KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― Hunting permits for 3,500 firearm licensees have been revoked, said Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

He said the revocation of the licences was made to stop illegal poaching activities which appeared to be rampant in the country.

“We have issued about 8,500 firearm licences and out of that number, 3,500 holders have been disqualified for hunting while the rest will be withdrawn in stages.

“However, we will allow it (firearm licences) with conditions, for example, for security reasons where individuals need to protect their property from pests,” he said, when met by reporters after the Integrated Resources Operations (OBK) press conference at Paya Indah Wetlands here today.

Abdul Hamid said if they (licensees) wanted to shoot pests to protect their crops they would need to get permission from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) and a nearby police station.

 “Yes, they (licensees) can shoot pests but not for hunting purposes, and Perhilitan and the nearest police station should be informed as to the presence of pests,” he said.

He said the withdrawal of the firearm licence was only for Peninsular Malaysia and did not include Sabah and Sarawak.

“We will implement it (revocation of firearms licence) in Sabah and Sarawak at a later point as both states have their own special hunting laws,” he said.

In a similar development, Abdul Hamid said police would also withdraw all rifle ownership licences identified as the most frequently used firearm for wildlife hunting.

He said the revocation of the rifle licence was because most of the rifles used by wildlife hunters had been modified.

“This follows the issue of concern and the possibility of the firearm falling into the hands of a terrorist group when the firearm has been modified,” he said. ― Bernama