Bentong MP calls for clear dog-catching rules after elderly man’s death

Ravin Palanisamy

Dog-catching operations by local councils have long been a controversial and emotional topic in Malaysia, with experts calling the acts cruel and inhumane. – EPA pic, May 26, 2023.

THE government and local councils must come up with clear guidelines for dog-catching to prevent more untoward incidents, Bentong MP Young Syefura Othman said today. 

She was speaking following the case of an elderly man who died trying to protect his pet dog from being captured by the Bentong Municipal Council. Huang Yunhong, 85, had fallen into a drain while tussling with an enforcement officer.

“The Ministry of Local Government Development and the local authorities need to issue clear guidelines regarding the procedures for stray dog-catching operations as soon as possible. 

“This is to prevent unwanted incidents such as disagreements that can lead to worse incidents and fights between the council’s enforcement officers and residents or individuals who feed the stray dogs,” the DAP lawmaker said in a statement after visiting the family of the deceased. 

Media reports said the Huang had lived alone with his seven-year-old dog in his double-storey house in Taman Saga, Bentong, Pahang.

The report cited a neighbour, Chan Poh Loong, 55, who stated that the incident happened at 5pm on Wednesday when a group of council dog catchers came to the housing area.  

“The dog was inside the compound, but the gate was not locked.  The dog catchers went near the gate, and the dog came out,’’ Chan was quoted as saying.

Young Syefura, who conveyed her condolences to the family, said she will not comment further on the incident and said the police and the local council will issue statements about the incident. 

This was not the first case of a dog-catching operation gone wrong this year.

In March, Patrick Khoo, 60, was allegedly assaulted by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) enforcement officers during such an operation. He was subsequently charged with obstructing public servants from discharging their duties.  

Several viral videos surfaced on social media showing Khoo appearing to be beaten by an officer.

MBPJ did not take action against the officer who allegedly hit Khoo, claiming it was an “accident”. – May 26, 2023.

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  • As long as Council officers are not held accountable, avoidable deaths and avoidable injuries to the general public will continue.
    Is the hate of dogs so deeply ingrained in a society taught to hate them that there we will not see any accountability at all, because the majority do not want to see justice done and compassion towards other creatures is not in their hearts?

    Posted 1 year ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply

  • By right dog catchers should be animal lovers... no just enforcers. I will not be surprised if they are less than happy to catch strays....

    Posted 1 year ago by Pung andrew · Reply