By Sharmini Jayawardena
The sad truth about the sea cucumber and how this endangered species is harvested to drive it to extinction!
On 29th April 2019, I went shopping with family to KLCC shopping mall adjacent to the famous Petronas Twin Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We made some last minute purchases for friends and family back in Melbourne, Australia.
Then it was time to get some souvenirs from Malaysia and the Concierge directed us to the kiosks down the passage.
To our utter disgust and disbelief, we found the kiosk selling Malaysian hand made soaps 🧼 and lotions 🧴 also selling a branded item called Manja the Orangutan which included ingredients from species earmarked as endangered by the WWF – Real Ivory and Sea Cucumber!
The fact that this rogue company was using a well loved and equally endangered species, the orangutan, as their brand, and calling it Manja, which means fondle or cuddle in Bahasa Malayu, the Malaysian language, was adding insult to injury!
How dare they use this endangered species, referring to it endearingly and abusing the very species by using its name to sell products made of yet other endangered species! This is the height of utter disregard and total contempt shown to the Country’s exotic fauna thereby ridiculing the Country itself!
These dangerous criminals must be brought to justice! And brought to justice NOW!
Who are these people? Are they Malaysians or are they foreigners acting under the safe confines of Malaysian harbingers who operate as silent partners of these rogue companies?
Who ever they may be this Company and others like it MUST be investigated and taken to task, fined and shut down! NOW‼️
Here is concrete evidence of this heinous crime committed and carried on with impunity while the authorities who are responsible for safe guarding the Environment and its fauna and flora, sleep!
I will now email a letter on this to the Minister of Environment, Malaysia, for immediate action, once this post is published.
The label on the soaps are all in the Japanese language and we are unable to decipher it. The sales person told us it is made with sea cucumber and that it has a roaring market from Japanese tourists and visitors to KLCC!
Update 24 August 2020:
Update 27 August 2020:
From: Unit Aduan, JAS Putrajaya <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 12:16 PM
Subject: FW: The Trading of the Endangered Species Sea Cucumber
To: Encik TAMAN LAUT MALAYSIA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Berikut dipanjangkan permohonan daripada
Sharmini Kamalika Jayawardena berkenaan ‘The Trading of the Endangered Species Sea Cucumber’ untuk perhatian pihak tuan selanjutnya.
Kerjasama dan perhatian tuan dalam hal ini sangatlah dihargai dan didahului dengan terima kasih.
Sekian dimaklumkan, terima kasih.
Seksyen Pengurusan Aduan
Jabatan Alam Sekitar Putrajaya
No 25 Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4
Translation – Update 27 August 2020 :
The Marine Park
Department of Fisheries,
The Complaints Unit
Department of Environment
The following Application from Sharmini Kamalika Jayawardena about ‘The Trading of the Endangered Species Sea Cucumber’, for your further attention.
Your corporation and attention in this regard is greatly appreciated.