GEORGE TOWN: There are no illegal forest clearing activities on Pulau Jerejak as claimed by certain quarters, said state Environment Commit-tee chairman Phee Boon Poh.
“There’s no such activity, only mapping works being done for a trail to be constructed around the island.
“There may have been some clearing of bushes along the walkways to make space and document the structures on the island but there are no forest clearing and logging,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Phee added that the consultant must be accompanied by a ranger when clearing the walkways so that the island’s structures can be documented in a report to be submitted to the state government.
“I was upset with the action and have given the consultant a warning for clearing the undergrowth and bushes without getting permission or informing us.
“The consultant is believed to have been hired by UDA Holdings which wanted to develop the 32.4ha land on Pulau Jerejak so they have mapped the island. However, the cleared area was not part of the 32.4ha,” he said.
Phee said an illegal fishing chalet was built there about two months ago but it had since been demolished by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and state Land Office.
“The authorities are closely monitoring the island to ensure that nothing illegal is going on there.”
Social activist Anil Netto posted in his blog on Sunday, alleging that part of the forest on Pulau Jerejak had been cleared.
He said a strip of about 150m long near the northeast coast of the island was cleared as a passageway through the forest.
A video of the cleared trail and a map image were attached in the posting, showing the section where the forest was cleared.
Anil also posted photographs of workers with chainsaws and machetes, and questioned whether approval was granted for clearing the forest.
He urged the participants of Penang Forum 7 to call for Pulau Jerejak to be gazetted as a state park.
The forum which attracted about 100 participants suggested that the whole isle be gazetted as a state heritage site under Penang State Heritage Enactment.