KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — All firearm licences granted for the ownership of rifles will be revoked in stages, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said.
He said the licence revocation was among steps taken by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) in efforts to stop wildlife poaching, seen to be on the rise in the country.
“The move was initiated after the weapon was identified to be the most popular hunting tool among poachers,” he told Bernama here today.
At the same time he said there was fear that the firearms could fall in the hands of militant groups and the police have stopped granting approval for the firearm licence.
Abdul Hamid said police are in the midst of identifying almost 7,000 rifle owners in order to revoke the permits.
The issue of wildlife poaching began to draw attention when two Pygmy Borneo elephants were found dead in Sabah on Sept 25 and Oct 17 with their tusks removed believed to have been attacked by poachers.
Following the incidents, the authorities launched an operation dubbed Ops Khazanah in an effort to eradicate illegal hunting activities as well as to preserve the nation’s forest biodiversity.
Over 1,000 personnel from two General Operation Force (GOF) battalions from Senoi Praaq, Bidor, Perak were deployed to carry out the Khazanah Integrated Ops in the national forest.
When asked about those in certain communities who depend on hunting as their livelihood, Abdul Hamid said efforts would be taken to persuade the community such as the Orang Asli, to help conserve our flora and fauna. — Bernama