Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pagar Makan Padi?

Another story grabbed my attention in the NST today.

Elizabeth John looks at the fallout from the publication of The Lizard King :The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers by Bryan Christy, a book which exposes the international wildlife trade. It features notorious Malaysian wildlife smuggler Anson Wong, now imprisoned in the US and described as:
... reptile smuggling's crown jewel ...
(Malaysia boleh! Haha. Shall we put this one into The Malaysia Book of Records too?)

In a chapter called Fortress Malaysia, Christy apparently describes how a high-level government official is implicated in helping Wong with the paperwork. It also implicates National Perhilitan officials whom Wong apparently boasted about bribing to falsify permits. Christy apparently based his information on thousands of pages of telephone transcripts and investigative reports from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Wildlife Department calls the book "simply fiction".

It would be simply awful if, as the Malay proverb goes if the rice crop is eaten by the fence set up to protect it. The truth is out there somewhere and I hope, for the sake of our wildlife, that the matter is carefully investigated with no whitewash.

Christy's website for the book (a must read for me now) is here (he links to today's NST story and invites your thoughts) and it is reviewed by Janet Maslin in the New York Times.


glenda larke said...

KLIA was notorious international at one time for its aid to animal laundering, although I think things were eventually cleaned up there.

Few long time smugglers can trade without help.

In the 90s I remember watching fuel smugglers cross the border into Thailand carrying tongs of gasoline on their shoulders and "sneaking" (ha-ha!) under the fence next to the Customs/immigration checkpoint. The Malaysians I was with - all intelligent respectable educated people - were totally indifferent as their tax money (in fuel subsidies) marched off into Thailand.

Abdullah said...

Simply fiction my a**e...
(Sorry Sharon, pardon my French)

animah said...

This is shocking. Is the book available here? If yes, shouldn't the ACA be investigating?

Anonymous said...

It's Malaysia lah...tidapa attitude, corruption everywhere...the authorities are more upset at adults having consensual sex than anything else.


jawakistani said...

I may be wrong but dont you think Perlihatan is actually Perhilitan?

bibliobibuli said...

my mistake, i think you're right. dyslexia, y'know!