WWF-Malaysia is urging Malaysians to be united in making a pledge to support conservation efforts to save the fast disappearing Malayan tigers.
With an estimated 200 left in the wild, the survival of the national pride that symbolises strength and bravery relies on concerted efforts by all parties.
WWF-Malaysia’s Tiger Landscape Lead Dr Mark Rayan Darmaraj said the Malayan Tiger Pledge was an initiative by the non-governmental organisation to provide an opportunity for public participation to seek to make tigers a national priority.
“Last year, Nepal made history by successfully doubling the number of its tigers. The establishment of a National Tiger Conservation Committee chaired by the prime minister in the country played a significant role in this, as well as achieving 365 days of zero poaching for rhinos, elephants and tigers in 2013 and 2014.
“Similarly in India, Project Tiger was established by the then prime minister in the 1970s. Today, India has a National Tiger Conservation Authority, which oversees all matters pertaining to tigers.
“We sincerely hope that the Malayan Tiger Pledge can be a tangible call-to-action that will garner the highest political will as in India and Nepal, so that executive decisions on policy, allocation of resources, enforcement and land management favourable to tiger conservation can be made and implemented in Malaysia,” he said.
Complementing efforts of the government’s Save Our Malayan Tiger campaign, he said WWF-Malaysia hoped to share the pledge with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by the next Global Tiger Day 2020 to showcase the support of the general public towards making tigers a national priority.
Meanwhile, WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Sophia Lim said it was targeting one million signatures by Global Tiger Day 2020.
“We hope this will reach as many people as possible and not just Malaysians, as the pledge is available on digital platforms as well. So far, 12,614 tiger heroes had pledged their support up to yesterday,” she said.
She said WWF-Malaysia was planning a year-long campaign to reach as many Malaysians as possible as well as the global digital audience.
“This engagement roadmap will include many outreach initiatives with various levels of the community,” she said.
To sign the Malayan Tiger Pledge, please visit www.wwf. org.my/tigerpledge