Another sad story

The loss of excellence in our country has not only affected the civil services , the universities and institutions, the average Malaysians, but it has also affected our animals.

Zoo Negara used to be one of my favourite places to visit in the 80s, when my chidlren were young. At that time, the roads were narrow and to travel from PJ to Ulu Klang was quite an outing, and a visit to the Zoo with my children would be a one day affairs. But normally all of us would enjoy the trip very much.

FOr the past few years, I have not been to our zoo. But whenever we have a chance to visit SIngapore, we normally would try to find time to visit the Singapore Zoo, and also the Night Safari. It was always a pleasure to see how professionally the zoo in Singapore was run, and how the animals there seem to enjoy themsleves.

I am not sure whether we started our Zoo first or Singapore started theirs first. Most probably these zoos were started around the same time.

But from what  friends told me, Zoo Negara was no longer like before. One of the former staff who is also my friends told me that the zoo is facing financial problems, since most of the maintenance funds depend on the public donations and adoption of animals by pirvate corporations.

So it was not really surprising that I read about the poor conditions of Zoo Negara in the NST yesterday.

According to the reports, the Singapore based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) or Acres has discovered  ” that the enclosures of at least 10 types of animals at Zoo Negara failed to meet international standards”. Also the observation that “a female elephant was observed begging for food,” .

According to SAM (Sahabat ALam Malaysia), Zoo Negara should find out the cause of death of “18 out of 20 penguins sourced from Singapore, pygmy hippopotamus, cheetah from Africa and Bawean Deer from Indonesia.

Zoo Negara should, instead of trying to acquire more animals, concentrate on the existing animals and provide them with proper care and attention. It should try to consolidate and limit its inventory according to its resources.

Perhaps the government should give more allocation to help. A lot of people, especially those from below poverty line may argue that allocation should be given to poor human first. I agree totally.

If only corruption is brought to a manageble levels, there will be enough funds to cater for those people living below poverty lines, as well as give certain allocation to Zoo Negara for its maintenace. No zoo in the world can probably survive on gate collections alone.

This is another ‘tidak apa’ story typical of so many in Malaysia. The culture of mediocrity is now fast becoming the Culture of Rots.

I feel sad because this is a place that can provide an escape for the urban folks, a place for family outings and unwindings, as well as for education purposes . I would not even mention  research, because if the zoo cannot even keep its animals in good health, I doubt whether there will be any manpower or skill to do animal research, like what many great zoos in the world is doing.




47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fi-sha
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 12:27:08

    Dear Dr Hsu

    How true when Gandhi-ji said this: –

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

    As much as I love animals, i cannot be supporting such establishment that is cruel to the animals in a place called Zoo. How ironically devastating.

    There are many more establishments like small zoos in various states where animals are malnutritioned and living in deplorable conditions.

    So, how do we fight for these animals’ right? Just like how we fight for our rights in this Ibu Pertiwi.


  2. klm
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 12:33:22

    I am not surprised at the decline of the Zoo Negara.
    It is worth more dead than alive. Zoo is sitting on very valuable land. Strangling the Zoo to death will allow someone to grab the land and make a ton of money. If the Zoo is flourishing, then it is diffcult to make this move. What else in new in this country?


  3. Meng
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 12:50:50

    When they cannot manage this nation of malaysian, how can they manage the animals.

    Are you sure you are not hitting at another malay institution? For all you know Utusan will pick up this write up and spin… Hey Dr Hsu bad for Gerakan.

    Everytime when someon makes comparison with Singapore..remarks go and live in Singapore comes alive in idiots brain!!

    This is 1 malaysia ..Culture of excellence and acceptance of rubbish. Can one say more???

    Cannot blame them, no kickback in maintaining zoos but spend spend..not in umno’s culture.

    Poor animals imprisoned in a zoo begging for food ….Poor malaysian imprisoned by a corrupted government begging for fairness.!!!


  4. elvie ho
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 12:51:11

    It does not surprise me at all as even humans are treated in such cruel manner in our country


  5. klm
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 13:56:16

    Dr. Hsu. What is the story behind Huan’s suspension?
    Now, Gerakan what to monitor him continuously like he is a virus. Or may be he is. And it is undemocratic to ask Gerakan members not to talk about this case. This is really unfair to Huan. Does it mean Teng and gang want to kill Huan but dont have the guts to do so?


