Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has clarified that Pulau Kukup was de-gazetted as a national park because it will be reclassified as sultanate land.
He also gave his assurance that Pulau Kukup, an internationally recognised wetlands of importance, would continue to function as a park.
“In the past several national parks were being privatised. In Johor, His Majesty has a different vision. To better protect all the national parks, His Majesty decreed that all the national parks be changed to sultanate land.
“It is practised in the United Kingdom, where all the parks belong to the Crown. However, this does not change the status, policies and usage of the park. It continues to remain a national park status,” the prince said in a series of tweets today.
Apart from Pulau Kukup, Johor hosts five other national parks: Endau-Rompin Peta, Endau-Rompin Selai, Tanjung Piai, Gunung Ledang and Sultan Iskandar Marine Park.
Pulau Rawa, which is located within Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, is owned by the Johor royal family.
The state government had quietly decided to de-gazette Pulau Kukup in September. The gazette was published on Oct 25.
The island was identified as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 2003. There are 2,331 of such sites in the world.