Press Statement
Johor state govt must explain irresponsible act of de-gazetting Pulau Kukup as a national park area
5 December 2018

We refer to the revocation of the status of Pulau Kukup in Johor as a National Park area by the Johor state exco, through a gazette notification on 25 October 2018.

This de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup has shocked and disappointed the nation. There is no conceivable reason why this should have been done.

It is unacceptable and highly irresponsible to deprive an area of outstanding ecological and environmental value such as Pulau Kukup of its much-needed national park status.

Pulau Kukup is the world’s second largest uninhabited mangrove island, and is listed as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the Ramsar Convention 1971.
The island also supports various threatened species of animals, and is categorised as an Important Bird Area ( IBA).

Hence, the sudden revocation of Pulau Kukup’s status is tantamount to destruction of a site harbouring unparalleled ecological treasures.

Significantly, the Johor State government has todate provided no reasonable explanation whatsoever for the de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup, even though the State Exco had made the decision as early as 24th September 2018.

Why the silence on a matter of such importance?

The area was originally gazetted as a national park in 1997 by the then BN state government. By de-gazetting, the PH state government is proving that they are even worse than the BN in terms of environmental preservation and protection.

Having long criticised the BN for greedy environmental destruction, it is simply inexcusable for a PH state government to be doing such a thing.

With the de-gazetting, Pulau Kukup is now in immediate danger of encroachment and the destruction of its rich ecosystem and wildlife.

We urge the Menteri Besar and the State exco to immediately disclose to the public as to why the de-gazetting exercise was carried out.

What was the purpose of doing so? Who will profit or benefit from the de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup? Is it now intended to destroy the natural habitat and develop the area?

We strongly urge the PM and the Federal government to now intervene to save Pulau Kukup. The PH federal government cannot simply stand by and watch an internationally recognised natural treasure of Malaysia be compromised or destroyed; the de-gazetting reflects ill upon Pakatan Harapan as a whole.

Even though land is a state matter, the federal government has adequate legal powers to intervene and protect any area which qualifies as a place of natural heritage. This must now be done as a matter of the utmost urgency.

Released by:
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty