Tiger Park? How about a People’s Park…

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Update: Please, no tigers on the island! That’s the plea of an experienced vet in Penang whom I spoke to. “Penang as an island is not the place for wild animals especially tigers. The whole concept of having animals is not like those days when they were caged. Now they are left to roam in the loose and they have their own environment, but never in captivity. Even the concept of zoos has changed to the open system. You can’t have a tiger roaming wild on the island (without a supporting ecological balance). In a normal safari, the animals have their own eco-system where the bigger animals (roam around and) survive by eating smaller animals.”

Looks like the proposal for a Tiger Park in Penang is receiving a mauling.

And not just from local wildlife conservation groups such as the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat!), which comprises the Malaysian Nature Society, Traffic Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia.

News of the Tiger Park plan has even reached the global media for all the wrong reasons. Check out the BBC report here.

If the Penang government is really interested in eco-tourism, then it should clean up the beaches and rivers and protect the hillslopes from greedy property developers. Identify the sources of river and sea pollution and penalise the culprits. Create a more liveable city too by reducing the dependence on private motor vehicles and promoting public transport. (Do not approve the Penang Outer Ring Road.) And oh yes, create more parks – people’s parks, that is, not artificial tiger parks. Pulau Jerejak could also be turned into a nature sanctuary.

Who would want to come and pay big money to gawk at tigers during a recession (or depression)? Zoos do not excite children these days as they seem obsessed with computer games and playstations and what-have-you.

Now we know the Council does have 100 acres it could use for a People’s Park. A well-maintained People’s Park would would make Penang stand out and in the long run draw more visitors than an artificial Tiger Park.

If the tigers are not properly looked after, the park could have the opposite effect and put people off Penang. I recall how a global signature campaign was recently carried out in the West after a tourist captured on video a couple of monkeys kept in a small cage in a private park in an island resort in peninsular Malaysia.

When I received the news via an email petition, I immediately alerted the park owners and told them about the video and the petition and told them to do something about it. They told me they were taking immediate action – and I believe they did act on it. But by then the bad publicity had already spread via the Internet through the outraged remarks on the online signature petition and the emails circulating around.

This is the sort of the thing that could happen in this age of Youtube and online petitions if nature lovers see wildlife being poorly treated.

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firdaus

biggest problem is LGE not originaly penangite so mcmana dia nk paham negeri kita. i nk jd 1 st malay CM for penang. haha

Racheljansz

There is a need for Wildlife conservation in Malaysia. People that grew up in concrete jungle, computer games and electronic age will not know any better and will have the tendency to destroy the environment and/or consume Wildlife in the name of health, progress and what not. All over the world, many animals & plants species are disappearing. They cannot get out of the way of human “progress” and will be beaten to extinction unless we actively protect them and their habitats. A Tiger & Wildlife Conservation Park would be the educational tool that would help bring much needed awareness… Read more »

KG

A tiger park might seem inoffensive in the abstract, but let us consider it concretely as proposed thus far. If the map provided by The Star report is correct then the area designated for the park appears to be right in a residential zone and adjacent to farming plots on the hill. It is also bordered by roads. Check for yourselves on Google Maps. The size is allegedly 40 ha, about the size of KL Zoo. It does not seem credible that this will be anything approximating their natural habitat. Once facilities are erected there will likely be very little… Read more »

Sunny

Sunny, even Vet also say not good to have Tiger Park lah. You got what qualification to speak in authority?

What do Vet know about running a state? I have zero authority so you don’t see me making baseless statements. Let those elected do their job and if you feel so strongly about how Penang should be run, go for office.

EC

This government doesn’t have a strategic plan.. so it comes up with a lot of half-baked plans, just to show that they have new ideas…ok, nothing wrong with that, but at least do some proper research, read the tons of studies and reports done previously. The reports were prepared by experts in their field, not by politicians, so it’s not a shame to relook into them. The tourism industry people are complaining that they are not consulted on the state’s tourism strategies, so if people in the industry who are knowledgeable on tourism trends are not consulted then who in… Read more »

MpUng

What a dumb idea. Penang doesn’t need novelties like a tiger park, which would end up a loss-maker. After the usual initial visitor response, usually out of curiosity, interest dies and the park would become another white elephant. Why not tropical orchards, which could be self-sustaining? Why not promote harbour and Penang Bridge cruises, or trips to outlying islands like Jerejak? The money for tiger park is better spent at cleaning up Penang’s dirty-city image, relocating illegal hawkers to proper spots and improving public transport to tourist spots. Penang should stop thinking short-term benefits and go long on substance and… Read more »

Tuah

Good idea. We can feed the criminals and politicians to the tigers

Penangites

I think the best thign the Pg state govt should do is give Pg a thorough cleansing politically and environmentally. I suggest LGE give special attention to a cleaner Pg beaches. I still recall LGE advising the People of Pg to work with the govt to clean up the beaches on Red.FM ….”….Our beaches are not what it use to be…use to be”. Penang all along is famous for its sandy beaches and local hawkers fare. This 2 alone (together with her other tourist spots) will be able to attract tourist to visit pg in droves. Tiger Park can come… Read more »

dk

Tiger park in Penang? Pathetic lah. DAP can kidd Penang goodbye if it keeps coming up with such stupid ideas.
Has anyone been to the … butterfly park lately. U will not be impressed. DAP must learn from BN’s mistakes and don’t b like them.

Approving Authorities

A tiger park ? Silly idea.

For eco-tourism projects, it may be better to plant rubber trees, oil palm, coconut, durian trees etc etc and have presentations on how the products are harvested, their uses etc etc – little mini factories.

After all, how many school kids in Penang (let alone the foreign tourists) even know what a rubber seed looks like ?

