Harvesting of turtle eggs is allowed under strict and limited licensing on the peninsular east coast but is illegal in Sabah, under the Sabah Wildlife Enactment 1997.
Those guilty of harvesting, selling or consuming the eggs in the state can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed for five years or both.
2 April 2018
Ismail Sabri’s ‘turtle eggs’ suit stays in KL
Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s suit against the Sabah Publishing House and a newspaper editor over the turtle eggs issue will still be heard at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
This after a three-member Court of Appeal panel in Putrajaya today dismissed the publisher and its newspaper, the Daily Express’s editor James Sarda’s appeal to strike out the case, citing jurisdiction, and ordered the minister to amend his statement of claim.
Justice Rohana Yusuf, who led the bench, said that striking out is a very serious order to be made.
“After hearing submission by parties, we are mindful to dismiss the appeal.
“Further, we order the respondent (Ismail) to affect the necessary amendment to the pleading (ie statement of claim) with regard to the cause of action in West Malaysia through the website,” said Justice Rohana.
She ordered the amendment of the statement of claim to be made within two weeks.
The case management was then fixed on May 7th before Justice Nordin Hassan at the KL High Court.
4 January 2018
What’s the progress? Case dropped?
3 January 2018
Kota Kinabalu: The High Court here has set Jan. 29 to hear the leave application for a judicial review by a Sabahan lawyer disputing the filing of a suit by Rural and Regional Development Minister Dato Ismail Sabri Yaakob against the Daily Express and its Chief Editor James Sarda in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on grounds that it is against the Malaysia Agreement provision of separate courts of jurisdiction and, by that virtue, the interests of all legal practitioners in Sabah and Sarawak.
Ismail Sabri had sued the paper for publishing three articles on protected turtle eggs served at an Umno function in Sabah which he attended two years ago.
However, the suit was filed in the High Court of Malaya, instead of in Sabah, where the alleged incident happened and all of the witnesses and defendants also reside.
High Court Judge Ravinthran N. Paramaguru fixed the date on Tuesday, which was initially fixed for hearing, for parties to fully ventilate their respective positions.
Lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph…..in November 2017, in filing the leave application for a judicial review, named the Registrar of the High Court of Malaya High Court in Kuala Lumpur as the first respondent, Ismail Sabri as the second respondent and Messrs Kesavan, Advocates and Solicitors as the third respondent.
Marcel is seeking an order of certiorari to quash the registration of the Writ issued by the first respondent in respect of the said suit filed by the third respondent for Ismail Sabri.
He is also seeking an order of prohibition to the first respondent to refrain whether by himself or his servants or agent from registering or endorsing or undertaking any other act incidental thereto in respect of the said suit filed by third respondent for Ismail Sabri.
Marcel also seek a declaration that the registration of the said suit by the first respondent and filing in the High Court of Malaya by the third respondent on behalf of Ismail Sabri is unconstitutional ultra vires null and void.
He also applied for costs and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
Earlier, in Tuesday’s proceedings, Senior Federal Counsel Andi Razaliya, representing the first respondent, told the court that they are objecting the application but needed more time.
9 October 2017
Daily Express fails to strike out Ismail Sabri’s suit
The application by Sabah newspaper Daily Express to strike out a RM10 million suit by Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been dismissed.
In view of this, Justice Nordin Hassan also ordered newspaper owners Sabah Publishing House and newspaper editor James Sarda to pay RM3,000 for costs.
Case management has been fixed for Oct 24.
Ismail Sabri had sued the newspaper over an article involving turtle eggs being served at an Umno function in Sabah.
The newspaper had argued that the suit should have rightfully been filed in Sabah, but Justice Nordin ruled that the article first appeared on Daily Express’ website, which is accessible in Peninsula Malaysia.
Read more at https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/397743#49XwEmh80RkXcTkm.99
6 July 2017
Ismail Sabri sues Sabah daily for RM10mil over turtle eggs controversy
Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has filed a suit against Sabah Publishing House Sdn Bhd, which operates the Daily Express, and its editor, over three reports which appeared last year over the turtle eggs controversy.
The three articles in question are titled “Minister and Sabah YB have yet to comply: Dept”, “Beluran turtle eggs dinner: Findings left to the AG” and “Explain turtle egg confusion first, Lim (Kit Siang) tells Minister”.
The three articles appeared between Jan 24 and Sept 9, last year. The minister filed the suit on March 30, this year, but reporters only managed to get the related documents today.
Ismail, who is also Bera MP, claimed the reports have an ordinary meaning or inferred that he was evading responsibility, had no respect for the rule of law, and that despite being a federal minister, he was abusing the law and had complete disregard for the investigation process.
It also meant that he had committed an offence under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1967 for consuming turtle eggs and that he was a liar and person unfit to be a federal minister.
The minister complained that the Sabah-based media continue to publish the articles without seeking his comments or views.
Ismail, who is also Umno supreme council member, alleged that the media did not bother to seek confirmation from relevant government departments as to whether he refused to be questioned or cooperate with the investigators.
