Liew condemns brutal slaughtering of pygmy elephant

By : Borneo Daily Bulletin Repoter

Datuk Christina Liew

KOTA KINABALU: Former Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew has condemned the brutal slaughtering of a young pygmy elephant on the border of Saicheng Plantation near Kg Imbak in the Tongod district on Thursday (Jan 21).

She called on the police to intensify their investigation into the case so that those responsible for such senseless killing would be brought to justice.

“I denounce the heartless and despicable act of the killer(s). Whatever the motives could be, we cannot tolerate such gruesome killing of animals. We believe in the capabilities of the police, and hope they will leave no stone unturned in their relentless efforts to apprehend the suspect(s).”Given the dwindling elephant population in Sabah, we cannot afford to allow indiscriminate poaching of elephants to go out of hand. “Perhaps the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 could be amended to impose more severe penalties on those convicted of wildlife crimes to serve as a deterrent to would-be perpetrators,” she said in a statement, here, Saturday.

Liew, who is MP for Tawau, was commenting on media reports on the butchering of the elephant between five and seven years old. A post-mortem by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) veterinarians indicated that the elephant was shot at least seven times. Four bullets were found in the skull of the animal.

Director of SWD, Augustine Tuuga was quoted as saying that half of the elephant’s carcass was skinned and found missing.

On earlier reports that Asian elephants in some other countries are now being poached for their skin for medicinal purposes, Liew labelled the irresponsible activity as an evil and illegal trade that should be stopped in its tracks. 

Meanwhile, she urged the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of two other earlier cases involving a calf, one in Lahad Datu and the other in Kinabatangan, where alleged poisoning has not been ruled out as the cause of death.

Datuk Christina Liew