Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tigers Aren't Burning Bright Anymore

A Kadir Jasin

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THIS Chinese new year, is not my year. According to Chinese almanac, I was born in the year of the pig. I have no problem with that. Pigs are thriving – swine flu no swine flu.

In the UK, the army used pigs in their blast experiments. When the pig huggers complained, they said better to use pigs (than humans).

This year, according to Chinese almanac, is the year of the tiger. Those born during the year of the tiger have something to look forward to. The economy, they say, is recovering. We can all yam seng to that – not necessarily with Tiger beer. Coco-cola will do.

Alas there’s little for the real tigers to look forward too. They are being hunted and eaten to the brink of extinction.

According to the Discovery Channel, fewer than 50 wild tigers remain in China (where the most number of people are welcoming the year of the tiger).

A conservation group in the Middle Kingdom had voiced the hope that the year of the tiger would not be the last for the endangered big cats there.

Xie Yan, director of the China program for the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said that just 20 years ago tigers still roamed across large swathes of China.

As China booms, is seems, the tigers are doomed.

Based on data from the year 2000, there are only around 15 Bengal tigers left in Tibet, 10 Indo-Chinese tiger in China's southwest, and around 20 Siberian tigers in the northeast.

A Reuters report from The Hague quoted a UN expert as saying that genetic experts had found evidence a restaurant in China served tiger meat in defiance of a 1993 ban.

John Sellar, the senior enforcement officer for the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), said the tiger farm he visited in China "vehemently denied" serving tiger’s in a restaurant linked to it.

But evidence compiled after he visited the Guangxi Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Garden this year backed up a report by Britain's ITN television that the restaurant had tiger on the menu, he told a CITES meeting.

Sellar sent a copy of a genetic laboratory report made on a sample of meat obtained by ITN to experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who confirmed the study was properly carried out and the results matched tiger DNA.

In our beloved (but not anymore happy) Malaysia, we will still be greeting our Chinese countrymen (and women) a happy new year of the tiger although only an estimated 500 tigers are left in the wild.

The rest had been shot and eaten. A few were destroyed because they attacked people and livestock.

The New Straits Times some years ago reported that (Chinese) restaurants in Johor had been found to be serving tiger meat to attract customers from neighbouring Singapore.

Tigers had been extinct from Lion City since 1902. According the lore, the last wild tiger was shot when it roamed into the Raffles Hotel (where the White hunters were billeted) on Aug. 13, 1902.

The NST report said the Singaporeans were willingly to pay as much as RM1,000 for a kg of tiger meat to satisfy their palate and supposedly boost their libido.

The Malaysian Nature Society Johor branch adviser Vincent Chow was quoted by the paper as saying that tiger meat could fetch as much as RM1,000 per kg, depending on whether the meat was sold cooked or fresh, while the going rate for tiger’s bones was RM600 per kg.

What is RM1,000 to Singaporeans for tiger meat and bear’s bile if they can improve their mojo? A Durex – yes the condom maker – 2008 global survey found that Singaporeans made love on average 62 times a year against the world’s average of 127.

Now Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew knows why he has to depend on imported Chinese and other immigrants to boost his country’s birth rate and its population.

But there aren’t enough tigers to help Singaporeans spice up their love life. The WWF estimates that there could be as few as 3,2000 tigers left in the wild worldwide. Save the tigers, take the Viagra!

In 2008, Malaysia embarked on the ambitious National Tiger Action Plan with the hope of doubling tiger population to 1,000 in 2020. But so far we have heard of wild tigers being shot but not the proof that tiger cubs are being born in the wild.

For reasons best known to the WWF, the world wildlife conservation fund, has declared 2010 The Year of The Tigers.

Its website said: “On February 14, 2010, the Chinese lunar calendar rolls into the Year of the Tiger. Unfortunately, the plight of wild tigers doesn’t call for much celebration. Three subspecies have been driven to extinction in the past century alone and experts estimate there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild. The good news is that together we can secure a future for these magnificent big cats. Join WWF to reach Tx2, our goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.”

So, to all and sundry, the scribe say, gong xi fa chai, be safe and be happy. Hopefully the year of the tiger brings happiness and vigour (especially to the economy).

Of the magnificent cat, Willian Blake wrote:

TIGER, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thy eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? What dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,

And watered heaven with their tears,

Did He smile His work to see?

Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


sujini said...

The Scribe,

So that's what you prefer to address yourself.Obviously, coz, in this blog you are The Scribe. Now why didnt I think of that before.

So, you are born in the year of the PIG, so is my eldest son.
He's going to be 27 this June and still no steady girl friend.Afraid he's going to be anjangtu(anak bujang tua).

