Malaysiakini Letter

Malaysia not punished for illegal wildlife trade

Sean Whyte  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In the first week of this month I speculated in this forum whether or not if Malaysia would be sanctioned at the then upcoming week long meetings of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).


The meetings have since been held and to no one’s surprise neither Malaysia or a raft of other countries up to their eyes in the illegal wildlife trade were sanctioned.


Why? The answer is simple. The committee concerned are comprised mostly of spineless civil servants, some even representing countries who are as complicit in the illegal wildlife trade as is Malaysia.


In many countries being a Cites official enables individuals to profit from the illegal wildlife trade.

It is these officials who on receipt of a bribe provide the permits and rubber stamps enabling protected species to be exported or imported illegally.  


Cites officials the world over appear to practice creative inertia. It’s their substitute for achievement.


Cites isn’t working to save the world’s wildlife – that much is plain to see.  

SEAN WHYTE is the chief executive of Nature Alert.

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