May, 2022 - The Malayan Tiger in Peril


By Colette Hassan


Mr Suzalinur Manja Bin Bindi (referred to as Man) from MYCAT - an NGO and Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers - spoke to 21 MCG members.   I guess that most of the participants were as shocked as I was by his opening statistics. The tiger, this majestic creature, having pride of place on Malaysia’s coat of arms and on the t-shirts of our athletes at international level, is in fact close to extinction. It is estimated that its population stands today at less than 150. Worldwide, there are only about 3500 tigers left in the wild, a drastic decline from 100’000 a century ago.


The Malayan Tiger is today Totally Protected which means that it cannot be hunted, sold or kept. It is only found in the peninsula (none in Sabah, Sarawak). Similarly, in India, South East Asia and China its population is being depleted due to loss of habitat and poaching. Deforestation and plantations led to their habitat becoming fragmented and their food supply disrupted. Poaching feeds the demand for traditional medicine products, meat consumption (considered a delicacy) and skin, claws and teeth being used for magic and trophies. Tigers are being caught with wire snares which are extremely painful.

Other totally protected species in Malaysia are the sun bear, elephant, samba deer, golden cat, leopard, wild buffalo, barking deer, wild boar. They form the tiger’s food chain and stabilise the forest ecology.  Man noted that it is the responsibility of each one of us to report any incident of wildlife species being sold or kept. If you come across such cases, please contact Wildlife crime hotline : 0193564194 or, if possible with photos.


There are three main areas in the peninsula where efforts are under way to create corridors or linkages between fragmented areas so that the wildlife population may reconnect with wider hunting grounds. MYCAT is involved in the Sungei Yu reforestation project located in Pahang, next to Taman Negara. Three eco viaducts are being built by the government to enable wildlife to move between fragmented forests. The second area is the Endau-Rompin corridor in Johor and the third area is the Belum-Temenggor project in the north.


MYCAT is a three-person outfit working in close collaboration with the Malaysian Nature Society, Wildlife Society Selangor, World Wildlife Fund and is supported by Perhilitan, the Government Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Together, they are endeavouring to rectify the situation and give the tigers a better chance of survival. MYCAT also works with the orang asli who are able to help detect the poachers’ traps. A very interesting initiative by MYCAT is the CAT WALK programme to enable those interested to visit certain tiger habitats. Such frequent visits to these areas, are targeted to look for signs of crimes and hamper poachers. These walks are meant for anyone aged 18 and above, fit and able to walk 10km. Anyone can register at

The next walks are scheduled for 18-19, 25-26 June, 2-3, 23-24 July, 20-21, 27-28 August, 10-11, 24-25 September.



This interesting morning came to a close after Man obliged by answering our members’ many questions and exchanged points of view regarding better motivation and action to educate especially today’s urban youths who seem totally disconnected with this reality. After all, the Malayan Tiger is an intrinsic part of the country’s heritage.


For any assistance or financial contribution towards saving the Malayan tiger programme, you may contact MYCAT:


MYCAT, T3-16-15, 3 Towers, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel. 03-27156701