Abdul Karim: Matang Wildlife Centre not a zoo. Period

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, May 7: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has clarified that the Matang Wildlife Centre is not a zoo but a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre for rescued animals across the state.

He was responding to Violet Yong (DAP-Pending)’s allegation that numerous complaints had been posted by tourists on Matang Wildlife Park on travel review website Trip Advisor.

“These rescued animals are on a temporary stay at the centre. Once they are successfully rehabilitated, they would be released into the wild,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly today.

For this reason, Abdul Karim said the animal enclosures were made simple to maintain a natural environment look; thus, there should not be any comparison of Matang’s animal facilities with established zoos.

“Instead, it should be seen as a highly acclaimed wildlife rehabilitation programme that the centre provides,” he said, adding that to mentioned just the bad reviews posted on Trip Advisor, Yong was not reflecting the views of all visitors to Matang Wildlife Centre.

To relieve the increasing pressure on the centre, Abdul Karim also said RM2 million had been approved under the Mid-Term Review of RMK11 to establish a wildlife holding centre in Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary for Miri and other places in the northern region. — DayakDaily