KUCHING, Jan 24: Sarawakians can now heave a sigh of relief with the announcement made by State Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din that the police would only revoke rifle licences in stages, and not shotguns.
In a two-paragraph press statement issued today, Ramli assured that the directive from the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador was only regarding the revocation of rifle licences, and that it would be in stages.
“The directive is only regarding rifle licences and not other types of firearms,” Ramli said.
Yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing advised police not to revoke shotgun licences from the natives of Sarawak as they had become a part of their culture and lifestyle for generations and had thus become considered as heirlooms passed down from their forefathers.
He also said that the possible revocation of rifles, if it included shotgun licences, by the police would have serious implications on the native communities in Sarawak as they also used it for hunting and protecting their farms.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had said that the license revocation was among steps taken by the police in its efforts to stop wildlife poaching, seen to be on the rise in the country.
“The move was initiated after the weapon was identified to be the most popular hunting tool among poachers,” Hamid was quoted by the media.
At the same time he said, there was fear that the firearms could fall in the hands of militant groups and the police have stopped granting approval for the firearm license. —DayakDaily