JOHOR BARU: Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian has vowed to ensure that Pulau Kukup is preserved and maintained as a national park.
He admitted that the recent change in status of Pulau Kukup had caused uneasiness among the public.
Osman said the issue need not be dragged on and the matter would be discussed at the state executive council level.
He said that the de-gazetting of Pulau Kukup as a national park was done by the former Barisan Nasional government in March 2018.
“My government only came to know about the de-gazetting in the media.
“I was shocked with the reports and even accusations from other Pakatan Harapan leaders who accused the present government of allowing the de-gazetting when in fact it was made during the previous administration,” he said during his winding up speech at the Johor state assembly on Sunday (Dec 9).
Osman added that Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had consented for Pulau Kukup to be maintained as a national park.
It was reported that Pulau Kukup, one of the few remaining pristine wetlands in South-East Asia, may lose its status as a fully protected national park, as the state government is said to be de-gazetting the law that gives it that status.
Concerns were sparked on Oct 25 on social media that the state authorities will cancel the whole area as a national park under subsection 3(3) of the National Park Environment Enactment (Johor) 1989.