Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Adventure of Highlighting Animal Exploitation

Hillary Chiew of the Star, wrote an eye-opening piece on the rampant exploitation of wildlife for the amusement of the public today. This particular issue or predicament has long been debated within the Wildlife Conservation fraternity as it involves the blatant exploitation of Wildlife here in Malaysia.

You see, animals listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), means they cannot be traded, due to their critically endangered status. However, for unexplained reason, some endangered and totally protected animals, such as orang utans, tigers, elephants, gibbons, pangolins, slow lorises, cockatoos and macaws end up in theme parks and private zoos.

In order for an individual to keep one of these animals, he/she needs to obtain the Special Permit under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. This is done by applying to the Natural Resources & Environment Minister , which is initially based on advice by the DG of Perhilitan. The latter apparently does so through a Special Permit Committee filled up by divisional directors.

What we (fellow naturalist and conservationist & I) are concerned with is that these special permits have been issued like yellow cards by Uriah Rennie in a Merseyside Derby. In addition, events which stink like my feet after futsal, shows that something must be done with the regulation and issuance of such permits;

#1. One park has 14 orang utans of questionable origins.

#2. The second park has one Sumatran orang utan with no documents.

#3. Although one applicant is allowed ONE Special Permit at any one time, the theme park with the six orang utans was issued two permits for 20 orang utans in November 2000, and these have been renewed annually.

#4. The park’s claim for education is totally rubbish. Visitors to theme parks are neither gaining any insight into the life of animals in the wild nor the threat they face. All visitors see is the unnatural behavior of the animal playing golf and cycling. It just sends out the wrong message that wildlife is meant to entertain humans."

#5. An Estuarian crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), was placed in a water hazard of one of the park’s golf course.

#6. The rampant sale of the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) in pet shops in the Klang Valley, even though the species is critically endangered in its original habitat of the Indian subcontinent.

As a so-called caring society, our apathy for the treatment of wildlife is appalling. As long as we, the public, patronizes these so-called animal safaris, we are guilty of exploiting and hastening the extinction of our local wildlife. Only 3 places in Malaysia, promotes animal enrichment in their captivity as well as promoting conservation through education. They are; Zoo Negara, Zoo Taiping, and Zoo Melaka.

The others are tossers and wankers.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Adventure of Finding Out That I'm Suited for a Monkey's Life

You Are A: Monkey!

monkeyMonkeys are intelligent and agile, well-adapted for jungle life as they swing happily from tree to tree. As a monkey, you are a social animal who eats a wide range of food, is quick to learn new things and loves to climb. A monkey's tiny primate features are irresistable, as is his gregarious personality!

You were almost a: Kitten or a Duck
You are least like a: Turtle or a ChipmunkDiscover What Cute Animal You Are!

Me cute little monkey. Not too be confused with Beruk Mak Yek, though me can be that somtime. Me do not intend to put up the monkey quiz posting as it is deemed redundant to challenge oneself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Nocturnal Excursion in FRIM II

The Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) is an independent, non-religious, non-governmental organisation based in Malaysia, committed to confronting violence against women.

In 1985, the Anak Angkat Program was launched to meet the educational needs of ex-residents' children and in 1990, the WAO opened a Child Care Center, the first of its kind in Malaysia, to provide a home for ex-residents' children.

Last Saturday, through the Herpetofauna Group of MNS Selangor, trusty assistant & I, with the help of a few other (gullible) volunteers, organized an ‘introduction to frogs’ workshop in the morning and later in the evening, a frogging trip to FRIM for these children.

Seeing as I had 2 open houses in the day (involving the relatives, which meant that I couldn’t play my ‘get-out-of jail’ card, as compared to other open houses), I had to miss out the days’ activity. I was told that the kids, (13 in all, ranging between 3 to 12 years old) enjoyed our little frog origami, story-telling and drawing session. Trusty assistant did a bloody good job of it, as well as our other volunteers, considering how hyper those kids were.

Later in the evening, it was my turn to handle them. Luckily, they were pretty stoned-out then and somewhat controllable in FRIM. Having one of them running off and getting lost wouldn’t be good PR for the Society.

I led them quickly through the trail as it was already quite late in the evening, sacrificing the chance of spotting the leaf-litter frogs which are usually abundant along the trail (the kids were quite noisy which meant that any frog or any other animal for that matter, would have long since legged it).

