Category Archives: Opinion

No Fiercer Tiger Defender Than Kae

What does it take to speak up for tigers? Conservationist Wong Pui May pays tribute to her mentor and a great Malayan tiger defender, Kae Kawanishi.

IT WAS IN 1998, the Year of the Tiger, that Dr Kae Kawanishi started her journey in Malayan tiger conservation. She was Malaysia’s first tiger biologist. This year marks her third Tiger Year in Malaysia.

As it draws to a close, I thought it was time that we who are following in her footsteps, thanked Kae for leading the way.

(Photo: Kae Kawanishi in Taman Negara with PERHILITAN wildlife rangers)

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What Happens After Poachers Are Arrested?

Bringing poachers and illegal wildlife traders to court is complex and needs serious attention, says conservationist Nor Arlina Amirah Ahmad Ghani.

MANY Malaysians want to see people behind bars for committing wildlife crimes. But very rarely do they pay attention to the ornate pathway after the arrest and what it takes to convict offenders.

We celebrate arrests and seizures made by our enforcement officers, but the news often ends there, whereas an arrest is almost always only the first step towards reclaiming justice for wildlife in Malaysia.

(Photo: Prosecution and sentencing need to be strengthened when offenders reach the court, such as this Environmental Court in the Temerloh High, Session, and Magistrate Court | Pic by Nor Arlina Amirah for Justice for Wildlife Malaysia)

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Macaranga Joins Global Media in Demanding Urgent Climate Action

This is a joint editorial by Macaranga and global media in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) Energy Day.

CLIMATE change is a global problem that requires cooperation between all nations. That’s why today more than 30 newspapers and media organisations in more than 20 countries (see full list below) have taken a common view about what needs to be done.

Time is running out.

(Photo: For Malaysia to wean itself off GHG-emitting coal and other fossil fuels is critical  | Pic by Nicole Fong)

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Lapangan Terbang Baru Tioman Perlu Difikirkan Semula

Pembinaan lapangan terbang baru di Tioman yang melibatkan tanah tebus guna tidak disokong orang tempatan sepenuhnya, tulis Suhaimi Awang.

DENGAN penuh rasa kekurangan dari diri, saya menulis di sini. Saya anak jati Pulau Tioman, berasal dari Kampung Juara dan keseluruhan family saya juga dari Kampung Juara. Saya pengusaha resort kecil di tanah warisan keluarga saya.

Saya berpendapat bahawa Tioman Development Authority (TDA) seharusnya memainkan peranan yang jauh lebih penting selain menjaga kelestarian Pulau Tioman. [TDA ialah agensi kerajaan yang menerajui pembangunan Pulau Tioman.]

Ya, ada yang mereka buat dengan baik. Tetapi mereka juga harus peka dengan penduduk Pulau Tioman, bukan dengan cadangan orang-orang kaya, tetapi apa yang orang kampung perlukan.

(Foto: Dari laut ke hutan, daya tarikan paling penting Tioman ialah alam sekitarnya | Gambar oleh Suhaimi Awang)

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Now or Never for Malaysian Coral Reefs

Lack of action and funding ring the death knell for coral reefs in the face of warming seas, warns marine ecologist Sebastian Szereday.

CORAL REEFS are the ocean’s most biodiverse ecosystems and provide food, coastal protection and income for many Malaysians.

However, the current threats to coral reefs are acute, and as a coral reef ecologist, I am deeply concerned about the lack of action, management and funding for their conservation. Besides local damage, climate change has become the grim reaper of coral reefs. 

(Photo: Mass coral bleaching can result in nothing but dead coral rubble. | Pic by Atkinson Tan for Coralku)

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Plastics in the Body A Worrying Trend

Microplastics are now found in more parts of the human body, writes Professor Dr Lee Yeong Yeh, whose team confirmed the presence of plastics in Malaysians’ bowels. What does this mean?

THIS YEAR, scientists found plastic in the human placenta. This discovery highlights the extent to which plastic permeates our bodies. It should make us very concerned.