  6. Dr Hsu
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:17:28

    I can’t reveal what was discussed since we were all under oath of secracy. Let’s say that there was a hot debate on whether the cc should discuss his suspension, and in the end, the dominant view prevailed and that was the result announced to the media: that a 3 men committee be formed to monitor to see whether the suspension could be lifted earlier.


  7. Richard Loh
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:23:52

    A government that is corrupt to the core and leaders with no integrity, honesty and inhumane act always cause me to think dirty whenever any sad or bad topics arise.

    After reading your piece, not even reaching the end, my mind starts to think dirty. Is the deplorable conditions done on purpose? Is the land siting the zoo very valuable? Who own this land? The motive is to rid of the zoo and develop the land.

    I may be wrong but the corrupt government always led me to believe that they are more interested in power and money, the rakyat can go and die for all they care.


  8. Justin Choo
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:31:05

    Dr Hsu,

    “The culture of mediocrity is now fast becoming the Culture of Rots.”

    I think more approprite: Culture of Rats


  9. CYC
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:47:08

    Klm is right. This has become their standard modus operandi. See, you need to familiar with all this cari makan technique before u qualify to be a BN member. Dr Hsu certainly does not fit into that mould and hence a nuisance.


  10. Dr Hsu
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 15:00:23

    I was told that Teaching of Maths and science in Secondary Schools will not go back to English, except maybe form 4 and 5, and the reason given was that commercial interests are involved. So maybe what klm , Richard lOh and CYC mentioned may be true.

    ZOo Negara’s chairman used to be Khir Johari, Tunku’s right hand man. During his time, the Zoo was quite well run and he was able to resist pressure to move the zoo away from the the present site. Perhaps they should approach Ku Li to be the chairman and maybe he can do something for the animals.


  11. AY
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 15:57:25

    Dr Hsu, animals at the zoo living in deplorable conditions ? We, Malaysians can’t even take care of the old folks or the disabled…the animals are the least of our problems….


  12. klm
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 16:03:18

    Dr. Hsu. The Education Ministry is filled with worms. Here is a bit of the story I was told.

    1. The warehouse of the Ministry is stacked with school books for the next few years. The printers and the ministry people work in collusion. If there is any change in the school syllabus and new books are needed, the old books cannot be used and these people will be in trouble.

    2. If a new book is needed, someone from the syllabus division will be commissioned to write the new book

    The whole supply of school books is a dirty business which have govt officials and books printers working in unholy matrimony.

    Dr. M was trying to break this before he stepped down.


  13. vsvsv
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 16:43:29

    My daughter lost her geography text book. She borrow all her text from government/school. The problem came when she tried to find/buy the lost book from all bookstores…result none. She went to PJ and KL bookstoreS and find none of the bookstores carries extra copy of it. One bookshp owner in BANGSAR told me we are still lucky cos we lost one text book, said one parent came looking for all the text books as his daughter lost her school bag and the result is he couldn’t find one also. The shop owner asked me to complaint to the education ministry. Said this is happening everyday. And you can only find new printed text books when the school is about to commence which is end of the year , and you better buy it to return to school before it’s all gone.

    Talking about wawasan 2020. we can’t even find a school text book….what a modern country. Malaysian memang BOLEH


  14. Meng
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 17:14:16

    “”Zoo Negara should find out the cause of death of “18 out of 20 penguins””

    What about having a RCI ??


  15. cilipadi
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 17:18:33

    You see, absence of morality again.

    Morality is not important to be accorded to these animals in the Zoo Negara.

    They seem so proud with the word “Negara”.

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas.


  16. ahoo
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 18:30:16

    The commercial value of the land around Zoo Negara is too obvious to be left behind. The group with interest for development had been clamouring for it for some time now. Some politikus will come up with great plans to swap this goldmine with a new Zoo somewhere in Timbuktoo. Just look at the case of our Merdeka Stadium, Pudu Jail, Stadium Negara etc. to know that we have lots of smart politikus who cares for the rakyat, first mah !


  17. klm
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 18:34:52

    wanna know how much Zoo Negara land is worth.

    Zoo Negara land size = 110 acres
    = 4,791,600 sq ft
    Price of bungalow land near Zoo Negara = RM 108 per sq ft
    Value of Zoo Negara land = Rm 517,492,800

    yup. Half a billion ringgit.

    Is it valuable or not?

    In the past, there seemed to be many proposals to re-locate Zoo Negara to:

    Putra Jaya, somewhere going to kuantan etc. How long will the zoo survive in its present location?


  18. Peter Sng
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 19:31:21

    Zoo Negara started a few years before the establishment of the S’pore Zoological Gardens.


