The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has denied that Anson Wong and his wife were issued a licence to trade in wildlife as claimed in the Al Jazeera 101 East documentary called The Return of the Lizard King.
The ministry said the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) had revoked all trading licences issued to Wong and his wife in September 2010.
It said it viewed with grave concern the allegations raised in the Al Jazeera programme with regards to the illicit business dealings of a former convicted criminal.
The ministry added Bukit Jambul Reptile Sanctuary and CBS Wildlife, owned by the couple, were not licensed to trade or possess wildlife listed under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and the International Trade of Endangered Species Act 2008.
“Based on our checks, Rona Wildlife’s registered owner is Radamani Govindan. Anson Wong is not listed as an owner, shareholder or board member of the company,” it said.
“Physical inspection and compliance checks on Rona Wildlife’s premises have been conducted regularly.”
The ministry, in a statement to The Malay Mail, said the government’s commitment against illegal wildlife trade was globally well-known with the enactment of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
With the new law, the ministry had been able to curb illegal wildlife trade effectively as the Act provides stiffer penalties for poaching and other wildlife crimes, with a penalty of RM500,000 and jail term of not more than five years upon conviction. More....