Letter to bloggers and media practitioners on May 29 :
Dear Blogger / Media friend,
At 10:30am today a group of more than 20 Malaysian social media users gathered at the entrance of the A ‘Famosa Resort in Melaka for a public awareness campaign.
They were approached by the Deputy OCPD of Melaka about 10 minutes after they arrived at the location. The senior officer courteously advised them to vacate the area (a public space), but allowed them first to attend to members of the press and photographers.
There were third-party individuals present at the location who were brash towards the group, asking for their personal details and recording their vehicle licence plate numbers. However, there was no untoward incident as the group did not engage them.
Though they were only allowed to stay for about half an hour, the group was grateful to the police for their consideration and protection. Individuals who attended the campaign drove from Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. There were those who were on their way from Singapore, Johor Bahru and Penang, but detoured after being told that the group had been instructed to disperse.
Individuals who attended today’s event brought with them posters and banners appealing to Malaysians to bear responsibility and care for the welfare and dignity of wildlife living in captivity. Their presence at the A ‘Famosa Resort came a week after a YouTube video caused a public outrage on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
Several local media have published reports on this matter, as well as foreign news sites such as the Jakarta Globe, the Straits Times, France 24, Viet News, Himalayan Times, China Post, Sydney Morning Herald and Brisbane Times.
According to a Malay Mail report, the A’ Famosa Resort could lose its licence to keep captive wildlife on its premises following public complaints regarding mistreatment of animals. However, the power to shut down the facility rests in the hands of the local council and State government.
Meanwhile, the New Straits Times reported that Perhilitan had issued a directive to A ‘Famosa Resort to cease all animal shows, particularly those of endangered wildlife such as the tiger.
Feedback from social media users clearly indicate a great sense of shame among Malaysians who are becoming increasingly aware that there are animal parks in the country that do not treat their animals humanely and with respect. Worse is when the parks are popular destinations for foreign tourists.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi.
On behalf of concerned Malaysians on Facebook and Twitter,
Dear UpdateBlogger / Media Friend,
On 18 February this year a disturbing video was uploaded onto YouTube by a concerned citizen. The video, shot at the A ‘Famosa Resort in Melaka, showed an insentient tiger being forcefully postured to pose for a series of paid photo shoots.
Video : http://bit.ly/bMoRcm
The video, which recently made its rounds on Facebook and Twitter, caused an uproar particularly among Malaysian social media users.
As a result, these social media users mobilised their friends and followers online to write to the management of A ‘Famosa Resort expressing their discontent and demanding explanation regarding the manner in which the tiger was treated. Letters were also sent to the media and some were published.
A ‘Famosa representative, Eric Ong, responded by saying the tiger was simply “lazy” and that it was in the tiger’s “nature” to behave inertly. He also denied any possibility that the tiger was sedated.
By and large, Malaysians who have watched the video find it difficult to accept that the tiger was naturally insentient. They are also disturbed by the manner in which the tiger was treated and that it was exploited for paid photo shoots.
A random group of Malaysian social media users have since established a Facebook Page called “Stop Animal Abuse at A' Famosa!” to raise public awareness. The Page has garnered support from over 5,000 Facebook users to date. The issue is also widely discussed on Twitter under the hash tag #TolongTigers.
These concerned Malaysians are planning a “Public Awareness Campaign” day-trip to A ‘Famosa Resort on 29 May 2010 at 10:30am to advocate better treatment for wildlife living in captivity. They strongly believe that the livelihood and dignity of wildlife living in captivity is the collective responsibility of all Malaysians.
Page : http://bit.ly/agMMXu
Event : http://bit.ly/ch8Rmb
Please help create awareness among your readers by highlighting this issue in your blog / publication. Your support at the A ‘Famosa Resort this weekend will also add great value to the cause. Hope to see you there.On behalf of concerned Malaysians on Facebook and Twitter,