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Mounting concern for our Malayan tigers

LETTER | As you may know, the Malayan tigers' population is extremely low and there are only 300 left in our jungles. I visited Zoo Negara recently and when I asked how important the tigers were to our ecosystem, the guide explained that the tigers played a crucial role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. Therefore, the presence of tigers in our jungles is an indicator of the well-being of our ecosystem.

I think there are things we can do to get it off the endangered species list. For example, poaching in our country. I refer to the statement by Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar who wants to declare war on poaches and takes it as a serious matter to protect our Malayan tigers.

I agree with him. It is very serious when foreigners are free to poach in our jungles and I think we can put in place higher security levels and have a proper system in place.

Penalties for killing tigers and other protected wildlife need to be strongly enforced and be strong enough as to be a complete deterrent to the poaching of tigers while also deterring those who profit from such killings.

We could also help by not destroying their habitats or by putting signs up to let people know a Malayan tiger habitat is located there and restrict the area from everyone entering it.

The Malayan tiger is our national identity as can be seen on our official national crest where there are two Malayan tigers standing with all the states between them. If there are no tigers left, then what are we?

We must not take this matter lightly by thinking that the population of just 300 tigers left in our jungles is okay.

The government should inform the public on concern for our Malayan tigers and how endangered the species is.

I appreciate all the effort that has been done so far by the government and the NGOs to prevent the extinction of the Malayan tigers but we must protect our Malayan tigers for generations to come. We must ensure their survival and we must act now.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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