The Orang Asli community in Kelantan has blamed a recent tiger attack on the loss of habitat due to logging but state Forestry Department director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah has a contrarian view.
Khalim argued areas that are deforested are actually good for tigers.
He claimed that after an area is deforested, new vegetation will grow which will encourage the presence of new animal species that serve as food to tigers.
“Based on expert research, areas that have been deforested are actually good for the tiger population.
“The tiger population will become larger when small trees grow in the deforested area. The area will see the presence of animals such as mouse deers which is food for tigers.
“It will be easier for tigers to hunt their prey,” Khalim said.
In contrast, he claimed that it was difficult for tigers to find prey in a forest reserve.
The Orang Asli who have lived in forests for centuries should be given credit for knowing what they are talking about, whilst it is extremely sad to see that a senior forestry official does not.
Perhaps he would like to name the “expert” he is referring to who says that tigers benefit from having their forests cut down as it makes it easier to hunt the no longer-existent prey, which themselves lived off the jungle? We thought not!
One can only assume that this official is aware where his own makan is coming from at least (namely his bosses who are taking the money from the logging) even if it is hard to believe his claim to be unaware that habitat loss is the single most important factor in species extinction.
His remarks are so self-evidently stupid and uneducated that it is clear that Kelantan Forestry Department ought to be investing in a basic primary school level science education for its leading lights – and the state government ought likewise to be providing for schools to start educating children about the vital facts of life when it comes to the environment on which all human beings also depend.
This man is not fit to manage forests and those who employ him are not fit to manage the state. Kelantan would clearly do a million times better if the wise Orang Asli, who actually understand the workings of the habitat on which Abdul Khalim and his ‘God fearing’ bosses and indeed all of us depend, were put in charge.
To put it in language that these religious experts might better understand (since science is plainly beyond their brains) God made earth the way it is so that man could live on it. If we raise it to the ground in a greedy grab, killing everything to make fast easy money for a few decision makers (which is by the way known as a sin), without even saving the seed to replant and reproduce, then we have spurned God’s gifts of life and we deserve to wither and starve in the desert we have created.
Does Abdul Khalim understand it better when put that way?