Why aren’t Malaysians proud of their wildlife?

Imagine this. You are enjoying the cool beauty of the tropical highlands in the Awana Golf Resort, just over an hour’s journey from Kuala Lumpur. You are surrounded by the wonders and abundance of tropical rainforest diversity.

So what does the hotel advise you to do?
“Look out your window and enjoy the sight of…
the wild African giraffes that are native to the area.”

Ok, they didn’t quite say that. They said enjoy the sight of the Blue-breasted Kingfisher. Terrific, except that the species is only found in West Africa.

What is WRONG with talking about any one of the glorious
745 + bird species
we have in Malaysia?
I come across this kind of thing all the time here. Do Malaysians despise their own so much that we have to advertise the assets of other countries and pretend they are ours?
There is no excuse – not one – that Awana can give to explain this. They hosted the world BirdLife International Conference a few years back. They have made much of their nature programmes. All they had to do was google the name. Or pick up the phone and ring the Malaysian Nature Society. Or ask any of the birdwatchers who bird around the area.

Click on this to enlarge: it is the blurb on the cover of the folder that has info about the hotel found in the hotel room. Shame on everyone who allowed this travesty to occur.


Why aren’t Malaysians proud of their wildlife? — 4 Comments

  1. Paya Indah with their ridiculous hippopotamuses and flamigoes in the name of Eco-tourism comes to mind. The North American Bald Eagle and Hummingbird pictures when talking about Malaysia’s Natural Beauty is another. In most instances it’s just ignorance and disinterest eg “Hornbills are only found in Sarawak”. I probably haven’t done enough myself in educating others so won’t point too many fingers.

  2. But isn’t this harking back to “a prophet is not without honour save in his own home”? People tend not to properly appreciate what is in their own back yard. They think because these critters are so common to them no-one else will be interested in them either. Man is learning, but its a very slow process.

  3. I’m with you, Glenda. I don’t understand why they would do it, when they have such an abundance of native fauna. Surely it should be a simple thing to print a photo and description of the right bird.

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