  19. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 20:46:57


    The Zoo Negara started deteriorating during TunM’s time.

    Its land value is enormous now. I believe the gradual neglected of Zoo Negara was done in purpose, in a manner and in the hope with viable excuse to move it to putrajaya…another “hulu”

    There are many big cities in the world with zoos within its cities. Why cant Zoo Negara be like others?

    Before we are too quick to point others,
    lets not fotget during Lim Chong Eu’s era we had a mini Zoo in the Botanical Gardens Penang.

    One by one the Wallaby from Australia died in the fangs of the wild dogs burrowing its way under the wire fence….yum yum fresh meat!

    the Deers too one by one making disappearance act…yum yum freah meat!

    the Orang-Utan was inhumanly treated in the cement cage with a dead “batang kayu” not even a leave there, terribly different from its original habitat….
    You have irresponsible visitors feeding the Orang-Utan w banana embedded with needles.
    …..lastly Impu & Impi died.

    What would make Lim Chong Eu or Jabatan Kebun Bunga to empathise the feeling of Orang-Utan, Wallaby & Deers? Cage them also in there?

    This was also tidak apa attitude, taking the animals welfare & security for granted.

    Not all leaders and humans are born with a
    heart and empathy for animals & environment.
    To them, money is God.

    Animal are like human, life is not replaceable.

    But to these tidak apa attitude people “Who cares”.

    Zoo Negara’s management must be a total
    restructure, otherwise no point bragging F1 track, KLCC, LRT, KLIA,……but making DOSA
    w animals, already enough DOSA w humans…mysterious death one after another.


  20. Disgusted
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 21:28:36

    What do you expect when a government treats its citizens, do you expect the government to treat the animals better?

    When so many villagers even schools have no electricity and water supply, do you expect animals to be treated better than humans?

    The rats in the residential estates are living better than the animals in the zoo. So much for 1Malaysia in slogan. But don’t expect 1Animals !!


  21. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 21:47:32

    Yes Disgusted. we have long relaised this.
    Thats why i said this govt dosa with human and animals.

    What else left for us rakyat?

    1malaysia slogan..its a all bluff & lies.


  22. Disgusted
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 22:42:17

    Ha, ha Cilipadi, it’s Zoo Neraka !!

    What’s Neraka?

    It’s Hell which many of the Palisan politicians will go eventually.


  23. romerz
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 22:55:10

    Doc Hsu,

    Here is another sad story for Penangites.

    Pay particular attention to the comments. I happen to agree!


  24. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 23:00:22

    Neraka – Its hell for those who have done sins on this earth, not just for the politicians, but
    us the non-politicians can also go to hell
    when we make sins in our life too.

    Check out –>>

    Look under Diary…its Corp Comm is not strong not many events hold…how ah?

    I hope Zoo Negara would not end up like those umno based “yayasan”…we have lives here called animals.

    Dr. Hsu,

    How to go about his Zoo Negara matter?
    Do you think the Govt reads your writeups
    and they will do something?


  25. Birdie
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 23:02:52

    I heard that Malaysian Mirror is owned by Segi College CEO Clement Hii and since Hii runs Star and he was appointed by Ong Tee Keat to Star. The cable runs clear and all the way up to Tee Keat. Realise that there has been no negative reports or news on the Superman makes one suspicious.

    And the one piece on Rosmah and the recent piece on DAP.

    All these confirmed that Star and Mirror collaborated meaning Wong Chun Wai and others are in it too.


  26. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 23:08:27

    “..According to the reports, the Singapore based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) or Acres has discovered ” that the enclosures of at least 10 types of animals at Zoo Negara failed to meet international standards”. Also the observation that ”a female elephant was observed begging for food,” .

    According to SAM (Sahabat ALam Malaysia), Zoo Negara should find out the cause of death of “18 out of 20 penguins sourced from Singapore, pygmy hippopotamus, cheetah from Africa and Bawean Deer from Indonesia…”

    Dr. Hsu,
    my previous exec chairman scolded us in the management meeting back in 2007 becoz
    he could only afford a second-hand private jet after completion of the project.

    disgusting eeeeeeeee……..that jet he could have fed the zoo for many years!!


  27. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 23:12:16

    Dr. Hsu,

    once HCG suspension if lifted, umno penang will “yippy yippy”..!!

    is gerakan penang under the thumbnail of umno penang?


  28. Atila
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 23:13:47

    No KPI for Zoo Negara?


  29. A true Malaysian
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 09:58:31

    In your 900 odds articles in your blog, how many of these are in the form of “praise” for Umno and its goon?

