Bung implicated in 'turtle eggs' meal, Sabah govt to investigate
The Sabah government will investigate a photograph depicting state deputy chief minister Bung Moktar Radin dining at a table where alleged turtle eggs were served.
The photograph was published by Warisan vice-president Junz Wong on his Facebook page.
"This is too much. First, there was Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Umno vice-president) and James Ratib (Umno) with turtle eggs.
"Then there was the ex-Umno state assemblyperson with turtle eggs,” read his post.
Speaking to Malaysiakini later, Wong said he was told that the incident took place during the recent Hari Raya celebration but did not reveal how he obtained the photograph.
Meanwhile, state tourism, culture and environment minister Jafry Ariffin said the matter would be investigated.
"Of course (we will take action), if there is a need to.
"Nobody is above the law, but we have to go through certain processes as provided by the law," he told the New Straits Times.
In the photograph, the veteran politician is seen flashing the thumbs-up sign. There were several dishes on the table, including the four alleged turtle eggs.
There was also another person at the table, but his face was not visible.
Malaysiakini has contacted Bung, his aides and Sabah police commissioner Hazani Ghazali for comment.
Harvesting turtle eggs is allowed under strict and limited licensing on the east coast of the peninsula but it is illegal in Sabah under the Sabah Wildlife Enactment 1997.
Those guilty of harvesting, selling or consuming turtle eggs in the state can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed for five years or both.
Meanwhile, Wong told Malaysiakini that political leaders should set a good example.
“We cannot have leaders who undermine the laws of our state and do it as if there is nothing to be concerned about.
“How do we expect normal citizens to comply with the laws when lawmakers themselves don't take it seriously," he added.
In 2015, Ismail came under fire from conservationists after a photograph of him at a dinner in Sabah together with Ratib where turtle eggs were served went viral.
The Umno leader denied eating the eggs, citing his high cholesterol level and later filed a lawsuit against Sabah-based newspaper Daily Express over the matter.