TMJ: Why involve Acting Agong on Pulau Kukup issue?

The entrance to Pulau Kukup. — Bernama pic
The entrance to Pulau Kukup. — Bernama pic

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JOHOR BARU, Dec 19 ― Johor’s Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim today expressed his annoyance at the Federal government for involving the Acting Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Pulau Kukup issue.

“First of all Acting Agong did not say anything. 2nd why involve Agong? What are you trying to do? This issue is settled. 3rd the Prime Minister was upset because apparently he was told by few people around him that the Johor Royal family is going to develop the island,” he said on Twitter.



Tunku Ismail’s tweet came after Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar issued a statement, saying that a Cabinet meeting on December 12 had affirmed the need to maintain the status of Pulau Kukup as a Johor state park after it was degazetted by the state government.

Dr Xavier also said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had an audience with the Acting Agong on December 12, where the latter agreed with the federal government’s stand.

“As the Ministry responsible for managing natural resources and focal points at the international level, we view this issue seriously as the change of Pulau Kukup's status can affect the reputation of the country,” he said.

Dr Xavier added that Pulau Kukup is an internationally-recognised Ramsar Site, and Malaysia has an obligation to manage the area prudently and ensure its biodiversity treasures are protected.

In a separate tweet, Tunku Ismail, popularly called TMJ (his Malay initials for Tunku Mahkota Johor), reminded the Federal government to focus on the country’s progress and not to divert attention elsewhere.

“Today you are the Government. Stop campaigning. The election is over. Now it’s the time to perform and deliver. Don’t try to divert attention elsewhere. Trying to use other issues as a deception. Focus on the progress of the nation,” he tweeted.



Located off the coast of Pontian in south Johor, Pulau Kukup became a national park in 1997.

Earlier this month, the state government decided to degazette the park, much to the dissatisfaction of environmental groups.

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar then decreed that the island be classified as sultanate land for its protection.

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