    The answer is none or if there is or are, “praise” comes with qualification. What does this reflects the government and its tools and machinery?

    I see Dr. Hsu’s writings here are written in spontaneous where any person with logical minds accept the criticism and view. Yet, how many of these are received in good faith?

    We see no changes, no improvement at all. What’s gone wrong here? Are “we” of illogical minds and “they” of logic minds? It seems to me that you are the only “illogical” mind in Gerakan CC. What an insult, right?


  30. Dr Hsu
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 10:00:21

    Going by the past examples, the land the Zoo is sitting on may be sold for a few dollars per sq foot to someone with connections. Then this someone will develop something like a free trade zone and sell it back to the govenment at perhaps 300 per sq foot….

    the fiasco may be known as Ulu Klang free Zone….
    Next will be the University of Malaya land which I have written a few articles about… another gold mine there….


  31. klm
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 11:48:17

    Can anyone predict what the future holds for Malaysia. With the economic problems, social problems, crime, political fighting, etc, it is any wonder that people who can are bringing out their shovels to dig for more gold. The business and political elites are squeezing every cent from any projects they can create. PKFZ, UKFZ, UMFZ you name it and if there is a fast buck they will do it. They have the next 3 years to make hay while the sunshine.

    So watch out people. Time to screw the rakyat. They can vote for Pakatan. But there will be no money left behind.


  32. Dr Hsu
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 12:17:23

    I am a bit pessimistic now about the future.

    In the 60s, we averaged 7-8% growth a year, and while that was mainly in the fields of agriculture and commodities, it had brought our GDP to the fore front of Aisa, higher than Korea, Taiwan, HK and so on…

    Now it is the reverse.

    We will probably go the way of the pHilippines, which was one of the richest country in the 50s, but now one of the poorer cousins in Asia.

    The culture of rots has set in and would not be easy to remove. It will be quite a task to change the culture , and even if we can chang eit, it will take at least one to 2 generations before we can see results.

    Perhaps you all care to read Justin ong’s write up in Malaysian insider recently: give me back my country at this link


  33. A true Malaysian
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 13:06:33

    I am equally pessimistic. Malaysia needs to put vital institutions back to their roles that should be, to act as “check and balance” to the Executive again.

    Executive is now controlling these vital institutions. There is simply no “check and balance” in our system now.

    That’s the reason why I agree with cilipadi. MORALITY is very important. If HEADS have no morality, that’s the end of it.

    No morality, no clear conscience, simple as that.


  34. Justin Choo
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 13:28:03

    Dr Hsu,

    “I am a bit pessimistic now about the future. ”

    Congratultions again! You are beginning to see the real picture, and acknowledging reality of the present situation. Although each time you chose to remain silent with my congratultions, I shall try again. I hope the little candle can decide to burn a bit brighter and stronger, for the benefit of all of us.

    With all the ‘red flags” flying, we ought to be pessismistic by now. All these are the spill-over results of the Old Goat who is ashamed of its roots.


  35. Observant
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 13:33:57

    Complacency and incompetency eroding away our competitive niche because of the feel good mentality. Lack of motivations and innovations to push the nation to a higher level while other countries accelerated and left us far behind although we are resources endowed and blessed with little or no nature created disasters.

    The drive to excel is relaced by the culture of rot because we lower our bar by accepting mediocre standard by comparing with other less advanced countries instead of keeping pace with our peers.


  36. 我是马来人
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 15:41:50

    Justin Ong is right.

    They want to be Malay.
    They don’t want Malaysian.
    Look at the Old Horse
    They are Umno
    We are DAP, PKR, PAS
    We are Malaysians

    Let’s dump Umno,BTN, BN, the Vampires


  37. Atila
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 16:17:50

    We are discussing too general tip of iceberg here when the reality is even worst for those earning RM2,000 below with 3-5 kids in Penang past 10years.

    This is reality. Anybody want to tell the story of this reality? Anybody want to help them?


  38. A true Malaysian
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 17:25:41

    ”a female elephant was observed begging for food,”

    I am so sad to read this. As I Buddhist, I am against all kind of “imprisonment” or “caging” of animals. Just imagine, if we are the ones who being caged, and “visited” by animals in a zoo, how would you feel?

    So, if we human feels it is alright to keep in the cage or zoo, make sure we accord them with a decent living, not like what was being reported. If we not able to do that, it is better to release them into their original habitats, or donated them to better run zoo like the one we see in Singapore. The animals, in a way, earn their living by way of attracting human beings to visit them, and rightfully should be well taken care of, and not making it a living hell for them.

