‘Make Companies Pay’ for Adding to Climate Change

‘Make Companies Pay’ for Adding to Climate Change

He’s been dubbed “the father of climate change awareness,” and veteran NASA scientist James Hansen has an answer to how we can rein in our wanton CO2 emissions. The answer: we should sue the worst polluters to make them legally accountable for their actions. The American climate scientist calls them…

The Golden Triangle: the Wild East of Wildlife Trafficking

The Golden Triangle: the Wild East of Wildlife Trafficking

Tigers, elephants, pangolins, sun bears, rhinos, serows, helmeted hornbills, gaurs, leopards, turtles. These are, according to the anti-trafficking watchdog TRAFFIC, the most commonly trafficked endangered species that pass through the so-called Golden Triangle. A small area wedged between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, the Golden Triangle has long been notorious for…

Deadly Landslide is a Sign of What’s Wrong on Penang

Deadly Landslide is a Sign of What’s Wrong on Penang

On a relatively small and already overdeveloped island like Penang, any further development may have negative environmental repercussions. That is why it is important that no decisions are made on such new developments without proper environmental assessment and public consultation. The dangers of ill-advised and haphazard developments have come into…

The Slaughter of Wildlife for Meat in Sabah and Sarawak must Stop

The Slaughter of Wildlife for Meat in Sabah and Sarawak must Stop

Some people see no difference between consuming chicken meat or the meat of protected animals like pangolins. Others positively seek the gastronomic thrill, as they see it, of consuming the meat of rare and “exotic” animals. One can make the argument, as many people have duly done, that ethically speaking…

Don’t use Wild animals as Props for Selfies

Don’t use Wild animals as Props for Selfies

We’ve all been there, have we not? In search of that perfect selfie, we may have placed ourselves at risk, such as by leaning over the edge of a cliff. Or we may have placed others at risk, such as by using endangered animals as props for selfies. Sadly, using…

Penang Artist showcases Mother Earth

Penang Artist showcases Mother Earth

In one painting titled “Mother Earth Sustains,” a voluptuous woman suckles a young babe in arms while a tiger lounges by her side as if the stately predator was but a pussycat. In another artwork entitled “The Gift,” Mother Earth cuddles a tiger in a lotus-flecked pool beside an orangutan…

The Slaughter of Sea Turtles in Sabah is a Heinous Crime

The Slaughter of Sea Turtles in Sabah is a Heinous Crime

News travels fast and the butchery of some 100 endangered sea turtles on an island off Semporna in Sabah has made news worldwide in conservationists circles since the carcasses of the reptiles were discovered a week or so ago. Such is the fate of Malaysia these days: often the country,…

We must Save our wild Elephants

We must Save our wild Elephants

People cut down forests and plant crops in areas where thick woods once grew. Wild elephants, feeling increasingly hemmed in by human settlements, often have no choice but to venture into populated areas. Once there, however, they risk coming into conflict with local farmers who may not look kindly on…

Keep up the Fight on Wildlife Smugglers

Keep up the Fight on Wildlife Smugglers

Illicit wildlife products have been pouring into and out of Malaysia: elephant tusks, pangolin scales, deer antlers, tiger claws, sun bear teeth and claws. We know because in the past few weeks alone Malaysian authorities have managed to seize tons of such items at ports and airports from Sabah to…

The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

Many Malaysians frequent Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media outlets to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Others, though, do so with a nefarious purpose: to buy and sell protected animals. Many of these animals are illegally traded “exotic” pets, which range from rare turtles to critically endangered hornbills,…

You can, and should, be a Trash Hero

You can, and should, be a Trash Hero

Ah, to be a hero. Don’t we all want to be one? But how? By donning a spandex costume with a cape to fly around skyscrapers while battling villains? That is sheer comic book fantasy. So should it be by scaling an impossibly tall mountain someplace? That’s not everyone’s cup…

Kudos to Jackie Chan for being Ready to Rumble for Pangolins

Kudos to Jackie Chan for being Ready to Rumble for Pangolins

Critically endangered pangolins now have a new champion in China and Vietnam, the two countries where “the world’s most trafficked mammals” are sought most for their scales and meat. That champion is movie superstar and martial arts master Jackie Chan. In a short video entitled “Kung Fu Pangolin” and recorded…

Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Every now and then reports of orphaned Bornean pygmy elephants being rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department surface. These baby elephants have become lost while their mothers are nowhere to be seen. In the past seven years 22 baby elephants have been rescued this way. Many of them cannot survive,…

Penang Coastal Reclamation Imbroglio

Penang Coastal Reclamation Imbroglio

Penang has a problem. Being a relatively small yet populous island, it has little land left for development. Yet the island’s government and private developers want to keep on building. So they are increasingly eyeing as yet undeveloped and underdeveloped patches of seashore and hillside. That, however, poses grave environmental…

Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

We all know that burning sensation: acrid smog stings the eyes and irritates the throat. During the periodic haze from burning forests in Sumatra that envelopes much of Malaysia for days and weeks at a time, millions of Malaysians are exposed to massive amounts of harmful air-borne pollutants. Yet not…

In Praise of Malaysia’s Sun Bears

In Praise of Malaysia’s Sun Bears

Shambling gait? Tick. Mischievous personality? Tick. Boundless energy? Tick. Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) are among Malaysia’s most endearing creatures. So named for the reddish crescent-shaped marking on their chest, sun bears occupy much of mainland Southeast Asia, including Sumatra and Borneo. Yet we are seeing less and less of…