My only daughter who is 11 was born in the year of the TIGER.She's quick tempered (garang) but sensitive.Everybody in the house has to kow tow to her.

Alas,I heard news over the car radio yesterday that PM Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong,urged his people not to believe the old chinese superstition that it's bad luck to make babies in the year of the TIGER.

When Dr.Mahathir was the reigning PM,he urged his people to make as many babies as possible.

Now I wonder what year was Dr Mahathir born in and what year was LKY(when he was the PM, he passed a law limitting the no.of children a couple should have)?

By the way I was born in the year of the HORSE.....very gallant,eh.


Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,

Just as in China, Tigers all over the world are being hunted for their meat or body parts supposedly to improve the sexual prowess of men.

Maybe our politicans including from MCA/DAP/GERAKAN can do something in this Tiger Year to save our tigers in the jungles.
Some educational courses are needed for a start,seriously and honestly.
The tiger is too good an animal to be wasted on man's sexual appetite.


el-Barokhas said...

The key to continued existence is not size, nor brute force, but adaptation. The mosquito and the common fly withstood heavy and consistent human onslaught since time immemorial but still thrive to this day. The extinction of certain living species over time is just that. Except that, in the case of the tiger, the future generations would forever be denied the chance to partake of one of nature's most beautiful and physically powerful creations.

A more lamentable aspect of human behavior is his failure to appreciate, and stupidity in trying to annihilate, the cleaners of his own environment - the crows, rodents, etc. Without filth, these creature instinctly knew better than to be on anybody's way. Their presence is symptomatic of unhealthy environment and they try their level best to help clean it.

What we ought to be doing is not to shoot and destroy them, like so many local authorities are wont to do, but to take the cue and clean up.

If we can't fight the temptation to gobble God's gift (which was meant to satisfy our aestatic senses) just for the sake of upping our sagging libido, the least we can do is to give some thought to those unsung heroes that sound warning bells when our environment needs cleaning up.

puaka said...


I heard rabbit meat will do the work too! Though I never tried it before. Rabbit meat is in abundance - I think.

Its good that you mentioned save the tigers use Viagra. And if they still want to eat something, take the rabbit instead!


Tok Kadiaq

I am not going to blame the chinese for eating tiger meat if they believe it is good for them.

I am not going to blame the poachers either if they need money for a living.

A tiger will always be a tiger and a pig will never be a cat.

If a tiger decides to stay in my village,I am not going to waste my time trying to tame it so that it could be my friend.



Tinta Hitam said...


I was born in Tiger year.Anyway while chinese tiger year will be here to stay,the real tigers in the jungle are facing serious threats.The kampung folks and the orang asli in my homestate in Perak were looking for them everywhere.The prices for all tiger body parts were very good.An orang asli in Sungkai nearly being mauled by a trapped tiger.

You are right,the real tigers were facing threat now.I hope the Wildlife Dept will look into it seriously

Sustainable Living Institute (SAVE) said...

Living with Pak Belang.

Seeing the pitiful state of an Orang Asli household, I asked them,"Mengapa tak bela ayam?"

"Pak Belang datang nanti", Dolah answered.

We have encroached into all Orang Asli reservations with logging, development, and modern agriculture. They are driven further into the jungle to gather food sources and materials to trade. Alas, the resources are so meagre that they have to resort to hunting tigers for much needed cash.

Don't blame them but ourselves for destroying their ecosystem and not doing enough to provide means of livelihood.

If you really want to see how marginalised and ill-treated they are the perkampungan Orang Asli Lojing, Kelantan is such a pitiful state. Several years ago their kampong was surrounded by greeneries but now much bulldozed to their very doorsteps. The river where they used to bath, wash, and fish is murky with eroded soil.

Is this humanity in the land of Nik Aziz?

ab said...

Salam Dato,

Pasai apa kalendar cina tak dak tahun PANDA???... panda came later after the the chinese calendar constructed ka?...

Tapi at least satu orang ada mata halfpanda ealier here... he,he,he,he!!

Sekarang orang suka color violet/purple...kata ada kaitan dengan tiger fungsui....

TAPI kalau color strip hitam dan background kuning MESTI KAW PUNYA UNTUNG,banyak duit datang laa...
tenguk itu maybank!.....

TETAPI TAHUN GAJAH lagi meaningful laa......sampai ada diturunkan wahyu lagi pulak tu,supaya kita tahu!.....

Abu Bakar Ab Rahman

Anonymous said...


My goodness !!
It's true that the tigers population is decreasing every some Idiot want to eat tiger meat .. guess what..tiger somewhere on planet dies FOR THAT IDIOT!
We humans, are surely going to be dealt with come changes in the GREATER environment..maybe even as early as 2012.
Then we will never even know what hit us all from above..left..right..even from under our feet.
Too bad..for us.
Possibly new earth with BETTER PEOPLE will start AFRESH.


pakbelalang said...

