Johor State govt must stop evading responsibility for the de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup & act immediately to restore its status as a national park
6 December 2018
I refer to the statement by the senior Johor State Exco member Aminolhuda Hassan yesterday who attempted to blame the previous BN state government for the de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup as a national park.
This transparent bid to shift the blame to the BN is unacceptable.
While it is true that BN state government made the decision to de-gazette Pulau Kukup in March 2018, they are not responsible for the actual de-gazetting. The de-gazetting order was made by the PH State Authority on 24th September 2018 through Gazette No.3808.
This was done more than 4 months after the fall of the BN state government!
Hence, de-gazetting was the act of the PH state government, and not the BN.
Why did the PH state government proceed to give effect to the BN’s decision for de-gazetting of the internationally recognised Pulau Kukup wetland? Why did they go through with it?
The PH State Exco had every opportunity to reverse the decision of the previous BN government. They did not do so.
Hence, they must take full responsibility for the revocation of national park status for one of the most important ecological areas in Malaysia as well as South-East Asia.
Now, it is the duty of the State government to revoke or reverse the de-gazetting, and restore the status of Pulau Kukup as a national park.
This can be done with the stroke of a pen, hence preserving for future generations this magnificent reserve of rare and unique flora and fauna.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government must move to preserve Pulau Kukup by invoking the National Heritage Act 2005. Under the Act, any site which has ‘natural heritage’ may be declared a ‘heritage site’ by the Commissioner of Heritage. Natural heritage under the Act includes any ‘natural sites of outstanding value’; Pulau Kukup clearly qualifies to be a heritage site.
The Act can be invoked irrespective of who owns the land now.
We urge the federal government to waste no more time in doing the necessary to preserve and protect Pulau Kukup, in light of the continuing failure of the state government to do so.
Lawyers for Liberty