By Sean Whyte
Reports have emerged indicating up to 40% of the operating funds for the terrorist group Al-Shabaab come from the ivory trade – the very same trade plied so often through Malaysia.
Ivory funding terrorism is only one of the reasons we all deserve to know why the Malaysian government, despite numerous confiscations of ivory, have so far not arrested a single person. What possible explanation could there be for this zero arrest rate? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Malaysia has proved itself to be an indisputable hub for the illegal ivory trade. Malaysia has also disgraced itself by it’s shameful failure to bring about even one prosecution. The question on people’s minds must now be; is someone in Malaysia helping to facilitate fundraising for terrorism? If so, who?
Frequent requests to permit its ivory haul to be independently checked by TRAFFIC appear to fall on the deaf ears of the NRE and its minister G Palanivel. This is inexplicable.
If no stocks of ivory have gone missing what possible harm could it do to invite an independent of government audit? This matter could and should have been resolved months ago.
The questions remaining on the tips of tongues today are: Will Palanivel explain in this forum why after seven or eight ivory confiscations not a single person has been arrested? Has any previously confiscated ivory been misappropriated by government officials? Will the minister now invite TRAFFIC to audit the ivory stocks? It’s not much to ask, is it?
If minister fails to answer fully and in a timely fashion, each of us, as well as CITES, ASEAN-WEN and Interpol, will be left to draw our own conclusions and this will be the worst possible outcome for Malaysia.
The families of those killed in Kenya also deserve to hear some answers from the Malaysian government.