He maintained that he had not received any notice from the deputy public prosecutor’s office to record his statement or to help out in the investigations and that the articles were published sensationally on the front page that had caused embarrassment to him.
The minister claimed that the reports were false, baseless and maliciously published. He claimed that he has instructed his lawyers to seek an apology from Sabah Publishing House on March 1, but had failed to do so.
Sabah Publishing House only replied through its lawyers on April 19 that it was not prepared to comply with the minister’s demands and was prepared to publish a reasonable statement by Ismail.
The minister’s lawyers further sought an apology and an RM300,000 damages to be paid to a charity of his choice besides the RM30,000 in costs, but Sabah Publishing House said the amount was too excessive and stood by the offer.
He is seeking RM10 million in compensatory damages, along with aggravated, exemplary damages and an injunction barring the Sabah Publishing House from repeating the defamatory words.
2 February 2016
14 in Sabah questioned over turtle egg dish http://ebx.sh/205l9oO
KOTA KINABALU: Fourteen people have been questioned so far over a dinner attended by a federal minister in Sandakan last year where turtle eggs were served.
State Wildlife Department director William Baya said they wanted to record the statement of Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, but only after meeting local leaders who were at the dinner last November.
“We have yet to issue any letter or contact the minister to get his statement because of logistical issues since he is in Kuala Lumpur,” William said.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said Ismail was not a target of the investigation, but they wanted to record his statement.
– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/14-sabah-questioned-over-turtle-egg-dish?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed&link_time=1454411470#xtor=CS2-4
Sabah authorities say will quiz Ismail Sabri soon over turtle egg dinner http://buff.ly/1SpE3rC
Ismail Sabri says wasn’t asked to come forward in turtle egg dinner probe https://sg.news.yahoo.com/ismail-sabri-says-wasn-t-asked-come-forward-134800124.html?soc_src=social-sh …
KOTA KINABALU, Feb 1 — Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob claimed today that he was never contacted by the Sabah Wildlife Department to give his statement on a controversial Umno dinner last year where turtle eggs were served.
The minister said he had not been given any letter or phone call to come forward, and that reports claiming that he was avoiding the authorities and hampering investigations was defamatory.
“They never contacted me for the statement. The report in the newspaper, to me, it’s defamation. I was not contacted by letter or by telephone. How can they publish that I am avoiding it?” he told reporters before attending a dinner here today.
Ismail Sabri said that he agreed with Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun that no one was above the law.
28 January 2016
Malay Mail Online
Respect the law, testify to Wildlife Department, Sabah minister tells Umno leaders at turtle egg dinner
KOTA KINABALU, Jan 28 — Investigations into the Umno dinner where turtle eggs were featured have been stagnant due to a lack of willing witnesses, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said today.
He urged those who attended the dinner in August last year to respect the law and approach the Sabah Wildlife Department and have their statements recorded to end investigations into the matter.
“Please cooperate with us. There is no reason to delay it. Such an issue shows that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.
“As leaders, they need to show that they respect the law,” Masidi said, adding that no one would be presumed guilty or involved merely by giving a statement.
Masidi said that he hoped those called to make a statement would come forward as soon as possible so that investigations could be completed.
“The more we delay, the more people assume we are not doing anything. That shouldn’t be the case. My point is that those called to make a statement should assist Sabah Wildlife Department by giving their statement so we can wrap up investigations,” he said.
“Do not worry, this is normal procedure in any investigation. We need as many witness accounts as possible so that the department can zero in on the culprit,” he said.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/respect-the-law-testify-to-wildlife-department-sabah-minister-tells-umno-le?utm_content=bufferb0704&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.QsAv2R4P.dpuf
Ismail Sabri said he would get lawyers to look into legal action against those sharing the pictures.
Malaysiakini uploaded the photo & headline by mistake on Nov 19. We apologise for the error
21 November 2015
Ismail Sabri, while beef is not banned, turtle eggs are
Opah: Ismail Sabri’s attempt to excuse himself just shows how ignorant and arrogant he is. Beef is not illegal in Malaysia.
Collecting, selling and eating turtle eggs are illegal. There’s a massive difference here and it is clear to all except Umno leaders, who are above the law.
Roar For Truth: Ismail Sabri should shut his mouth and let Malaysians assume he is intelligent and not prove himself otherwise.
Why serve beef at Malay Muslim events if you know there are Hindu guests present? Do you serve pork if there are Muslim guests?
Mojo Jojo: This is a very poor analogy from Ismail Sabri.
Hindus don’t eat beef due to religious prohibitions, but your religion doesn’t forbid you from eating turtle eggs. So you can eat these eggs without fear of punishment by the almighty god.
Also, if food on the table is not meant to be eaten, then what the heck is food there for? Deny all you want, but the photo says it all: you have banned turtle eggs on your plate.
Admit your guilt and beg the citizens for forgiveness.
Anonymous_1371858267: The truth is someone ate the turtle egg and left the shell on Ismail Sabri’s plate.
19 November 2015
A case of turtle egg on face as new photos show shell on minister’s plate
New photographs on the Facebook account of Danau Girang Field Centre, a biodiversity research and training outfit, suggest that federal minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was indeed eating turtle eggs at an Umno event in Sandakan in August.