This is what what I found about Tiger from Wikipedia but it is about Paper Tiger.

Paper tiger
From Wikipedia
Paper tiger is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhǐ lǎohǔ (simplified Chinese: 紙老虎; traditional Chinese: 紙老虎), meaning something that seems as threatening as a tiger, but is really harmless.

The phrase is an ancient one in Chinese culture, but sources differ as to when it entered the English vocabulary. It is found translated to English as early as 1836, in a work by John Francis Davis.

In a 1956 interview with the American journalist Anna Louise Strong, Mao Zedong used the phrase to describe the United States:

“ In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger. ”

In Mao Zedong's view, "all reactionaries are paper tigers" - superficially powerful but prone to overextension leading to sudden collapse. When Mao criticized Soviet "appeasement" of the United States during the Sino-Soviet split, Premier Nikita Khrushchev reportedly pointed out, "the paper tiger has nuclear teeth."[3]


Is our economy is going to be like real "Tiger" or just "paper tiger".
I hope there is relevent to your article.

Tam Dalyell said...

Salam Sir;

The year may be a tiger. But Gerakan is no longer a tiger.

pakbelalang said...

Beberapa hari yang lepas , ketika menghadiri majlis bersama rakyat anjuran UMNO Kulim /Padang Serai dan Yayasan Insaniah di Kedah, Tun Dr Mahathir telah merakamkan pujian terhadap Najib Tun Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia.


Semua dah nampak bahawa pentadbiran Najib adalah jauh lebeh baik dari Pak Lah. Tun M pun dah nampak ada perubahan. Maka sekaligus Najib mesti berusha kuat lagi untuk meningkatkan prestasi pentadbirannya.

Najib mesti selalu berbincang dengan Tun M untuk mendapat pandangannya dan bertukar-tukar fikiran. Najib mesti anggap Tun M bukan sahaja pemimpin negara tapi mestilah anggap Tun M sebagai bapak. Jika ada teguran dibuat terhadapnya terimalah bahawa teguran itu datangnya dari seorang bapak dan mesti dihormati secara berkhemah tinggi.Tun M tidak ada agenda politik lagi untuk kepentingan dirinya. Dia hanya ingin melihat negara maju dan bangsa Melayu dimertabatkan sebagai bangsa yang bermaruah tinggi dan dihormati. Itu sahaja !!

pakbelalang said...

Nor Mohamed Yakcop's Political Secretary Resigns

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Bernama) -- Hasbie Satar, the political secretary to the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, has resigned from his post effective yesterday, according to a statement from the office of the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department today.


Ha,ha,ha! Apa sudah jadi, Dato'?

Ini mesti Penang punya hal !!!

Tamingsari said...

Asalamualaikum Dato,

Unfortunately I was born in the year of the COCK. Friends never fail to give me a second look followed by uninvited smiles each time my year came up for mention. But I have learn to say AYAM instead. Still some insists that ayam is chicken and not cock. They stress the absence of Kentucky Fried Cock as reason for argument. Because of this I have to tell cock stories to avoid smiles from turning to laughter.

The tiger is truly a magnificent animal. If God had created the tiger a vegetarian, we would be having tigers for pets. Someone said, God created small domestic cat so we could cuddle the tiger.
This is true. I am not a fanatic animal lover but I don't deny the fact that I can fall for a tiger anytime.

If only tigers could speak for themselves their numbers would not be badly affected. Compared to other socialized animals like the zebras,wildebeest and the great buffaloes of Africa, the tigers has no strength in numbers to rely on future survival. The Chinese have strength in numbers so why threaten the existence of this magnificent creature. Go for the domestic cat instead, they have strength in numbers.

So,let us human speak for the tigers as what WWF and other wild conservationist NGOs are doing. The goverment should take serious steps to protect them from extinction at whatever price we have to pay.

Datuk A Kadir Jasin, you should lead this crusade so as to preserve your zodiac identity from being permanently erased from the face of planet earth. As a cock I choose to take the orang asli advice and keep my distance.If the tigers are not saved, future generations born in the year of the tiger have only pictures and films to show. Paper tiger as you call it. My kind, nothing to worry. There will be plenty more 'ayam' around long after the tigers are gone.

Good luck Datuk.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dato,
This article is great, excellent and I do assume you are
a great writter as well as a researcher with statistical facts
and figures...not to mention your analytical acumen in bringing in the aura of first class thinker as well..
Ferdaos Mohamed
Shah Alam.

Buyong said...

Maaf melencong sikit.

Tertarik dengat tulisan baru dari Syed Akbar Ali - dia kata "The PM now almost single-handedly running the country.

