A textile seller from Pakistan was fined RM16,000 by the Magistrates Court here today for possessing two protected birds without a permit, two months ago.
Magistrate Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin handed Abdul Ghaffar Razaqq, 43, the fine after he changed his plea to guilty soon after the charge was read out to him by a court translator.
Abdul Ghaffar was charged with two counts of possessing two “Cenderawasih’ birds (Birds of Paradise) which are a protected species and two Palm Cockatoo feathers at D-4-23, Jalan Metro Perdana 2, Taman Usahawan here, at 3.30pm on Aug 12.
He was charged under Section 12 (a) of the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008, which carries a fine not exceeding RM100,000 for each species, upon conviction.
Earlier, Abdul Ghaffar’s lawyer, Syed Fadzil Syed Shamsudin, asked the court to impose a lighter punishment to his client by taking into consideration his background.
“My client doesn’t have a fixed income, but he has to support his wife and their three little children.
“His family in Pakistan are also in need of help due to the floods which hit the country recently,” he said.
However, deputy public prosecutor from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan), Shamsudin Osman, asked the court to hand down a heavier penalty as the offences committed by the accused were serious.
“The Malaysian government views such offences very seriously and had introduced this specific act to curb such activities because we were once labeled as a wildlife smuggling hub.
“So, I’m asking the court to impose a heavier penalty so that it