The trail ended at FRIM’s Sungai Kroh, which is in actual fact a shallow, slow moving trickle of water. The source of which is derived from water which had somehow been diverted into a narrow channel from the main waterfall of FRIM. There (Sg. Kroh, not the waterfall), I allowed them to fool a round a bit. Again, the noise they were making was obviously scaring the shite of every animal there. Thus, they had to contend with the 4 frogs and a toad that trusty assistant and I spotted.

I wrapped up things a few minutes past 11pm, and allowed trusty assistant to lead the way back to our cars. I brought up the rear as I wanted to take my own sweet time for my own sweet self to at least spot a couple more herp life. I managed to add a lizard and 2 additional frogs to our list that night.

The mandatory leech inspection took about 15 minutes but ironically, the loudest scream came from my own volunteers. We quickly bundled the children (leech free) into the van, which in itself took about 10 minutes of cajoling. Before leaving, I doffed my hat off at the driver, clearly thankful of not being in her shoes. Imagine having 13 hyperactive kids, stoned-out they may be jumping and screaming at the back.

I congratulated trusty assistant and volunteers on a job well done. I still remain apprehensive of taking out too many children frogging, especially to places such as FRIM but this lot looked liked they enjoyed themselves.

Friday, November 11, 2005

My Adventure of Being in an Awkward Position

Earlier this year, during my Blogdrive tenure, I wrote about a little piece of drama which happened to my friend, in which I inadvertently was involved.

One bit I failed to mention then, which made the drama so very the drama is that the friend’s former fiancée works in the same building as us. She’s on the 16th floor while we worked on the 20th.

This has resulted in many awkward moments, usually involving the lift.

Last Sunday, friend’s wife delivered a healthy baby boy. No worries on that.

The awkward moment surfaced yesterday morning while I was going down to the 3rd floor tuck shop to replenish my cigarettes.  It so happened that the lift (damn it to bits!) stopped at the 16th floor. I need not explain what happened next, do I?

Friend’s former fiancée engaged in small talk at first, but just as the bloody lift doors opened at the 3rd floor to provide me the escape that I was seeking,  she hit me with THE question,

“Dengar Izan* dah dapat baby?”

I gave her a really awkward smile and nodded my head, “Lelaki”.

“Oh ye ke?” she replied. Was that a hint of jealousy or regret in her eyes? I could not be sure.

“Baguslah, tu. Kirim salam kat diaorang ya?,” she added, eyes already moist.

I managed a short nod before the doors closed behind me.

Next time, I’m using the bloody fire escape.  

*bukan namo sebonar.  

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Adventure During Eid Celebrations

6 Things to Remember for Next Year’s Eid Celebrations

#1. Ensure that at least one Baju Melayu consists of its complete set. (1) Songkok, (2) Sampin, (3) Baju & (4) Seluar. This is to prevent one from realizing some of the attire to be missing at the last minute and subsequently  having to utlilize a combination of the Baju Melayu shirt, 8 year old jeans and skullcap. This is also to prevent one’s mother being pissed.

#2. Sleep early.  Banging away on the PS2 with one’s brother until the wee hours of the morning is a deterrent to one’s ability to wake up early.

Note to self: There is no way one can beat a 17 year old who grew up whilst having the game pad permanently attached to their hand.

#3. Wake-the-bloody-up at least before 9am so one will be able to perform the Eid prayers.  To do so, see #2.

#4. Pace one-self whilst stuffing one’s face. Stomach need to adjust after one month of fasting.  Especially when one  shoves in the lethal combo of  laksa johor, ketupat, rendang , nasi himpit, and taken at one sitting.  Failure to do so will result in the frequent visit to loo of every house-owner.

#5. Try to watch more Malay movies. Government, Private as well Sattelite TV stations have paid a shite-load of money in purchasing the rights to show them. The least one can do is to brave through 2 hours of mind-numbing, shite acting and illogical plot lines.

#6. There are abso-bloody-loutely no cars on the road of KL during 1st Syawal. Bliss. Altough one must remember that them foreigners who have taken the opportunity to go  sightseeing, are not potential road kills and must not be mowed down indiscriminately.

How was your Raya celebrations?