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Dr Siti Hasmah calls all Malaysians to help save the Malayan tigers.

Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali today made a public call to all Malaysians to help with tiger conservation works as an effort to preserve the population of Malayan tigers.

Dr Siti Hasmah said she saw the necessity to make this call upon her discovery of the Malayan tigers' dwindling number, which stands at less than 200.

'The Malayan tiger, they are only found in the forests of Peninsular Malaysia.

'If we don't do something to save the tigers, we will no longer be able to show our younger ones this symbol of our country (coat of arms),' she said during her opening address at the launch of the Global Tiger Day 2019 here at the Le Meridien Hotel.

Dr Siti Hasmah who is also the patron of the Save Our Malayan Tiger Campaign which was launched in conjunction with World Wildlife Day 2019, earlier this month, expressed gratitude for being able to be part of this national conservation campaign.

'I hope, during my two-year tenure as the patron of the Save Our Malayan Tiger Campaign, I will be able to ensure an increase in the Malayan tiger population to 500.

'I'm not good at telling the difference between a male tiger and a female tiger, but I hope to help raise the numbers while I am the campaign patron,' she said.

It was reported that under the two-year campaign, the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources has established the Biodiversity Conservation Trust Fund where companies and other agencies are welcome to contribute to this fund for the enforcement, conservation and awareness activities.

Also as part of the ministry's efforts in its commitment to ensure the Malayan Tiger does not become extinct, the government has declared war on poachers as its national agenda.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar reportedly said a task force patrolling on the ground is being created under the Tiger Protection and Patrolling Programme (TP3).

The establishment of a task force comprising 2,000 personnel from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM), Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police, is seen as crucial due to the increasing number of snares and intrusions of foreign and local residents into tiger habitats.

Meanwhile, Dr Siti Hasmah also took the opportunity to name three tiger cubs which are currently residing in the National Zoo.

The two male tiger cubs were named Wira and Hebat while the female tiger cub was named Melur.

She added that it had always been her wish to face and talk to tigers and has requested the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry that she one day be given the opportunity to 'talk' to a tiger.

'I whispered to the horses in Argentina, and they responded. I thought, why can't I do it with tigers (too)?

'The closest encounter I had with a tiger was at the Lost World of Tambun, in Perak.

'I managed to get the feel of a younger tiger licking my palm while I fed it a slice of chicken,' she said.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Jul 28, 2019
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