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Tiger battle: Take up call to arms with a roar

I am writing to you after watching this YouTube video .

It was deeply disturbing, sad, pathetic. It made me angry and frustrated that the Wildlife Protection Department in Malaysia is not doing anything as is the government, the media, the people - nothing.

No action, nothing, nothing, nothing about this great mockery to our largest most powerful predator who calls our jungles its home. Indiscriminate breeding at zoos, no regulations enforced. How is this deplorable state acceptable?

I asked myself what can I do? This measly e-mail is all I can do from 7,000miles away from home. Am I going to be taken seriously? It does not matter but what more the state of these magnificent cats? What can we do, to make a difference?

Educate the public! Pressure from the public! Write stories that enrage! That endear the tiger! Enthrall! Tell people what is really happening! Empower them, give them a voice.

I challenge all in this auspicious year of the tiger to take up this call to arms. Run stories weekly about the plight of the tiger and educate the people about what isreally happening to the tigers in captivity and in the wild.

How we are robbing their homes by deforestation, stealing their prey (the wildboar, the sambar deer, the barking deer) by unregulated poaching in Taman Negara, encroaching on their home by building rubber estates and palm oil plantations which create pockets of forests where these animals were previously able to roam but are now trapped.

And especially, especially the corrupt law enforcement officers in Perhilitan! I was outraged (one has already been named in the book called Lizard King by Bryan Christie and again in a National Geographic article) and they are still holding sneior positions in the department.

I ask you, seriously? A former senior man of the Wildlife Protection Department is allegedly in the business of exporting our long tailed macaques (kera), pig-tailed macaques (beruk) and our leaf monkeys for labs and tables in China on the pretext that they are a nuisance to households?

Really? Is this the Malaysia of tomorrow? The very custodians that the people of Malaysia entrust the care of these animals are profiting? As the Malay proverb goes, mengharapkan pagar, tapi pagar yang makan padi .

What more can you expect from poorly paid zoo-keepers trying to make an extra buck? Instead. these small fry are the ones apprehended and slapped on the wrist. What about the rot in the higher echelons of governance?

And tigers bred to ride tricycles in the name of conservation? This is obscene. Malaysia goes on and on about pornography - this falls into the same category. I quote Mahatma Gandhi: ‘The greatness of a nation is measured by how its animals are treated’.

Please do something. Tell me how I and other Malaysians can help. Please.