S’wak minister disagrees with ‘orangutan diplomacy’, says animal should remain in habitat

Abdul Karim speaking to reporters during the press conference held at Imperial Hotel on May 20, 2024.

By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, May 20: Orangutans should remain in their habitat and not in cages, says Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTC) Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Commenting on Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani’s recent intention to introduce an ‘orangutan diplomacy’, Abdul Karim opined that it might not be a good move for Malaysia since the animal is protected in Malaysia and Indonesia.


“I hope it (the orangutan diplomacy) is not true. We can give it away, but in the form of a doll or statue,” he said during a press conference held at the Imperial Hotel here today.

He added that it’s better to care for orangutans locally, which can also show that their habitat is not being spoiled by the “so-called deforestation”.

Asked if Sarawak will agree on the matter, Abdul Karim said it depends on the policy.

However, he said that he disagrees with it.

On May 7, Johari reportedly announced Malaysia’s intention to introduce an ‘orangutan diplomacy’ as gifts for trading partners and foster foreign relations, particularly with major palm oil importing nations such as the European Union, India, and China.

Following this, on May 19, Sarawak activist Peter Johan Jaban slammed the minister for his idea. — DayakDaily