Car wash worker fined $13,600 for having sun bear

JOHOR BARU: A car wash worker was fined RM35,000 (S$13,623) in default eight months' jail by the Sessions Court here after he pleaded guilty to possessing a sun bear.

Mohd Roshdam Bilal, 29, admitted having the protected animal at around noon on May 13 at a shoplot in Susur 4, Jalan Tun Razak, here.

He was charged under Section 68 (1)(a) of the Act, which carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 or a jail term of not more than three years or both upon conviction.

Mohd Roshdam did not settle the fine.

Sessions judge Azura Alwi ordered the jail term to begin from the date of arrest.

Wildlife and National Parks Department prosecuting officer Shamsul Hakim Ahmad prosecuted the case while Mohd Roshdam was not represented.

It was previously reported that the two-year-old sun bear was found locked in a cage in the shoplot and was probably in the midst of being sold to local restaurants in the area.

The sun bear is a protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 but is often hunted for its paws, which are used to make medicinal soup.

There has been no study to prove that the soup has medicinal value but each bowl can be sold at between RM400 and RM900.