Bukan Sekadar Membunuh Tikus

Surat kepada Pengarang                        2 Disember 2019

Seorang pembaca Facebook telah menyuarakan kebimbangannya kepada Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM)  berhubung penggunaan racun tikus secara berleluasa dalam parit di sekitar kawasan Little India di Georgetown, Pulau Pinang. Perkara ini sememangnya membimbangkan kerana sistem perparitan terbuka yang sedia ada menganjur terus ke laut dan selepas hujan lebat, racun itu akan dihanyutkan dan dilarutkan di laut.

Kehadiran tikus sebenarnya berpunca daripada tindak tanduk manusia dan bilangannya semakin bertambah di pekan dan bandar yang bergelut untuk menghapuskannya. Di kawasan bandar dan pinggir bandar, pengguna terbesar racun tikus adalah pengguna biasa yang membelinya di kedai perkakasan untuk kegunaan di rumah, ataupun mengupah pakar kawalan serangga untuk menggunakannya di premis mereka. Di kawasan pertanian pula, ia diguna pakai oleh petani untuk menghapuskan tikus yang mengganggu tanaman mereka.

Tikus suka bertumpu di kawasan yang didiami oleh manusia, dan begitu cepat menyesuaikan diri dengan persekitarannya. Ia gemar mencari makan di dalam dan di sekitar rumah, restoran dan tempat perniagaan. Apabila masuk ke kawasan kejiranan yang mudah untuknya mencari makan, tikus akan berkembang biak. Ia juga gemar mencari makan di kawasan sampah sarap, dari beg buangan dan tin, pasar, taman dan halaman, malah di pusat buangan sampah komuniti.

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Killing more than rodents

Letter to Editor                                           2 December 2019

A Facebook reader has expressed  concern to Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) regarding the extensive use of rat poison in drains in the Little India area in Georgetown, Penang. It is indeed worrisome as the open drain system leads directly into the sea and after every heavy downpour the poison gets washed away and diluted in the sea.

Rats are a human made problem and their populations are on the rise with towns and cities struggling to keep up with rat infestations. In urban and suburban areas, the biggest users of rodenticides are regular consumers who buy the products at hardware stores for home use or hire pest-control professionals to treat their property. In agricultural areas, it is applied by farmers to keep rodents away from crops.

Rats like to live where people live adjusting quickly to the neighbourhood. They prefer to feed in and around homes, restaurants and business premises. Upon entering a neighbourhood with easy access to food, they will thrive. They will also settle for scraps from trash bags and cans, wet markets, gardens and yards, and what they can find at the community refuse disposal center. 

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SAM cautions against proceeding with exploration and mining of Rare-Earth Minerals

Press Release                                              29 November 2019 

Despite the assurances by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry’s (KATS) that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between a China company and the Perak state government is for the exploration of rare earth minerals and not to mine them, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) continues to have very serious concerns over the objective of such a venture.

The Ministry issued a statement yesterday in response to SAM’s concerns over the MOU signed between the Perak state government and a Chinese company, Chinalco GXNF Rare Earth Development to undertake the exploration of rare-earth minerals in Perak.

The Ministry in the statement clarified that “the context of the signing of the MOU is to use the Chinese expertise in identifying the potential of rare-earth sources in Perak especially that in ion-adsorption clay that does not contain thorium or uranium as by-product wastes”, and that the Ministry “supports any cooperation from foreign parties if it is positive for economic development and is sustainable and does not impact the environment and the well-being of the community.”   

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Move To Embark On Rare-Earth Mining In Perak Is Highly Irresponsible

Press Release                                            27 November 2019 

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is most alarmed to learn that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Perak state government and a Chinese company, Chinalco GXNF Rare Earth Development to undertake the exploration of rare-earth minerals in Perak.

This fact was revealed via a recent statement of Nov 16 from the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS), with the Ministry viewing this initiative as a “positive move”.

Clearly, the exploratory works are a first step in embarking on rare-earth mining in the state, and SAM views this with utmost concern.

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Tindakan Tegas Diperlukan Terhadap Penderaan Haiwan

Surat Kepada Pengarang                          19 November 2019

Kemunculan berterusan berita mengenai penderaan haiwan di dalam media massa dan sosial memerlukan perhatian serius daripada pihak berkuasa yang berkenaan. Bilangan kes kekejaman terhadap haiwan yang tidak terkawal ini amat mengejutkan tetapi ini hanyalah sejumlah kecil daripada yang sebenarnya berlaku memandangkan kebanyakan kes tidak pernah dilaporkan.

Kekejaman dan pengabaian ini meliputi semua sempadan sosial dan ekonomi Dari laporan media boleh disimpulkan penderaan haiwan biasa berlaku di kedua-dua kawasan bandar dan luar bandar.

Kekejaman haiwan mencakupi pelbagai tingkah laku kejam termasuklah meninggalkan haiwan peliharaan tanpa perhatian sepanjang percutian panjang, merantai haiwan peliharaan sepanjang hayat tanpa sebarang peluang bagi haiwan itu untuk membebaskan diri, menyimbah haiwan dengan air panas, mengabaikannya apabila haiwan itu menjadi buta dan berpenyakit, atau luka akibat dipukul.