Ong Eu Soon

Read the whole article on China Tiger Farms Lobby to Sell Animal Parts to Aid Conservation

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/12/061222-tiger-farms.html

Ong Eu Soon

China Tiger Farms Lobby to Sell Animal Parts to Aid Conservation Scott Norris for National Geographic News December 22, 2006 A controversial proposal to lift China’s 13-year domestic ban on trade in tiger parts has conservationists baring their teeth. At issue is the sale of bones, organs, claws, fat, and blood from “farm-raised” tigers—an idea proponents say will help stem poaching of wild tigers. Illegal trade in tiger parts for traditional medicine has been a major factor driving wild populations steeply downward. And wildlife protection groups say that poaching would only increase if China’s trade ban were to be lifted.… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

LGE’s biggest enemy is himself. He claims that he is the CM for all Penangites but he (appears to be) CM for the rich. If you have plenty of money you just propose to the CM no matter how crazy is your ideas as long as it is in the name of development…. So some fool come up with thois silly ideas of having a tiger park in Penang, he immediately comes up with an ideas of using eco-tourism to lure tourist to Penang to combat the current recession. What is LGE’s problem? He has no common sense? A development… Read more »

K

Just when we think Lim wouldn’t get any dumber and then we get this idiotic idea of Tiger Park….Sigh…reminds of the movie “Dumb and Dumber”…sigh… Why can’t LGE work on his GE Manifesto rather than keep issuing unending (but meaningless) press statements on everything under the sun and try to play the econmomic wizard and the senior stateman ? As stated by some people, Penang’s attractions are already in place and the state is like an unpolished pearl that had its luster faded due to poor administration and irresponsible development under the previous BN govt. A Tiger’s part is not… Read more »

Ganesh

Sunny, even Vet also say not good to have Tiger Park lah. You got what qualification to speak in authority?

Sunny

“A well-maintained People’s Park would would make Penang stand out and in the long run draw more visitors than an artificial Tiger Park.”

Stop being the Mr Know It All. Who is to say a Tiger Park will not be successful here. Where do you get the confidence to make statements like that without any supporting data?

Dalbinder Singh

Penang needs something different, not a tiger park and not a peoples park though the present parks should be expanded, but by stopping hillslope developments, we have more parks. We need something different for eco-tourism. I am still thinking what is should be ?

fishhook

The tiger park is actually not a bad idea if it is well planned and properly managed with good scientific researchers. It’s the implementation that is most important. Make sure it is not hangat hangat tahi ayam and the tigers end up abused. Many countries have wildlife conservation sanctuaries with successful breeding programs including by artificial insemination. The number of wild tigers may be too scarce to maintain wild population naturally. If well carried out with a big enough space and expertise, who knows the tiger park may be able to produce a few cubs a years to be released… Read more »

Tony

Penang seems to be full of parks … butterfly park, bird park, hibiscus park, monkey park (waterfall gdns.)..and now a Tiger Park?. How have these projects benefitted the economy of the state (jobs, tourism $$$), and the people of Penang (in terms of recreational and even psychological benefits.)? Or are there better alternatives? As for clean beaches, roads..etc, are the people of Penang willing to do their bit to help.? Are you people willing to stop littering the beaches, learn to pick up somebody’s rubbish from the floor/road/beach? Don’t just pay lip service and whine and complain against the govt.… Read more »

Taipingite

Can’t even manage Penang and some people are talking about taking over Federal government. Idiots!

yvonne

tiger park incorporating conservation, breeding and release program is not such a bad idea la… come on people, you think that all those roaming in the wild are not being poached? our tiger population is on the decline. i agree that tigers need a certain amount of space to roam and hunt but at the rate that they are being killed, surely our forests can sustain more numbers of tigers. i am no wildlife expert and do not like zoos but i am just thinking that something needs to be done to keep tigers around for as long as we… Read more »

anna brella

This is a very BAD idea! And it will give Penang a bad reputation for sure if this commercially-based urban Tiger Park is built there so that some ignorant people/tourists can come there to gawk at these wild creatures displaced from elsewhere in Malaysia. If you love these tigers and want to save them from extinction then please protect and keep them safe in their natural wild habitats. Protect them from the greedy poachers who kill them heartlessly for short-term cheap cash, and help educate those who now irresponsibly use specific parts from their killed bodies to make and sell… Read more »

Andrew

Come on, are you guys kidding me? A “People’s Park”? I can seriously hear the communist Revolutionary Songs playing at the back of my head after reading this idea.

A Tiger Park is possible if Penang adopt the style and the concept of Singapore Zoo. While it may boost the economy of the Tourism sector, it can also become a Reseacrh centre to study tigers… after all we have a APEX university in the island.

Ron

Han2 has a good point. Anil seems to be opposing anything that’s being proposed by Penang Government. Well, to a certain point, Anil’s opposing for the right reasons. Monorail was opposed with good reason. We never needed that. PORR was opposed for the same reasons as Monorail. Both these projects were proposed by Gerakan cos they were too lazy to clean up the traffic jams in Penang. Lazy MPPP not doing their jobs. But Anil opposing Free Wifi was total c… Not knowing anything about wifi, just oppose first. Then he opposed tall buildings in Heritage areas, not knowing what… Read more »

looes74

Khenthoths,
I am advocating a balanced approach. Cover all corners. Implement consistent policies. Not patch up policies going no where like Singapore car polutions. Oops, Me criticising LKY’s government. Shesshh….Hahaha……..Singapore not as bad as you guys think…..See opposition can sue one minister for libel (hmm….some thing about not a scholar) and won…..Make sure before you damn people, prepared to be damned and counter damn with facts.