Kuala Lumpur, 9 November 2013 – 2,500 people from all walks of life laced up for tigers today at the Maybank Wild Tiger Run, organised by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT).
The Run was held at Bukit Jalil Park to increase awareness on the plight of the Malayan tiger, to raise funds for conservation efforts by MYCAT, and to celebrate MYCAT‟s 10 years of tiger conservation partnership.
MYCAT is an alliance of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia. Formed by the Malaysian government in 2003, it strives to bring the government, non-governmental organisations and everyone else together in efforts to save the Malayan tiger from extinction.
The 10km competitive race and 3km „Fun Run‟ was flagged off by Youth and Sports Minister, YB Khairy Jamaluddin. He said “WHY he wanted to flag off/WHY tigers important‟ - tigers have a special cultural significance as it is part of our country‟s emblem, and the namesake of our football team. We must do what we can to save them, and it‟s great to see our youth, the leaders of tomorrow, getting involved in saving our Malayan tiger.”
The Run would not be possible without the support of Maybank Foundation. Maybank Head of Corporate Affairs & Head of Secretariat, Maybank Foundation, Eliza Mohamed noted that “Telling the tiger‟s story is important to us. Tigers are apex predators and they are a key link in the balance of the entire ecosystem. They also need large intact forests to survive. As an „umbrella species‟ with all the other forest inhabitants „sheltered‟ beneath, saving wild tigers translates into saving so much more.”
“In recent years, Maybank has doubled our efforts to support the cause of environmental conservation. Since 2010, we have contributed close to RM1.5 million to support tiger conservation efforts and we hope that more will join us in this fight to save our national icon.”
Other activities held at the event included T-shirt printing by Orkibal, tiger graffiti demonstration by two graffiti artists, Media and Anok Ayer, and airbrush body painting by Paul. Funds raised were donated to MYCAT. This was a special collaboration with the National Visual Arts Gallery, which harnessed the talent of artists for tigers. LEGOLAND Malaysia also offered a special discount on their Annual Pass, just for today.
Prizes were awarded to the top five winners of five categories for the 10km run – Men Open, Men Junior Veteran, Men Senior Veteran, Women Open and Women Veteran, as well as the top finisher for the 3km „Fun Run‟. Prizes were given out to the Best Dressed Tiger Costume, and for five lucky draws.
week ago, a Tiger Expo was held at The School @ Jaya One in conjunction with race pack collection for the Maybank Wild Tiger Run. Activities included a colouring contest, educational displays, talks by tiger conservationists, a fundraising bake sale by children from Learning Fresh, performance preview by PJ Live Arts and more.
Malaysia Building Society Berhad was the Silver sponsor for the Run. Prizes for the Tiger Expo and Maybank Wild Tiger Run were sponsored by Academy of Rock, The Body Shop, Chilli Rush, The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Maybank, MBG Fruits, McDonald‟s Malaysia, Mutiara Taman Negara and Puma.
Newage Sdn Bhd contributed Be Kind Healthy Snack Bars as breakfast for all the runners and volunteers, and also provided Block Up! Sunblock for the runners race packs. Refreshments at the Run was provided by 100PLUS and Mondelēz International, while other goodies in the race packs were sponsored by Ajinomoto, Justlife Group, LEGOLAND Malaysia and Rohto-Mentholatum.
The Expo and Run were also made possible with the assistance of over 100 volunteers, who generously contributed their time and effort to the cause.
“We are at a critical turning point for wild Malayan tigers, and awareness needs to translate into urgent action if we want to save them. It is wonderful to see the diverse support and enthusiastic response that we have received all-round for the first-ever Wild Tiger Run, and we hope that this support will extend beyond today”, said MYCAT General Manager Dr. Kae Kawanishi.
“We hope this Run ignites a spark in all those who participated. If more of us are willing to give a little bit more of ourselves – for the tiger, for our forests – then perhaps, there may be hope yet for the Malayan tiger.”