By now, it is quite common knowledge that microplastics – smaller than a papaya seed – are ubiquitous in the human food chain, especially seafood and drinking water. This has been shown in many studies, including those in Malaysia.

(Photo: Plastic is entering human bodies when we consume water and seafood. Marine plastic pollution must be tackled, beach cleanups being one way. | Pic by SL Wong)

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Pewarisan Balu Perumal

Adakah antara kamu seorang yang bijak dan pandai? Dia harus membuktikannya dengan kelakuannya yang baik, dan melalui kebajikan yang diamalkannya dengan kerendahan hati dan kebijaksanaan. Alkitab, Yakobus 3: 13

Ditulis oleh Ginny Ng SL dengan Chin Sing Yun, Dylan Ong, Joanna Tang and Surin Suksuwan. Diterjemah oleh Noorainie Awang Anak.

 

PADA saat saya menerima berita mengenai pemergian Balu Perumal pada 6 Ogos 2021, saya seperti terkedu, tidak percaya. Saya jarang berkomunikasi dengannya, hanya sekali-sekala ketika mengikuti persidangan dan mesyuarat-mesyuarat yang mana kami mempunyai kepentingan bersama.

Saya terus terbayang bagaimana keluarganya dan juga dunia pemuliharaan telah kehilangan seseorang yang amat berharga, seorang pejuang mereka.

Balu adalah seorang pengiat pemuliharaan sepanjang hayatnya, pakar botani, mentor, guru, ketua keluarga, dan juga seorang sahabat.

(Gambar: Seorang pengiat pemuliharaan yang tulin, Balu Perumal [1966–2021] digambarkan pada awal 2000-an meninjau apa yang sekarang ialah Taman Negeri Selangor | Foto oleh Dylan Ong)

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Empower the Dewan to Safeguard Forest Reserves

Despite widespread protests, the Selangor government has excised parts of the Kuala Langat North forest reserve on 12 August 2021. This is a wake-up call to give the Dewan Undangan Negeri the power to stop excision, argues forestry consultant Teckwyn Lim.

The recent degazettement of Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is a black mark on our democracy. The Selangor state executive council (Exco) headed by Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari gave the middle-finger to the Dewan and to the Rakyat.

It appears that the weak hands of the Exco can be twisted by powerful commercial and political interests. It is thus now time that the Dewan amends the forestry laws to limit the Exco’s power to excise forest reserves.

(Photo: A screenshot of the gazette published on 12 August 2021 announcing the Selangor Exco’s decision to excise parts of the Kuala Langat North forest reserve | Pic by YH Law)

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The Living Legacy of Balu

Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation of wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. The Bible, James 3: 13

Written by Ginny Ng SL with Chin Sing Yun, Dylan Ong, Joanna Tang and Surin Suksuwan

WHEN I received news of Balu Perumal’s untimely passing on 6 August, I was in disbelief. I had not had regular contact with him, only occasionally catching up during conferences and meetings of common interest.

My immediate thought was how his family and the conservation world will now be poorer because of his absence. For Balu was a lifelong conservationist, botanist, mentor, teacher, family man, and friend.

(Photo: A conservationist to the core, Balu Perumal [1966–2021] is pictured in the early 2000s surveying what is now the Selangor State Park | Pic by Dylan Ong)

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A Response to Macaranga’s Article on Forest Management in Peninsular Malaysia

Our story on evaluating forest management has received insightful feedback from Macaranga reader Surin Suksuwan with many suggestions for improvement. Here is his unedited commentary in full.

FIRST OF all, I would like to congratulate the Macaranga team for continuing to break new grounds in environmental journalism in Malaysia.

The article on Forest Management in Peninsular Malaysia is a commendable effort as it attempts to help the general reader make better sense of the often confusing forestry statistics and what they actually mean in more simple terms.

Already, there is a healthy amount of positive feedback received by the Macaranga team as can be seen from the Comments section.

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