Malayan tiger may be extinct in five to ten years, says minister

Pic by  ISMAIL CHE RUS

THE Malayan tiger species is likely to be extinct in the next five to 10 years if no drastic measures are taken to protect the animal, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

He said the Malayan tiger population was at a worrying level, with fewer than 200 left according to the First National Tiger Survey conducted from 2016 to 2018.

“The actual population of Malayan tigers will be known once the survey is completed in 2020,” he said in reply to Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Ahmad Fahmi had wanted to know about the Malayan tiger population in Malaysia and steps taken to maintain and increase the animal’s population.

Dr Xavier said his ministry, through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) as well as with cooperation from government agencies and non-governmental organisations, was taking proactive steps to protect the Malayan tiger, like stepping up patrols and monitoring at 20 hunting hotspots.

He said they were also discussing the implementation of integrated patrols and enforcement with the Armed Forces and Royal Malaysia Police.

“There is also an agreement with several universities for their biodiversity and forestry students to volunteer to conduct patrols,” he said. –BERNAMA