Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Save Temengor Forest Reserve

The Temengor Forest Reserve in Northern Perak is a 130 million year old forest, designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) Rank 1 under the National Physical Plan, prepared under the guidance of the Prime Minister, is under threat by logging.

It protects water catchments for the Perak River and the Temengor Hydro scheme;it is one of the last areas where large mammals such as elephants, rhinos and tigers can still breed; it is a vital link for the thousands of endangered plain pouched hornbills that migrate there for several months every year to feed;

It is an invaluable goldmine for biotechnology industry; unlogged, it has enormous potential for eco-tourism: and it is an intrinsic part of our cultural heritage, being the last significantly large tract of unprotected virgin forest remaining in the Peninsula.

It is irreplaceable and logging will cause irreversible damage.

The Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) has launched a campaign to stop the destruction of this forest and needs your help to support this campaign.

On April 22nd 2006 MNS screened a very moving documentary at KL PAC that painted a vivid picture of what Temengor really means not just to the animals but to mankind.

Man does not live in isolation but we are part of a very sensitive eco-system that we cannot destroy without destroying ourselves.

The MNS campaign has produced post cards to be sent to the Menteri Besar of Perak appealing that the logging be stopped, and to the Prime Minister of Malaysia asking that the Federal Government financially compensate the States for protecting their eco-assets as defined by the National Physical Plan.

Please support the MNS Belum-Temengor Campaign 2006 aims by:

1. Signing these postcards and sending them to the MNS HQ on the prepaid envelopes that provided by MNS so they can forward these postcards to the Menteri Besar of Perak and the Prime Minister.

Postcards can also be found in The Body Shop outlets throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Visit their shop from April 20th to May 18th 2006.

2. Pick up a stack of postcards and prepaid envelopes from the MNS HQ and have them signed by your family members and friends. Please post them to us, the postage is prepaid.

3. Buy a Candle of Conscience from The Body Shop outlets throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Choose the candle with MNS’ logo on for the contribution to come straight to the campaign.

4. Sign on the online signature form to support MNS’ call to stop all logging activities in Belum-Temengor and to protect this forest complex. Click here for the online signature campaign

5. Write letters to the Malaysian dailies urging the Federal and State Government to take immediate action and to stop all logging activities in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.

Destroying this forest will also destroy the natural habitat of hundreds of species of animals. If the larger ones are not already wiped out by the deforestation, they face only a bleak future of being traded for their body parts, or locked up in a zoo to be ogled at by the public - or like the countless monkeys uprooted by property developers, end up as laboratory animals to be experimented on.

Please don't let this happen just because you could not find the time to send a prepaid postcard or click on a link to sign.

Shoba Mano.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Letter In THE STAR Newspaper Fri, April 14, 2006

I wrote a letter to the STAR newspaper which they published in the Opinion Page today, Friday, April 14, 2006. I've cut and pasted the letter below:


POPULAR Bollywood actor Salman Khan was sentenced just days ago by an Indian court to five years’ jail for “poaching”. He had killed a gazelle and two black bucks, which are on the endangered species list.

Kudos to India for upholding laws which protect animals. The country is indeed getting closer to the ideals that Mahatma Ghandi himself had propagated: “The greatness of a nation is seen in the way it treats its animals.”

I disagree with those who sympathise with Salman and cry foul that this blue-eyed boy of the Indian movie industry is being made a scapegoat because Indian courts want to prove that no one is above the law.

If anything, Salman’s jail term lends credibility to all the other court verdicts in support of animal welfare and shows a deep stirring within humanity to remain true to our role as stewards of this earth.

The lessons and morals we leave our children will, in the end, be the only legacy worth leaving behind. Hence, Salman’s jailing is truly a victory for animal rights activists who have sweated blood and shed buckets of tears over senseless killings.

Worse, too often, our animal abuse reports to the authorities fall on deaf ears. It is very sad indeed that this awakening in India is still not happening in Malaysia, and the Department of Veterinary Services continues to drag its feet in responding to animal abuse.

When animal shelters continue to get three calls a day reporting animal abuse, it is unconscionable to learn that you can count with two hands, the number of abuse cases the department has filed in court against those who abuse animals.

So is it any wonder that Malaysian courts merely mete out token fines? And to add insult to injury, they even return the abused animals to their respective abusers.

In India the Rajasthan Forest and Environment Minister Laxminarain Dave was delighted with the court verdict in the Salman case, saying it strengthens the state government’s efforts to protect wildlife and check poaching.

I wish there was one politician in Malaysia, a civil servant from the department or the Department of Wildlife and National Parks who is just as enthusiastic as this Indian Minister in prosecuting those who break laws that protect animals and the environment.

This verdict on Salman is a victory for animal rights activists all over the world. Ironically, it comes also at a time when international NGOs are calling for sanctions against Malaysia for failing to adequately protect the orang utan, “Saving Sarawak’s orang utan” (The Star, April 11).

The orang utan is unique to the Malay Archipelago. What a pity!

Does it now take the foresight of outsiders to force Malaysians to value our own wildlife?

Shoba Mano
Subang Jaya.