Letter to bloggers and media practitioners on May 29 :
Dear Blogger / Media friend,
At 10:30am today a group of more than 20 Malaysian social media users gathered at the entrance of the A ‘Famosa Resort in Melaka for a public awareness campaign.
They were approached by the Deputy OCPD of Melaka about 10 minutes after they arrived at the location. The senior officer courteously advised them to vacate the area (a public space), but allowed them first to attend to members of the press and photographers.
There were third-party individuals present at the location who were brash towards the group, asking for their personal details and recording their vehicle licence plate numbers. However, there was no untoward incident as the group did not engage them.
Though they were only allowed to stay for about half an hour, the group was grateful to the police for their consideration and protection. Individuals who attended the campaign drove from Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. There were those who were on their way from Singapore, Johor Bahru and Penang, but detoured after being told that the group had been instructed to disperse.
Individuals who attended today’s event brought with them posters and banners appealing to Malaysians to bear responsibility and care for the welfare and dignity of wildlife living in captivity. Their presence at the A ‘Famosa Resort came a week after a YouTube video caused a public outrage on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
Several local media have published reports on this matter, as well as foreign news sites such as the Jakarta Globe, the Straits Times, France 24, Viet News, Himalayan Times, China Post, Sydney Morning Herald and Brisbane Times.
According to a Malay Mail report, the A’ Famosa Resort could lose its licence to keep captive wildlife on its premises following public complaints regarding mistreatment of animals. However, the power to shut down the facility rests in the hands of the local council and State government.
Meanwhile, the New Straits Times reported that Perhilitan had issued a directive to A ‘Famosa Resort to cease all animal shows, particularly those of endangered wildlife such as the tiger.
Feedback from social media users clearly indicate a great sense of shame among Malaysians who are becoming increasingly aware that there are animal parks in the country that do not treat their animals humanely and with respect. Worse is when the parks are popular destinations for foreign tourists.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi.
On behalf of concerned Malaysians on Facebook and Twitter,
In 2008, I wrote about the need to be kind to animals. Obviously we, the people of Malaysia are still barbaric in nature.