JOHOR BARU: The Pakatan Harapan-led Johor government has blamed the previous Barisan Nasional administration for de-gazetting Pulau Kukup as a national park.
State senior executive committee member Aminolhuda Hassan claimed that the current administration had no knowledge of it.
“We do not know about this because the approval came during an exco meeting by the previous administration held in March.
“We only knew about this after a decision had been made and approved,” he said when met outside the state assembly which was held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail here yesterday.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim said the island, one of the few pristine wetlands in South-East Asia, would be better protected if it becomes Sultanate land.
Tunku Ismail said it was practised in the United Kingdom where all the parks belong to the Crown but it does not change the status, policies, and usage of the park where it continues to remain a national park status.
However, he said that in the past, several national parks had been privatised.
“In Johor, His Majesty (Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar) has a different vision.
“To better protect all national parks, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that all the national parks be changed to Sultanate land,” he said.
Green Earth Society president P. Sivakumar welcomed the announcement made by Tunku Ismail which gave assurance to protect the island following the de-gazetting.
“Pulau Kukup should not even be touched in the first place as it is the world’s second largest uninhabited mangrove island.
“It is one of five Ramsar sites in Malaysia,” he said.