Zuraida's orangutan kills humans clip edited, taken out of context

21 Jan 2022 12:25am
Zuraida received backlash on the internet after being seen in a clip saying orangutans kill humans.
Zuraida received backlash on the internet after being seen in a clip saying orangutans kill humans.

SHAH ALAM - Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin received heavy backlash both online and offline after claiming that orangutans are likely to kill humans.

Seen talking in a video clip taken on Jan 5, she was explaining to the crowd that she found books used in Arab schools saying that Malaysia’s palm oil industries were killing orangutans, to which she responded by saying the primates were likely to kill humans first.

“I was talking to our ambassador there (Mecca), so he told me that in schools in the Arab countries, where his students went, the books are still talking bad about our palm oil because we kill orangutans.

“In Malaysia, if you see an orangutan, the orangutan will kill you first, you won’t kill the orangutan first. Right?” she was recorded saying in a video taken on Jan 5.

Zuraida said she then informed the ambassador that the orangutans were more likely to kill people than the other way round.

She added that Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) also have proper guidelines in handling animals.

“Perhilitan has its policies. Do you think they simply go and kill orangutans? Even lions and tigers, when they see, they don't kill.”

“They have some kind of procedure to phase them and then take them to the zoo or whatever,” she continued saying in the video.

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Zuraida’s office later released a statement stating that the clip had been edited and taken out of context, adding that it did not entirely reflect her entire speech.

"Certain groups chose to cherry-pick the speech and present a distorted view about Malaysia's consistent stance of promoting a robust oil palm industry, that could co-exist and flourish in a sustainable ecosystem.

“These quarters are only undermining the ministry's and Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) efforts to promote Malaysian palm oil,” it said.

Zuraida’s office said the issue of orangutan was raised during the speech to get the relevant agencies' attention to study the habitat and habits of this species and put it in line with the country’s stand in promoting biodiversity.

The study, it said, will be presented to relevant international agencies such as the European Union where the anti-palm oil movement is taking place.

The office also asked social media users to stop sharing the misconstrued video recording of her as it would demotivate the ministry’s staff and agencies trying to promote palm oil.