Johor State govt cannot re-gazette Pulau Kukup as a national park whilst it remains sultanate land
13 December 2018
It has been confirmed that the Johor State Government has decided re- gazette Pulau Kukup as a national park under the National Parks ( Johor) Corporation Enactment 1989 [ the 1989 Enactment ]. It was further confirmed that the Johor government will also gazette Pulau Kukup as land held under the Sultanate Lands Enactment 1934. [the 1934 Enactment ]
The decision of the Johor government to re-gazette Pulau Kukup as a national park in response to widespread public concern is timely and appropriate.
However, only state-owned land can be gazetted as a National Park. This is by virtue of Section 3(1) of the 1989 Enactment which states that,” the State Authority may reserve any State land for the purpose of a National Park”.
As such Pulau Kukup cannot be gazetted as a national park, because the Johor State government has also decided that it be held as ‘sultanate land’ under the 1934 Enactment.
Section 2(1) of the 1934 Enactment provides that land held as sultanate land is ” not as part of the property of the State”.
Hence, sultanate land is not “State land” for the purposes of the 1989 Enactment, and cannot be gazetted as a national park under section 3(1) thereof.
The only way to overcome this obstacle to re-gazetting Pulau Kukup as a national park is for the Johor state government to acquire ownership of the land again.
Lawyers for Liberty