TUARAN – ASEAN is planning to address harsher laws on combating wildlife trafficking in the region.
The Malaysia Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said this is to daunt the criminals from the multi-billion trade.
“I am all for heavier penalties. This is a very serious crime when you look at the staggering amount of money involved in this trade, and the increasing risk of extinction,” he said.
He also added that it is evident that urgent steps are needed to correct the problem.
“There is a need to collaborate with other countries. I think if you have the asset and the money but you don’t have the network; it will not be possible for us to combat this issue alone because this is a global issue,” he said.
However, Anifah stated that personally advocating death penalty does not work and it has proven not to be a deterrent for drug traffickers.
Instead, a comprehensive approach is needed to effectively deal with the issues, he stated adding that measures in combating the crime included the aspects of capacity building, demand reduction and enforcement.
Anifah called all the ASEAN Regional Forum participating countries to strengthen its national efforts to combat wildlife trafficking with the collaboration of the external partners.
He said it was the responsibility of all parties to ensure that “hard” approaches to combat wildlife trafficking such as enforcement and monitoring be calibrated with “soft” approaches, which focuses on awareness and education. – SayangSabah