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By Sitti Nor Azizah Talata

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Christina Liew said the Sabah Government fully support and value all efforts in the protection of Sunda Pangolins.

In this respect, Christina said she strongly recommended a ‘3E’ Formula to combat the indiscriminate hunting and senseless killing of pangolins in Sabah.

Christina Liew beating the gong to mark the opening of the State World Pangolin Day at Hilton Hotel on Saturday night. SNT Pix/Sitti Nor Azizah Talata

“The first E would be Empowerment of stakeholders in protecting these mammals, the second E would be Enforcement of the law againts perpetrators of this despicable crime and the third E would be Education of the public to raise consciousness of the importance of conserving the pangolins.

“In this respect I acknowledge the contributions of Elisa Panjang, a local pangolin expert from Sandakan especially for her role in developing educational programmes targeted at primary and secondary school students and the public in efforts to curb massive losses of these mammals,” she sais at the Sabah-World Pangolin Day Gala Dinner here last night.

Christina who also the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment urged the the relevant authorities to raid those eateries serving pangolin meat to tourist.

She reminded the public that pangolins are now listed in Schedule One of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.

“Meaning it is now forbidden to hunt, consume, possess or sell pangolins or their parts and offenders could be faced with the maximum penalty upon conviction.

“In other words, the pangolin is listed as a fully protected animal under the 1997 enactment.

“Sunda Pangolin traffickers in Sabah now face a minimum imprisonment term of one year up to a maximum term of five years and fines up to RM250,000 or both,” she said.

On the event, Christina said the observance of World Pangolin Day is set to pave the way for bigger things to crystallise.

“If everything goes well as planned, we should be seeing the establishment of the much-anticipated Sabah Pangolin Sanctuary and Research Institute or SAPSARI,” she said. – SabahNewsToday