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.Read more
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.”Read more
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
Media Statement 31 October 2019
In solidarity with Indonesian colleagues, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) joins civil society groups around the world to call on the Indonesian government to launch a thorough and transparent investigation of the suspicious death of human rights defender, Golfrid Siregar. We are endorsing an international call on the Indonesian government to urgently protect its human rights defenders.
SAM is at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Penang today to participate in an international action in delivering the shared concerns of over 200 civil society groups on this issue to Indonesian Embassies around the world. Groups across Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and others will personally deliver our collective letter of solidarity and concern to Indonesian Embassies.Read more
Letter to Editor 4 October 2019
Sabah has made headlines time and again with the deaths of the pygmy elephants. What shocked Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) was the manner in which the poor elephant was brutally gunned down. Not only was it shot at several times, its tusks were also hacked off.
The continuous spate of killing of elephants is reflective of poor government delivery system; that it happens often enough can only mean that those entrusted with the tasks, namely the Wildlife Department are not doing enough.
However, with the public outcry and the latest probe into the incident aided by the police that led to the arrests of the six suspects, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for the remaining elephant population. Credit must be given to the informer too that led to the quick arrests of the suspects.Read more