Haiwan yang menjadi teman seperti anjing dan kucing sering didera walaupun haiwan lebih kecil seperthamster, guinea pig, arnab, reptilia dan haiwan peliharaan eksotik yang kebanyakannya dikurung juga sering diabaikan.

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Need for greater action against animal abuse

Letter to Editor                                       19 November 2019

The continuous emergence of animal abuse news in the mass and social media warrants serious attention from the relevant authorities. The shocking number of animal cruelty cases happening quite uncontrollably is just the tip of the iceberg as most cases are never reported.

Cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries along with media reports suggest that animal abuse is common in both rural and urban areas.

Animal cruelty encompasses a wide range of cruel conduct that includes leaving pets behind unattended during long holidays, chaining up a pet for life without any chance for the animal to relieve itself, scalding an animal with boiling water, abandonment when the animal becomes blind or diseased, and malicious wounding or beating. 

Companion animals such as dogs and cats are often abused although smaller animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles and exotic pets that are mostly caged up are often overlooked. 

Hoarding behaviour often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more animals than they are able to properly house or care for resulting in disease and often death. 

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Earthworks on steep hill slopes at Mount Erskine, Penang – SAM calls on authorities to explain whats going on

Earthworks and hill-cutting being carried out on very steep slopes at Mount Erskine in Penang           Picture : SAM

Press Statement                                         18 Nov 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is gravely concerned and alarmed over earthworks and hill-cutting being carried out on very steep slopes at Mount Erskine in Penang, quite close to the Mont Residence apartments in Tanjung Tokong.

SAM was alerted to the hill-cutting by concerned Penangites, who shared pictures of the on-going earthworks.

We understand that a significant part of the hill cutting involves slopes above 250 feet (75 m) and are on very steep gradient above 25 degrees.

SAM has also learnt that in September 2018, Penang Hills Watch (PHW), which is an NGO initiative, alerted the State Authorities and the Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) about the hill cutting activities.

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SAM Gesa Pihak Berkuasa Jelaskan Apa yang Sedang Berlaku

Kerja-kerja tanah dan pemotongan bukit dilakukan di cerun yang sangat curam di Gunung Erskine        Gambar : SAM 

Siaran Akhbar                                                         18 November 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) amat cemas dan bimbang berhubung kerja-kerja tanah dan pemotongan bukit yang sedang dijalankan di kawasan cerun yang amat curam di Mount Erskine, Pulau Pinang, berdekatan dengan pangsapuri Mont Residence di Tanjung Tokong.

SAM dimaklumkan berhubung kerja memotong bukit oleh penduduk Pulau Pinang yang amat prihatin dengan keadaan itu, yang turut berkongsi gambar kerja tanah yang sedang berjalan.

Kami difahamkan bahawa sebahagian kerja pemotongan bukit yang begitu ketara itu melibatkan cerun melebihi 250 kaki (75 meter) dan berada pada kecerunan yang amat curam iaitu melebihi 25 darjah.

SAM juga mendapati pada September 2018, Penang Hills Watch (PHW), yang merupakan sebuah inisiatif Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO), telah memaklumkan kepada pihak berkuasa  dan Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) mengenai aktiviti pemotongan bukit.

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Penglibatan VVIP Dalam Perdagangan dan Pemburuan Haram Hidupan Liar

Surat Kepada Pengarang                           11 November 2019

Pendedahan terbaharu oleh Ketua Polis Negara (KPN) bahawa ada VVIP terlibat dalam pemburuan dan perdagangan haram hidupan liar amat membimbangkan. Menghentikan pemburuan haram ini memerlukan tindakan menentang mereka yang kaya dan berpengaruh yang sering berkaitan dengan kumpulan jenayah terancang.

Ia bukan hanya mengenai menangkap dan memenjarakan pemburu kerana terdapat bekalan tanpa henti pemburu haram ini. Mengejar pemburu atau penyeludup kecilan mungkin bukan penyelesaiannya tetapi sasaran perlulah ke arah pemain besar dalam rangkaian pemburuan dan pegawai kerajaan yang menerima rasuah. Di antara penyeludup hidupan liar ini, VVIP ini, orang yang ditakuti dalam masyarakat kita, biasanya ahli perniagaan besar yang menyembunyikan tindakan jahat mereka dengan mengeksploitasi status mereka untuk manfaat mereka sendiri, kalangan yang rapat dengan mereka atau organisasi mereka.

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VVIPs involvement in poaching

Letter to the Editor                                  11 November 2019 

The latest revelation by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) that VVIPs are involved in the illegal wildlife trade and poaching is indeed cause for concern. Stopping poaching requires action against these wealthy and influential bosses of often extremely well connected organised crime gangs. 

It is not just about catching and jailing poachers because there’s an endless supply of them. Going after small time poachers or traffickers may not be the solution, but the aim should be toward the big players in the poaching network, and corrupt government officials. Among wildlife traffickers, these VVIPs – the scourge in our society – are typically big business people who cover up for their evil actions by exploiting their status to benefit themselves, those close to them, or their organisations.

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