Home Environment Away from public eye, chainsaw-wielding workers hack through Pulau Jerejak forest

Away from public eye, chainsaw-wielding workers hack through Pulau Jerejak forest


Around the time Penang Forum 7; #SaveJerejak was taking place in early April, someone decided to move in and clear some of the forest in Pulau Jerejak.

Few would have known about this if not for a concerned Penangite who stumbled onto the clearing – a strip 500 feet long by several feet wide near the northeast coast of Pulau Jerejak. It appears to be some kind of fairly wide passageway through the forest.

Notice in the video the short thin stick stuck to the ground which appears to be some sort of (boundary?) marker for the work being done.

Below is a map showing within the red outline the general area where the forest was cleared.

A group of workers was even spotted nearby.

When asked, the workers said they were doing work for a company. Nearby them were a couple of tools: a chainsaw and a machete.

Some questions: What sort of work were they doing? Is any approval of plan required for this sort of work? If so, when was it approved? If no approval has been given, who is responsible for protecting the island? Did someone decide to quickly move in before more publicity and pressure for the island to be protected could be generated?

When a group of us visited the island a couple of months earlier, we noticed that some stretches along the east-west trail across the centre of the island appeared to have been recently similarly cleared and widened.

One of the things that emerged at Penang Forum 7 is that many people are under the impression that a “forest reserve” offers plenty of protection. But that is often an illusion: a forest reserve may sometimes end up being cleared or even logged.

READ MORE:  Packed Penang Forum 7 calls for moratorium on Pulau Jerejak 'development'

That is why participants at Penang Forum 7 called for Pulau Jerejak to be gazetted as a state park, which would offer stronger protection.

Please help to support this blog if you can.


  1. Losing our heritage for nothing

    ST PAUL’S Institution (SPI) and Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus were both iconic missionary schools located in the centre of Seremban town, which were demolished in the last century to make way for development, so it seems.

    Fast forward to the present and the site where SPI once stood is now a rundown so-called shopping complex which is in a terrible state of disrepair.

    When the idea for a shopping complex was first mooted, it was supposed to be a multi-storey building.

    The recession forced the developer to downsize the building.

    Those who had purchased shoplots in this building must be suffering terrible losses if they had not disposed of them.

    Many of the lots inside the building are empty and cannot be rented out because of the deplorable conditions.

    The central air-conditioning ceased to function and tenants have to install their own air conditioning.

    Several floors inside the building are dimly lit and the corridors are dark and dingy. The stench of urine is everywhere. Hardly anyone goes to this place unless they have some business to conduct with the few tenants/owners.

    At the site where the former convent school was located, the developer dug a deep hole. The recession saw the project being abandoned and over the years, the dug up area filled with water.

    The project has been abandoned for over two decades and now resembles a very huge swimming pool. There had been reports of the state government wanting to revive the project but to date nothing concrete has materialised.



  2. Singapore has demonstrated that a small island can have nature parks for its residents, with the opening of Windsor Nature Park by National Parks Board (NParks) on yesterday (April 22). It has three new trails and a 150m-long sub-canopy walkway.

    The 75-hectare park is the fourth of five five buffer parks at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the largest nature reserve in Singapore.

    Here are some things you can do at the new park, as well as other green areas in Singapore:

    Penang Forum should visit these parks and make constructive recommendations to the Penang government.

  3. Any reason why the Lee Brothers of Swatow Lane Ais Kacang never purchase a shop houses to operate their business? Is it an oversight because of too busy making money and never plan for any emergency?

    • Ice kacang Lee family now look at Cendol maestro with envy now. The latter learned Marketing 101 well to remain operating at lorong kengkwee so as not to affect the fortune feng sui, while going big scale franchise-like operations in aircon malls as far as to Johor to cater for ” high-end” customers with smart market segmentation strategy.

      Still not too late if Lee Ice Kacang go back to basics, instead of trying to be towkay controlling the food court.