Salah PM jugak. Apasal disimpan menteri2 yang HP6 tu!?

Reaction Najib pun nampak agak lembap dan kurang cergas.

Mungkin kena makan daging rimau lebih sikit.

Anonymous said...

Dear DAto

Wonderful piece.
Look, the tigers are goners.
Malaysia has tigers now.
Soon no more.
Unless, some solid fella takes interest in this cause to save tigers starting here..then..all over the world on a grand scale.
But it is worth it, please.


langit biru said...

BELUM pun sempat beroperasi,


sudah rosak dan tersadai!

nak terbang tak boleh,

nak selam pun tak boleh,

apa dah jadi???

Zainuddin Sulaiman said...

Salam Dato' & all the surfers,

Happy Chinese New Year to all concerned!

I wasn't born in the tiger year, after I double-checked the "horse calendar" for confirmation. But I would like to share the spirit of the new year which are still warm.

But as far as I'm concerned, the tiger symbolized power, strength and all sort of terrific.

That's why the animal has been chosen as the coat of arm of our beloved country, Malaysia.

The economic slowdown isn't recuperating or back to normal yet.

But, I heard one Malay said to me tiger year is not welcomed by chinese, because it affects our livelihood or our luck.

But, my advice firstly to myself and to all Malaysian irregardless your races or creed, gender or ages, be bold and accept this[the tiger year isn't welcomed] as a challenge.

Do we still remember Millenium Bug which haunted all people who are relating with computer or Internet.

At last, we the earth dwellers succeeded facing the Bug.

Before that, I don't know whether my discussion here is deviating from the topic.

Accept my apology Datuk & the surfers if so.

Lastly, take my word that we must try very hard to learn from mistakes. My appeal here has to do with the fate of the tigers which are facing extinction.

azahar said...

Men will always bend nature for their selfish use.

They bulldoze hill and mountains (natural anchor) just to cut short their travelling time or to grow vegetables. Then they complain about hurricanes and earthquakes.

They fill in swamps (natural air-conditioner) and reclaim seas so that they can make more money selling houses and do business. Then they complain of global warming...

They cut forest (water supplier & conserver)) wantonly just for the money the timber promise them. They
then complain of floods or even mud flood...

They hunt tigers to near extinction...then they complain of wild pig population explosion...

Anonymous said...

Tauke2 dari hongkong banyak berpindah ke singapore. Selera diorang lain macam skit. Harga tak jadi hal. Di kampung saya jika terdengar bunyi pak belang mengaum, siaplah. RM30k sekor. Ramai2 serbu.


affendi hussain said...

What is RM1,000 to Singaporeans for tiger meat and bear’s bile if they can improve their mojo? A Durex – yes the condom maker – 2008 global survey found that Singaporeans made love on average 62 times a year against the world’s average of 127.

Why don't they just stick to pork diet.. spare the tigers, please.. by fact, pigs have higher birth rate compared to tiger and all time proven breeding in captivity..libido talking, pig by nature is a big bad sex-animal that make a tiger look just like a kitten..

Sdr Org Utan Penang,
I blamed the Chinese for eating tigers & contributed to its extinction..there's always alternative other than killing.
Why don't they breed the tigers like the Korean breed the dogs for their consumption??

Now Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew knows why he has to depend on imported Chinese and other immigrants to boost his country’s birth rate and its population.

Now this is funny.. decendant of immigrant need to import immigrant coz they are not good at breeding? Screwed up! They have to do it for their survival..Otherwise, in the long run, the biggest chunk of the island population would all be in the age category as of LKY..well, who going to fly all those jet fighthers? Time itself is killing them..


Anonymous said...

Salam Dato,

Dalam rangkap (stanza) kedua terakhir, ayat "Did He who made the Lamb make Thee?" Blake sebenarnya bertanya adakah Tuhan yang mencipta sesuatu yang baik boleh juga mencipta sesuatu yang buruk. "The Lamb" itu merujuk kepada Jesus (The Lamb of God). Blake adalah seorang yang warak dalam agamanya pada zaman beliau. Sekadar berkongsi ilmu.


Anonymous said...

Feng Shui sifu say this year Tiger year not so good...a lot conflict, disturbances. Have to be careful and watchful.

Chinese eat anything but not all of them. There are some Muslim chinese, Buddhist Chinese & Hindu chinese as well Christian chinese. In China there is over 50 ethnic sub group, and sometimes we all label them as chinese. Korean also have chinese blood and they eat dog and japanese ancestors come from chinese land and they eat whale.

While Malays eat cows only, Indian eat goats, Malaysian chinese eat pigs. Poor is the chickens because everybody eats them....

Year of Snake

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).