Netizens Are Shocked By The Presence Of Two Huge 'Ivory Tusks' In Tun M's Living Room

The nonagenarian has yet to comment on the matter.

Cover image via Twitter @chedetofficial

On 5 July, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad posted a tweet which had numerous netizens raising their eyebrows

In it, the nonagenarian praised the young Parlimen Digital participants for their ability to discuss issues and proposals in an objective manner. 

However, Twitter users were more concerned with the two large 'ivory tusks' standing in Dr Mahathir's living room

Several commenters questioned why Dr Mahathir would possess the illegal ornament, while others came to his defence

A number of netizens pointed out that it would be hypocritical for the politician to own elephant tusks, especially for decorative purposes, when he is himself a champion for policies safeguarding the environment.

Dr Mahathir even expressed his concern for animal poaching at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Praxis' conference last year.

A report by Bernama quoted him as saying, "We have poachers who come into Malaysia to steal our tigers and for elephants' tusks, thus killing the rare elephants that we have."

Local conservation group Zoologi Malaysia also chimed in:

Though the politician has yet to comment on the matter, other Twitter users suggested that the 'tusks' could have been gifts

Several netizens noted that foreign governments often gave these items to politicians during the 1970s and 1980s when laws on the ivory trade were less strict.

Malaysia is part of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which has implemented a ban on all trade of ivory

According to their official website, the international treaty was drawn up in 1973 as a method to protect wildlife against over-exploitation. Malaysia has been a member of CITES since 1978. 

In January 1990, countries and organisations involved in the convention declared a ban on the international trade of ivory.  

Even with the ban in place, elephants across Malaysia continue to be killed for their parts:

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