    In this sense, who is the animal? Zoo Negara should be aptly named Zoo Neraka.


  39. Atila
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 17:42:59

    A true Malaysian,

    All religion teach us to me human & kind towards animals.

    Those all BN meaning UMNO Gerakan MCA MIC and components, all should be caged, mayhap
    they will understand what its like to b an animal.

    They all contributed to what Malaysia is now including Zoo Neraka…eeerr Zoo Negara.

    Humans screw up twist ignore parts of religion in the name of achieving politics, their own version
    of man made politics. What is God to them?


  40. A true Malaysian
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 17:55:50


    If we Malaysians do not try all out to reverse the trend set by Umno and its goons, very soon “Negara Malaysia” would be called “Neraka Malaysia”.

    Reversing this trend is the only choice with us. Malaysia was a paradise, a haven on earth before.

    Greed is the biggest enemy in them as well as ourselves. We need to always remind ourselves. “Bertaubat” is the way to go.


  41. Atila
    Jul 28, 2009 @ 18:09:44

    A true Malaysian

    They a re not showings sign of bertaubat.

    We are facing it in N37.

    Umno just want to be Malays thought they are Indians,

    N37 will house multibillion project under NCER, they must get it, they are not changing, they are creating fitnahs fitnahs fitnahs to those wanting to help the society, by linking to Federal shooting nasty warning letters to my frend who is a headmaster of a school.

    UMNO just dont change, i dont see gerakan penang either, not mca not mic…

    How? Help? The Culture of Fitnah has embedded in our society since TunM. How?


  42. Allen Nyhuis
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 12:01:57

    At least in the past, I had heard very good things about Zoo Negara. It would be a shame if a nation with the amazing wildlife of Malaysia didn’t have a good zoo in its capital.

    Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America’s Best Zoos

    ( )


  43. Dr Hsu
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 12:46:56

    Hi Allen Nyhuis,
    Thanks for your comment. Perhaps our Zoo should approach you for help to arrest their decline in standard, since you are the expert.



  44. A true Malaysian
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 14:10:26

    Hi Allen Nyhuis,

    It was so refreshing to see the photos on your website. The animals look healthy and happy.


  45. yay
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 00:28:19


    why are you still so gullible?

    mark my words. the zoo will be privatised using the same tactics of poor maintenance. once privatised, the zoo will move to another place and the present land will be developed and the cronies will laugh all the way to the Bank.

    rememebr how they ensure the roads are all jamed up.the press will go to town to highlights the people’s frustration and complains. viola, some smart aleck will propose tolls to alleviate the jams and have it approved by UMNO goons within no time. sounds familiar, doc?

    how abotu same story about cigarette smuggling and the novel idea about security printing to curb that? is smuggling contained? who gets the monopoly eventually for the printing biz? ask Mr Hisahmuddin, pls. by the way, they tried the same on the beer biz but the industry players showed them the 3rd finger. for once, someone has the guts to stand up to these goons from UMNO.

    wanna bet a lunch, doc. lets say 1 year from now, there will be a privatisation plan approved for the zoo. If I lose, buy you a nice lunch at tein tein lai in Pudu?


  46. Dr Hsu
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 11:20:21

    i do not understand why you need to bet.. Did I say anything that I do not believe that some one will take over the zoo?

    Read the article again. It is a narrative about the good zoo deteriorating into a rot.. And I feel sad, and that is what is conveyed in the article. If what I conveyed is misunderstood, blame it on my poor english and do not need to issue a challenge.

    Read my comment above. I even mentioned that this could become another free trade zone. So why the challenge to me to bet?? I do not gamble by the way.


  47. Alfred Kok TL. mba. tqm. [ newport university ]
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:43:25

    Culture is a political construction : the element of culture such as values,beliefs and understanding,, are held in common by all group members.

    Culture provides members with a way of making sense of event and contains customs or traditions. Within a culture, patterns of values, beliefs, expectations, understandings, and behaviors emerge and evolve over time.

    Culture guides behavior: customs or traditions are the glue that held an organisation, tribe, clan, community, race or nation together and ensure that members behave according to norms. Each organisation, tribe, clan, community, race or country”s culture is unique.

    Culture gave its members a sense of belongings, identity and purpose of their mission in life.

    Culture nurtures the Organisation’s style, system, skill, structure, shared value, staff and strategy hence maintaining its market position while propagating its continuous growth and leadership.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: