Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Speech in DUN - Turtle Eggs

Tuan Speaker,

I would like to bring to your attention that despite lodging a police report on March 4, 2009 at the Simpang Tiga One Stop police station on law enforcers from Bukit Aman and Sarawak police taking forbidden turtle eggs, nothing was being done about the issue.

“This matter is of international interest as law enforcers from both Bukit Aman and Sarawak police were caught with their pants down serving an illegal delicacy, turtle eggs, during one of their official dinner functions on February 28, 2009 at Batu Kawa. So far, there has been an eerie silence on the issue, both from the police and Sarawak Forestry Corporation, (SFC), the keeper of Wildlife protection on the matter.

Tuan Speaker,

What irks me most is “Not only was I approached a couple of times by so-call friends of the police to keep the matter on the lid, I was even asked if I want to meet the police to discuss the matter. This was done maybe to induce me or to threaten me to zip my lips”.

“One of them said he is a friend of the police and that he wanted to arrange for me to meet the police concerned to put an end to the issue. I was even told that the whole issue was the work of some police who wanted to bring down the host of the dinner by planting the turtle eggs on the table that night. And that some officers from West Malaysia did not even know that what was being served were turtle eggs. It just gets more and more ridiculous after each excuses”.

“Keep quiet, I will not. Why should there be a double standard for the very institution that is tasked to protect and uphold the law. Whenever the public was caught with turtle eggs by the police, they were expediently charged. But here, we have the senior officers from Bukit Aman and the Sarawak police seen with hard evidence which showed turtle eggs on each table during the dinner as splashed out in the Borneo Post on March 2 with pictures too and yet, there is no action taken.”

Police eating turtle eggs was then the talk of the town but as expected, there was an eerie silence from both the police and the SFC. I have waited a few days for the police or the SFC to take action but with no forth coming action, I lodged a police report and even after that, there was still silence until today.

“Is it because Bukit Aman Director of Internal Security and Public Order, Dato’ Husin Ismail, Sarawak General Operation Force commander, SAC 11 Dato’ Law Hong Soon, Sarawak Commissioner of Police, DCP Dato’ Mohmad Salleh, Head of Sections, Officer-in-charge of police stations and senior police were at the dinner, so they can be excused and immune from law?”

Tuan Speaker

“Silence is not golden in this case. I want answers, not only for me but for the people too who felt that the authorities are playing favouritism. Why is the law not being enforced just because the culprits are from the uniformed body? Why is it that every time the enforcers did something wrong, things are conveniently swept under the carpet hoping that time would make the people forget.”

I did not expect much from SFC Controller Len Talif Salleh. He said the case would be investigated and I bet he hoped that by saying that, the whole episode will die a natural death like so many issues before. It is pointless for Len Talif Salleh to cite all the laws pertaining to the preservation of sea turtle, if no enforcement actions are taken against those breaking the law.

I believe, the Controller of SFC, Dato’ Len Talif Salleh should resign in shame. Did he not realise that the issue has tarnishvestigation? If a simple case like this cannot be solved, what about complicated ones like murder or ed his department and the state of Sarawak world wide? He even said that the turtle eggs could be from Indonesia. So does it matter the turtle eggs were from Indonesia or anywhere else, it is still protected species. What a hopeless bunch of people in SFC!

Again, why are the police not helping with the investigation? Why are the Bukit Aman police not here to do an independent investigation then if Sarawak police could not get statements from their own officers? Is the case so difficult to solve simply because the turtle eggs are seen in front of senior officers? Or dare I say the police don’t know where to start with the inrobbery? No wonder, the crime rate in Sarawak is so high. Or is there a set of rules for the uniformed body that you do not investigate your own people!!!

I am ashamed. Ashamed of this lackadaisical attitude of the government agencies. This is an international issue as Malaysia is a signatory to the MOU on Asean Sea Turtle Conservation and Protection that promotes the protection, conservation, replenishing and recovery of sea turtles. Again we are in the world map for all the wrong reasons. There are a lot of environmentalists in other countries who are following the situation. And if no action is taken, the outside world is going to think the worst of us, again.

“I want this August House to know that those in authority who swept every wrongdoing under the carpet hoping that it would go away are wrong. The people involved must be brought to court to face charges as such irresponsible act must be condemned and stopped. Justice not served would in the end result in unwanted issues, at times very explosive and too difficult and too late to contain.

“It now seems such a waste of effort and taxpayers’ money to have sea turtle protection program when the enforcer itself failed to protect what should be protected.”


Fish said...

Hi Violet, I know the case is already over for quite a few months (silenced?), but still I would like to thank you for raising it up in the DUN. As a person who loves the environment, I also feel ashamed of what has happened. Thank you, again, for standing up for the protection of the environment (and the endangered turtles!)

FirstFruits said...

The police are pretty good at issuing compound summons to vehicle owners who park their vehicles along yellow lines Many times, I have seen traffic policemen park their own vehicles along yellow lines and go into coffee shops. Now who are there to issue them compound summons?

If they themselves break the law, how do they expect people to keep it?