Kuala Lumpur, 17 September 2013 – Today Maybank announced its support for the first-ever run for the Malayan tiger organised by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT). The Maybank Wild Tiger Run will be held at Bukit Jalil Park on 9 November 2013.
Eliza Mohamed, Head of Corporate Affairs for Maybank, pointed out that tigers have a special cultural significance as it is part of our country’s emblem. “These big cats are admired and feared in equal measures by people all around the world. Losing this symbol of nobility and fearlessness would mean that all that will remain for the next generation may be zoo sightings, photos and stuffed toys.”
“Which is why in recent years, Maybank has doubled our efforts to support the cause of tigers as well as environmental conservation. In 2010, we provided a RM1 million grant to MYCAT to support scientific research and increase public awareness on the importance of conserving this magnificent species against the constant threat of poaching and habitat loss.”
“Our employees have been a part of some of these community engagement programmes, talking to people who live in communities surrounding tiger habitats. Under Maybank’s official charitable arm Maybank Foundation, we have supported a number of environmental programmes via our world-wide employee volunteerism programme, Cahaya Kasih,” she said.
The run aims to increase awareness on the plight of the Malayan tiger and to raise funds for conservation efforts by MYCAT. It also celebrates 10 years of partnership between the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia on tiger conservation in Malaysia.
“Looking back at the inception of MYCAT in 2003 and our 10th anniversary this year, I must say that the alliance has been a great platform for collaboration among the conservation partners. It has helped us move forward as one unit in facing the ever-growing threats to tigers and the challenges in saving them. With a renewed sense of urgency and hope, we will strive harder to save our national heritage – the Malayan tiger,” said Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
Ten years ago, only about 500 tigers roamed Malaysian jungle. Today the number is even less. Despite the conservation efforts of the government and MYCAT, forests and tigers are still very much at threat, as illustrated by the recent seizure of a tiger carcass in Kelantan.
“The seizure was a stark reminder of the harsh reality faced by our wildlife. The full brunt of the law must be used against the suspect, and he must face society’s alarm and anger. Maybank, Malaysia’s most valuable brand, is taking a huge lead to make sure that tigers exist, which is most welcomed. This also enables them to wear their corporate logo with pride,” said Director of Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme, Dr. Melvin Gumal.
Executive Director of Malaysian Nature Society, Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein added that MNS is proud of this conservation partnership. He said, “Tigers are important for the conservation of other species, including their habitat that is our natural forests. The conservation of tigers will also ensure the protection of our natural forests and our biodiversity, thus enhancing the health and well-being of our planet.”
“We need to up our game in a big way if we are to save tigers. We have a National Tiger Conservation Action Plan that needs greater government and public support.” said Senior Communications Officer of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Elizabeth John. "You can start showing that having wild tigers means something to you by participating in this run. Come and run like you are chasing a poacher!"
The run will consist of a 10km competitive race and a 3km ‘fun run’, and a prize will be given to the best-dressed tiger-themed participant. The 10km finishers will receive a special tiger medal.
There are five categories for the 10km run – Men Open, Men Junior Veteran, Men Senior Veteran, Women Open and Women Veteran. Registration for the 3km ‘fun run’ is open to those aged 13 years and above, while children aged 12 and below may participate for free.
Race pack collection will be held on the ground floor of The School @ Jaya One on 2 and 3 November 2013. A Tiger Expo will be held simultaneously, featuring booths and talks by all MYCAT partners as well as activities for children such as a colouring contest and face-painting.
Open to the public, visitors would be able to hear about the life of tiger biologists, learn more about what is being done to save the Malayan tiger, and how they can help.
To register for the run and for more details on activities at the Tiger Expo, visit www.malayantiger.net.
Other sponsors of the Maybank Wild Tiger Run include Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB), Ajinomoto (M) Bhd., Justlife Group Sdn. Bhd., McDonald’s Malaysia, Rohto-Mentholatum (M) Sdn. Bhd. and The Body Shop.
Any other companies or individuals who are interested in supporting the run are welcome to contact MYCAT at email@example.com.