Rabu, 11 Disember 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Wildlife Department to probe open sale of bushmeat


KOTA KINABALU: A host of exotic wildlife meat, including those from protected species, are being sold openly at a tamu (weekly farmers' market) in Sabah's interior Nabawan town.

Wildlife rangers have been sent to check on the public tip-offs on the open sale of slaughtered protected species at the market, some 200km from Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said that the species included the binturong or bear cat, common palm civet, banded palm civet, Malay civet, sambar deer, porcupine, blood python and many others.

Free no more: A binturong or bear cat carcass being put up for sale in the 'tamu' in Nabawan.

"These species are definitely hunted from forest reserves and national parks, where hunting is totally forbidden," said Dr Laurentius, who promised action against those responsible as such acts were "unacceptable".

He said they would be going after the suspects involved in the selling and hunting of the animals.

The newly-opened Wildlife Health Genetic and Forensic Laboratory would analyse confiscated illegal bushmeat to determine species and origin using genetic tools, he said.

Wildlife department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said there was a clear and present danger to wildlife in Sabah as illegal hunting and poaching was happening at an unprecedented rate that was fuelled by both local consumption and also by international illegal trade in wildlife.

"The department is seriously looking at beefing up the department's capacity by setting up a Wildlife Enforcement Unit to address this serious issue, which will be very similar to the very successful Department's Wildlife Rescue Unit," Dr Nathan added.

Danau Girang Field Centre director Dr Benoit Goossens said there were evidence of illegal hunting and wildlife trade happening in national parks and protected forests in Sabah based on evidence caught by camera traps.

Dr Goossens also cautioned the public who hunt, handle, buy and eat bushmeat that they were not only acting against the law but also risking their lives by handling and consuming wildlife.

"Take the example of ebola, a zoonotic and deadly disease transmitted by bushmeat handling and consumption in central Africa, especially of chimpanzees and gorillas.

"Closer to home, the nipah virus was carried by flying foxes (fruit bats) and then transmitted to pigs. This later affected the people handling or consuming bats or pork, and it proved fatal for many in peninsular Malaysia," he said.

All they want for Xmas are brand new clothes


BUTTERWORTH: It was a fun outing at the movies and a lip-smacking meal at an American-style seafood restaurant for SMK St Mark student F. Fatrik, but the 15-year-old wonders if he will have any new clothes to wear for Christmas.

The Form Three student was among 20 underprivileged children from the Shammah Children's Home here, aged two to 15, who were feted to a Christmas outing by the Sunway Carnival Mall in Seberang Jaya yesterday.

While he enjoyed the movie and the meal, Fatrik feels sad that he and the others would have to wear their old clothes for Christmas although the celebration is just around the corner.

"Nobody has bought us new clothing for the celebration," said Fatrik. "Maybe all of us would have to wear the old ones," he added.

Fatrik and his brother, F. Manuel, 11, together with the other youngsters, watched the animated movie Frozen at Golden Screen Cinemas and were then given a hearty lunch at Manhattan Fish Market.

"I really enjoyed it,'' said Manuel.

Another SMK St Mark Form Two student, P. Vijay, 14, thanked the sponsors for the treats.

After lunch, the children were given a story book each and a chance to make personal sand art greeting cards.

Sunway Carnival Mall marketing manager Sharley Ooi said the event was part of their corporate social responsibility programme called Some of Us.

Present at the events were mall senior executive marketing and communications Khoo Yi Peng and Shammah home administrator M. Josephine.

Inspections at Serdang Hospital to prevent repeat of mishaps


PETALING JAYA: The Serdang Hos­pital, near here, where a ceiling at its staff quarters collapsed, will make a thorough inspection of its buildings.

"We will carry out routine inspection so that any defect can be detected early," said deputy director (medical) Rohana Johan in a statement yesterday.

"We are currently renovating all the toilets in the staff quarters," she said when commenting on media reports that the wife and four children of a hospital staff were nearly hit by parts of the ceiling that fell off in the toilet at 1pm on Saturday.

Runtuhan siling dalamtandas sebuah rumah kakitangan di blok D, Hospital Serdang semalam.

Undergoing renovation: Parts of the ceiling that fell off in a toilet in the staff quarters at Serdang Hospital.

There were no injuries.

Similar incidents were reported to have occurred at the hospital since 2011.

On Jan 30, 2011, a ceiling collapsed at the hospital's main lobby.

On Aug 13 last year, three nurses and a female medical officer were hurt when 15 ceiling pieces collapsed at the hospital's emergency department.

On Sept 20, this year, portions of the ceiling at the hospital's maternity ward gave way and on Nov 14, parts of the ceiling at the paediatric intensive care unit collapsed.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said the ministry had yet to receive any report on the latest incident.

He added, however, that the ministry was keeping a close watch on the hospital.

"We have instructed the hospital and its engineering department to do a daily inspection and give us a report," he said.

"We are looking at a comprehensive review of the hospital structure," he added after a cheque presentation ceremony at the Ara Damansara Medical Centre (ADMC) here yesterday.

The cheque was a RM500,000 contribution by Sime Darby Foundation for epilepsy surgery to be carried out by the medical centre and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH).

On another matter, he said about 200,000 people in the country were suffering from epilepsy.

"Most can be treated with medication but there is one group that is resistant to medication and require other methods of treatment such as surgery," he said, adding that the collaboration between ADMC and KLH was reflected in the ministry's encouragement of public-private partnerships.

So far, 12 children and teenagers from underprivileged families have undergone surgery and are said to be seizure-free to date.

Dr Subramaniam said at least 17 young epilepsy patients would be able to undergo surgery with the foundation's contribution.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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