@ Forest | March-April , 2022
Capitalising on partnerships
Vinod Sekhar Foundation supports RIMAU ’ s holistic approach to save the Malayan tiger
BY FATIHAH MANAF
TIGER conservation is costly to execute . Effective implementation requires adequate , substantial technical and financial resources . Therefore , partnership plays an essential role in the preservation of Malayan tigers . To support the Tiger Protection Society of Malaysia ( RIMAU )’ s holistic approach in protecting the species from going extinct , Vinod Sekhar Foundation announced that it would contribute RM1 million to the non-governmental organisation over the next three years . Its founder , Datuk Vinod Sekhar , disclosed this during a joint media event between the Vinod Sekhar Foundation and RIMAU , in conjunction with World Wildlife Day .
“ The Tiger symbolises courage and strength . Tigers are our national icon , the symbol of Malaysian pride . Unfortunately , looking at what is happening around us , the extinction of the Malayan tiger will happen sooner than we realise . It is time we wake up to the reality of the situation ,” Vinod said , rallying other corporations to come forward and support the cause .
“ We intend to reverse this because failure is unacceptable . With our support and that of other organisations and corporations , I hope that these majestic beings will multiply in numbers and roar again .
“ Sticking our heads in the sand pretending nothing is wrong is no longer an option . In this respect , corporations have a key role to play .’
Vinod shared that one of the key things that attracted the organisation to support RIMAU was that it also provided opportunities for the Orang Asli community to be involved in its project , offering them jobs that maintained their dignity and culture .
“ I like profits . But I look at profits beyond cash . I look at profits in everything we do , including charity and environmental work . There must be a profit , but the profit is in actual results this time .”
Put a stop to poaching activities
RIMAU President Lara Ariffin said Malaysia was a great country with fantastic biodiversity right at its doorstep , and there was so much to see and appreciate .
( From left ) David Mizan Hashim , Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar and Lara Ariffin .
“ But we ’ ve already lost the Sumatran rhinos ; they ’ re gone . And once an animal is gone , it ’ s gone forever .
“ You can ’ t bring them back . The leatherback turtle is gone too . Two very vital species we ’ ve already lost .
“ And the reality is the Malayan tiger is next . We are at the doorstep of losing them forever ,” shared Lara , adding that poaching was the biggest threat to the Malayan tiger .
The Malayan tiger , found only in Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand , is its own subspecies . In the 1950s , it was estimated that 3,000 roamed our rainforests , but the latest National Tiger Survey results indicate less than 150 left in the wild .
“ While the loss of habitat contributed to the decreasing numbers in the past , the biggest threat to tigers today is poaching . We believe that the best way to save the Malayan tiger is to protect its habitat from poachers .”
Apart from creating awareness of the
While the loss of habitat contributed to the decreasing numbers in the past , the biggest threat to tigers today is poaching . We believe that the best way to save the Malayan tiger is to protect its habitat from poachers .”
– Lara Ariffin
urgency to save the tigers from poaching , RIMAU and the Perak State Parks Corporation spearheaded the formation of the Menraq Patrol Unit , which is made up entirely of the local indigenous Jahai Community .
The creation of Menraq is to patrol the Royal Belum State Park – to search for and dispose of snares that are detrimental to the Malayan tiger while providing a livelihood for the local community .
Lara added that Menraq , which started from five people in 2019 in Royal Belum , now comprises 30 members . RIMAU also has a new team of 10 patrollers in Amanjaya Forest Reserve , where they are working with the Perak State Forestry Department .
Calling members of the public
RIMAU Vice President David Mizan Hisham believed it could bring tiger numbers up to a sustainable level .
“ While it will take time , we believe it is possible through this project in conjunction with the various efforts made by other NGOs and the government .
“ If tigers are properly protected , their population can recover quite quickly . We only have a small window of opportunity to save the Malayan tiger . We need more Malaysians to join in the fight ,” he added .
RIMAU is also collaborating with several other partners and believes that this is a battle that must be fought together as the task at hand is monumental . The organisation is looking for more funding to expand in other areas in Perak and ensure a maximum chance for survival for the Malayan tiger . — @ Forest