The minister had denied earlier eating the eggs, citing his high cholesterol problem, but in one of the photos, a piece of turtle egg shell is seen on his plate.
The administrator of the Facebook page wrote: “Looking at the four pictures below downloaded from Walai Penyu Resort Libaran FB page and shared by “Deadturtle Sabah”. It seems that the turtle eggs were actually consumed by the same people who said they did not. Share widely!”
10 November 2015
Malay Mail Online
I didn’t choose menu with turtle eggs, says Ismail Sabri
Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has left it to the state government to take action against the organiser responsible for serving turtle eggs at a function he had attended in Sandakan in August.
He said he was merely a guest at the function and was not involved in selecting the menu which was decided much earlier.
There were several types of dishes that guests could choose to or not to eat at the function, he told reporters after attending a programme with local community leaders in Kota Kinabalu today.
He was earlier asked whether action should be taken against the organiser of the function for serving turtle eggs.
“Take for example, Hindu guests at a kenduri Islam (Muslim feast) where rendang daging lembu (beef rendang) or kari daging lembu (beef curry) would surely be among the dishes served.
“Hindus do not take the beef but at the kenduri (feast) they have a choice of other dishes. So it is not fair to fault them just because beef had been served in their presence,” said Ismail Sabri.
Ismail Sabri is Sabah Rural and Regional Development Minister.
This photo was taken during the Umno Beluran division meeting dinner in August at Restoran Indah Keranamu.
Watching cholesterol, says minister after turtle egg dinner
Caught under a conservationist fire, Agriculture and Agri-based Industries Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob today said he abstained from eating turtle eggs served at a recent dinner because it is “high in cholesterol”.
“I abstain from eating turtle eggs because it is high in cholesterol. It has been a long time since I’ve eaten turtle eggs,” he is quoted by The Star as saying.
He said he only ate fish at the dinner.
Served during the dinner with Beluran Umno chief James Ratib was a large lobster and what looked like a couple of dozens of turtle eggs.
However, the Umno division chief told the daily that he did not know what sort of eggs it was.
Malay Mail Online
Photo of Ismail Sabri at turtle egg dinner rattles Sabah conservationists
KOTA KINABALU, Nov 4 — Sabah conservationists are fuming over a photograph posted on Facebook that purportedly shows federal minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and several others being served protected turtle eggs at what appears to be an Umno event in Sandakan.
The photograph, which does not show Ismail Sabri actually consuming the eggs, created a stir on the social networking site when it was posted earlier today on the personal page of Alexander Yee, the owner of the Taman Hadiah turtle hatchery on Libaran island.
When contacted by Malay Mail Online, Yee said the offending photograph was first posted on his Walai Penyu Resort Libaran Facebook page two weeks ago by an anonymous user who goes by the name “Deadturtles Sabah”.
“Last night it was posted again so I thought I better act on it,” he said, adding that he drew attention to the photograph by reposting it to his personal account.
In the photograph, Ismail Sabri, who is rural and regional development minister, is seen seated at a dining table with seven others, including Beluran Umno division chief and Sugut assemblyman Datuk James Ratib, at what is believed to be Restoran Indah Keranamu in Sandakan. On the “Lazy Susan” in front of them, there is a large plate of turtle eggs and another dish, although judging from their clean plates, the group does not appear to have begun their meal.
“As someone who has been doing conservation and in particular turtle conservation on Libaran Island, it’s a sad day.
“I can understand if people are ignorant to it. But not those guys in the picture,” Yee said.
He also claimed that he recognised one of the men in the photograph as a senior official with the Sandakan Municipal Council, and that the latter had only recently attended the launch of an anti-turtle egg initiative.
“West Malaysia does not have laws governing or prohibiting the consumption of turtle eggs but Sabah has.
“The fact that Sabahan leaders are the hosts and they still disregard the law, is alarming and sad,” Yee said.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/photo-of-ismail-sabri-at-turtle-egg-dinner-rattles-sabah-conservationists?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.BIVZdTmG.dpuf
Wednesday November 4, 2015 MYT 6:11:08 PM
Sabah to probe photos of minister being served turtle eggs in Sandakan
KOTA KINABALU: A probe will be launched over photos of a federal minister being served what appears to be turtle eggs in Sandakan.
The photographs show Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob having dinner at a seafood restaurant together with Beluran Umno chief Datuk James Ratib.
A plate of what appears to be at least two-dozen turtle eggs is seen on the table before them.
Turtles are protected under the under Sabah Wildlife Enactment 1997.
It is considered an offence to harvest, sell or consume turtle eggs in the state and those convicted are liable to a fine of RM50,000 or to five years’ imprisonment or both.
The photographs, which have gone viral on social media, have sparked an outcry among conservationists here.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said an investigation was initiated after the photographs surfaced.
“The Sabah Wildlife Department is probing this matter,” he said on Wednesday.
When contacted, James denied that turtle eggs were served during the dinner.
On what type of eggs are seen in the photos, James said, “I don’t know.”