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…

Africa’s Tragedy is Malaysia’s Tragedy

Africa’s Tragedy is Malaysia’s Tragedy

It’s not that there were any more proof needed that much of Africa’s wildlife is being decimated at appalling rates, but it has been provided again nonetheless. That evidence came in the form of 23 elephant tusks and 300kg of pangolin scales. They belong to the latest shipments of illicit…

Let’s Make Ecotourism Work

Beautiful beaches. World-class diving spots. Scenic forests. Picturesque landscapes. Misty mountaintops. Fantastic biodiversity. Malaysia is a land of unsurpassed natural beauty with unique treasures. Not surprisingly, tourists from around the world keep flocking to the country. Last year alone nearly 27 million visitors came, generating MR82 billion in tourism income….

Sabah’s Bushmeat trade now also Caters to Foreign Tourists. For Shame

Sabah’s Bushmeat trade now also Caters to Foreign Tourists. For Shame

If you thought Sabah’s infamous bushmeat culture couldn’t get any worse, think again. The Bornean state, famed for its renowned biodiversity, has long been a hotspot of “exotic” dishes made from the meat of endangered wild animals. The practice is against the law, but there’s been a thriving well-documented black…

Let Hong Kong’s Trash Woes be a Warning

Let Hong Kong’s Trash Woes be a Warning

If you want a cautionary example of wasteful human activities run amok, look no further than Hong Kong. It’s not that residents of the Chinese territory are more wasteful than others in the developed world; rather, it’s that they have run out of space to store their trash. One of…

We must Wean ourselves off Palm Oil

We must Wean ourselves off Palm Oil

Whether we like it or not, palm oil production accounts for a major part of Malaysia’s economy. On the one hand, the industry has generated plenty of income for the country’s economy and created plenty of jobs as well, although most of those jobs are low-skilled and badly paid ones….