Maludam National Park. Photo: Maludam National Park facebook page

BY WWF MALAYSIA

National parks are large areas of public land set aside for native plants, animals and the places in which they live. National parks protect the best of our natural heritage: stunning landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and majestic forests. They attract millions of visitors annually, and help to protect unique wildlife by acting as a refuge for threatened species.

Do your part in protecting our natural heritage

World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) lauds recent enforcement operations to curb illegal logging at Maludam National Park which resulted in the arrest of 10 suspects.

Congratulating Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), 10th Battalion General Operation Force (GOF) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for a job well done, WWF-Malaysia said Sarawak could not afford to continue losing its natural heritage.

WWF-Malaysia’s head of Sarawak Conservation Programme, Dr Jason Hon, called on the authorities to trace where the illegal logs and timber were destined to, so that the masterminds behind these operations can be brought to justice.

He said Maludam National Park was gazetted as a totally protected area in 2000, and was extended in 2015.

“This national park is the largest protected peat swamp forest in Sarawak, covering 53,568ha. It is unique because it is home to the only known population of red banded langur, estimated to be less than 400, based on a survey done in 2006,” he said in a press statement, in response to SFC’s successful joint enforcement operations, Operasi Bersatu Khazanah.

Hon added that Maludam National Park also contains a healthy population of other primate species such as proboscis monkey and silvered langur, as well as six phasic communities of peat swamp vegetations.

“The national park is a catchment area that supplies freshwater to the coastal Maludam community. As such, we cannot allow our natural heritage to be desecrated by unscrupulous individuals.”

He also urged the public to do their part in protecting the state’s natural heritage by sharing information through SFC’s hotline.

Earlier, SFC posted in its social media platform that 10 suspects were nabbed for encroaching Maludam National Park. THe SFC, GOF and MACC had carried out patrols under Operasi Bersepadu Khazanah at Maludam National Park area from July 24 to 28.

It was reported that around 10am on July 25, the team arrested eight suspects red-handed with seven chainsaws and 347 logs of different sizes and species. Eight bicycles and nine motorcycles used to transport the logs were also seized. Later, they caught two suspects in possession of chainsaws, two bicycles and motorcycles.

The enforcement agencies also found another 45 logs in the park. These cases have been handed over to the Forest Department for investigation.
“We will not tolerate any trespassing, hunting and encroachment into the totally protected

areas and those caught will be brought to justice,” Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, CEO of SFC who is also the Controller of National Parks and Nature Reserves, added.

Members of the public with information on similar illegal activities are urged to contact SFC hotlines at 016-8565564/019-8859996 (Kuching), 019-8883561 (Sibu), 019-8223449/019-8332737 (Bintulu) and 019-290994 / 018-9799778.