Panda vs. orangutans: With its native species facing risks, Malaysia's panda bear project a boondoggle
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's plan to spend nearly $16 million (50 million Malaysian ringgits) to lease two baby pandas from China for ten years is a waste of money and resources at a time when its own native species are suffering from a range of threats, warned a leading Malaysian conservationist in an open letter. Cynthia Ong, Executive Director of Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), said that the Malaysian leader should focus on allocating scarce wildlife funds for tangible conservation projects within Malaysia, not showcasing a foreign species in a zoo. "Your actions with projek panda deeply confused, upset and angered me and many of my colleagues who are working tirelessly to protect the endangered species of Sabah and Malaysia. We go through soul-destroying fund application processes to receive (or not) what little funds your government allocates to...