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‘Malaysia’s Last Tigers’ Calls for Concerted Action from Corporates and Communities to Protect Endangered Malayan Tigers

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia (RIMAU), a local non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to the protection of Malayan Tigers, calls for urgent collective action in its plight to save the endangered species through a special screening of a critically-acclaimed documentary, ‘Malaysia’s Last Tigers’.

The programme is sponsored by Vale, one of the world’s leading mining companies in conservation initiatives. The company, which owns subsidiaries in Malaysia, is currently preserving 965,000 hectares of forests in both its own and third-party land globally.

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia

First released in 2021 to local and international critical acclaims, Malaysia’s Last Tigers, sought to capture initiatives on the ground taken by stakeholders towards preservation of Malayan Tigers and their habitat. This included chronicling Malaysia’s first National Tiger Survey, which gathered and collated data on the number of tigers and where they lived. 

Today, it is estimated that there are less than 150 tigers living in the wild. Calling for the intensification of efforts to preserve the species, Lara Ariffin, President of RIMAU said, “RIMAU has been committed from Day 1 to protect, safeguard and ensure a sustainable future for Malayan tigers, which form a critical part of Malaysian and world heritage. We saw an inherent need for “boots on the ground” initiatives to deliver meaningful impact. Our work in Perak represents an amalgamation of concerted initiatives with local indigenous communities to protect crucial tiger habitats in the state.”

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia

“It takes a nation to save the Malayan Tiger. It is our wish that more corporates and surrounding communities step up and play a part in saving our national icon. We are grateful for the support of partners such as Vale to advance this important cause,” she added.

Reaffirming Vale’s dedication to nature-based solutions and sustainable operations, Leonardo Paiva, Chief Executive Officer of Vale in Malaysia said, “Malayan Tigers occupy an important place in Malaysia’s national identity, and we are pleased to support Rimau’s advocacy for its conservation and protection.”

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia

“Biodiversity conservation is integral to Vale’s carbon offset initiatives and partnerships. Globally, we protect approximately 965,000 hectares of forests, which include 715 acres of unique coastal rainforest that we are currently protecting in Teluk Rubiah, Perak,” he added. 

Vale’s operations in Malaysia began a decade ago in Perak through the establishment of the Teluk Rubiah Maritime Terminal (TRMT). TRMT is Vale’s Asia Pacific iron ore distribution hub with a workforce that is 95% Malaysian; of which a large majority are Perakians. 

Targeting high-level stakeholders and the diplomatic community, the screening attracted over 20 ambassadors, high commissioners, senior heads and representatives of diplomatic missions to converge at HARTA. HARTA is a heritage jewellery museum and art gallery by HABIB which aims to educate and engage the public on Malaysian culture by showcasing traditions and art.

Persatuan Pelindung Harimau Malaysia

In addition to raising funds and public awareness, RIMAU actively works with local communities, having formed ‘Menraq’ (means ‘people’ in Jahai language), a Jahai Orang Asli wildlife protection patrol unit in Royal Belum, as a step towards integrating greater community involvement. The community patrolling project not only raises awareness of Malayan Tigers but also provides an alternative livelihood for community members and surrounding villages. The patrol team complements Perak State Parks rangers’ efforts to safeguard tigers from poaching, which continues to pose a significant threat to tiger conservation.

“RIMAU’s partnership with the indigenous communities in Perak is an example of how environmental sustainability and social inclusion is inseparable. This is aligned with Vale’s strategy of putting local communities at the heart of our sustainability engagements,” Leonardo commented.

The NGO regularly conducts training sessions led by experts for patrollers to equip them with a variety of knowledge including tiger and forest management best practices to improve their skills as community rangers. These rangers represent some of the unsung heroes whose body of work is reflected in Malaysia’s Last Tigers. 

In the coming months, RIMAU is planning to hold public screenings of Malaysia’s Last Tigers to enhance public awareness and education. For more information, the public can visit its website and social media pages to keep up to date on future screenings. 

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