the animals.
“We are serious at protecting endangered animal species from extinction. We had even gazetted Lawit in Tasik Kenyir as a State Park to protect the flora and fauna in the area,” he added.