WORLD FOCUS

Malaysia wields anti-terrorism laws to fight wildlife poaching

Experts say poachers thriving because of lax laws and enforcement, plus Internet trading

Perhilitan officers help move elephants to a safer place when there are elephant-human conflicts due to the opening of land for farming. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF WILDLIFE AND NATIONAL PARKS DEPARTMENT, AKA PERHILITAN
Last year, at least 20 elephants were found dead in Sabah due to ivory-seeking hunters and villagers protecting their plantations. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF WILDLIFE AND NATIONAL PARKS DEPARTMENT, AKA PERHILITAN
Weapons seized in a 2015 operation to prevent and combat wildlife and forest offences. PHOTO: BERNAMA
Arrested wildlife poachers, and the tools of their grisly trade. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF WILDLIFE AND NATIONAL PARKS DEPARTMENT, AKA PERHILITAN
Two white tigers, and two other tigers, drinking at a river in the Kota Tinggi area. PHOTO: FACEBOOK OF JOHOR’S SULTAN IBRAHIM SULTAN ISKANDAR
Sun bears are sometimes treated as house pets. PHOTO: BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE
AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes (left) and Malaysian Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar in front of one of the airline’s planes sporting a “Save Our Malayan Tiger” livery. PHOTO: AIRASIA
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Malaysia is stepping up the fight to protect its critically-endangered wildlife by using tough anti-terrorism and money-laundering laws against poachers.

The country's last Sumatran rhino died last November and there are fewer than 200 Malayan tigers left in the jungles.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2020, with the headline Malaysia wields anti-terrorism laws to fight wildlife poaching. Subscribe