The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) will cooperate with the police and armed forces in Ops Belang to check the illegal hunting of the Malayan tiger.
Water, Land and National Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the move was to enhance the effectiveness of the operation as the population of the animal was now at a crucial level and threatened with extinction, with less than 200 tigers left.
"The shortage of staff is among the challenges to check illegal hunting of the Malayan tigers.
“Besides help from the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), members of the police force and soldiers may also join the Ops Belang…
“In the joint jungle patrols, we can ensure that there are no hunters in the jungle, besides searching for and throwing the traps that were set up,” Xavier said after becoming a guest in the programme Ruang Bicara produced by Bernama News Channel (BNC) at Wisma Bernama in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Asked on the reason for hunting the Malayan Tigers, Xavier said the hunt was driven by the high prices in the black market, which was estimated to reach almost US$200,000 (RM833,720).
Meanwhile, the director-general of Perhilitan, Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, said that since the implementation of Ops Belang in January until now, 19 individuals had been detained including six Myanmar nationals, three Cambodian nationals and 10 locals.
“A total of 200 staff are involved every month in Ops Belang in 20 hot hunting areas in Peninsular Malaysia,” Kadir said.