GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will look into claims of Zoo Negara’s shortage of funds which is holding back its improvements.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said she had read news report about the matter which reeked of possible corruption.
"We will definitely look into the case. We will definitely take our own initiative to verify those issues reported in the news," she said after a working visit to the state MACC headquarters here today.
This is her first official visit here after assuming the post two months ago. Present was MACC deputy chief commissioner (operation) Datuk Seri Azam Baki.
It was reported that the lack of funds and the loss of government support was holding back Zoo Negara from making improvements to its facilities.
In May this year, the New Straits Times reported that Zoo Negara desperately needed more visitors and sponsors for its animals, particularly its Malayan tigers, to cover its operational costs and expansion in line with its status as a national zoo.
Zoo Negara Malaysia deputy president Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana had said that the management needed RM500,000 a year to care for its tigers.
Ideally, to expand and make the zoo a focus of Asian tiger observation, Zoo Negara needed about RM1 million annually.
He had also said that the five-year federal grants of RM5 million that the zoo used to receive had ended in 2004, and it now survived on one-off government aid for maintenance and upkeep.
Zoo Negara had clocked a record of 708,000 visitors in 2014, when China presented Malaysia with two giant pandas, Xing Xing and Liang Liang.