  4. There is no need to negatively sensationalise the Malacca Gateway project, which is meant to invigorate the state’s development and revive its glory as a world-famous entrepôt 600 years ago. Chief Minister Idris Haron chided incessant critics of the megaproject, saying that it is his genuine wish to “do something meaningful for future generations.”

    “What is wrong with having a dream? What is wrong with having a vision to build a better environment (for future generations?). We do not want to be in the so-called ‘paralysis before analysis’ group,”

    Idris Haron should be thankful that he does not have the likes of Melacca Forum to confront him?

    • Give “Don’t Mess Melaka” another 5 years, the new expatriates there will voice their “1st World” opinions via Malacca Forum.

    • Bangkok bans street food stalls. Is this a joke?

      Street food stalls will be banned from all of Bangkok’s main roads under a clean-up crusade, a city hall official said on April 18, prompting outcry and anguish in a food-obsessed capital famed for its spicy roadside cuisine.
      “If you want to clean out all the vendors it’s like you are cleaning out our culture itself,” said Chiwan Suwannapak, who works for a Bangkok tour agency.
      Critics say an attempt is underway to remodel Bangkok into a Singapore-lite, enforcing regulations that have long been abandoned or skirted around by a rampant culture of bribery and a laid-back public used to picking its way through the city’s messy pavements.

      • Proliferation of Street Food vendors in Bangkok encroached the pedestrian walkways. Hygiene of food not regulated. These are serious issues that the Thai authority is looking into, so not a joke.

        The food vendors could be housed in food centre/court for better hygiene control. Bangkok would not want to have third world mentality of cheap food at the expense of public health.

      • Time for Penang to clear up Kaki 5 for pedestrians. Safety compromised if front of shops deprive pedestrians of easy movement.

      • RT News: Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports, announced on Facebook on Wednesday that media reports which said that street food was being banned in the capital city were false.

        Instead, she said the city is simply “striving for the sustainability of this significant feature of tourist attraction.” She specifically mentioned street food sales on the famous roads of Yaowaraj and Khao San, popular areas for both tourists and locals.

        Wattanavrangkul gave a list of measures which are currently under consideration, including the strict observance of hygiene standards by vendors, food stalls which are uniform and have a “local identity,” mandatory training programs for all personnel dealing with street food, a mandatory test which vendors must pass, and special attention paid to dish cleaning and waste management.

        – I think this is a good move. Penang government can certainly improve the image of its street food hawkers in the same way.

      • Wilfred. Street food stalls can be hygienic if enforcement agencies & hawker license issuer can come out with a standardise format of rules with regards to dish cleaning & food waste + cooking oil management besides the gloves & chef’s hats for hygienic food handling.
        To simply not do so but to move en bloc street food stalls off the streets into slippery food courts is an easier (lazyman) option, but which also kills the goose that lay the golden tourism eggs.
        Besides attracting tourists for their uniqueness & colourful multi-cultural elements in the streets (not highways or main roads), street food helps to leverage out the inflationary costs of dining which is more expensive in food courts (New World Park food prices are expensive examples). Not everyone can afford a restaurant menu (e.g. PapaRich) or high-end food court cuisines.
        Even in London, certain streets are allowing food vendors as part of their heritage beyond the stereotyped high-class dining like a Victorian of snobbish mannerism @ Princess Victoria.
        Is life all about gentrification to the point of killing of authentic cultures & food bastardisation with slippery McDonalds or KimmyGarish?

        When we reach the point of not knowing our ancestral origins or cultures, just call ourselves B…….

        Read: The best food markets in London

      • “All types of stalls including clothes, counterfeit goods and food stalls will be banned from main city roads,” Wanlop Suwandee, a chief advisor to Bangkok’s governor, told AFP.

        “They will not be allowed for order and hygiene reasons,” he added.

        Officials insist the city’s street vendors clog the foot paths, leaving little space for pedestrians and littering the streets.

        Do you think our MBPP has such courage to effect change?

        Many fail to realise that unhygienic food, though cheap, could shorten your life span unknowingly with bacteria/germs infection.

      • Nowadays, food is becoming a major source of spreading diseases. The effect of unhygienic food is immediate and short term, such as food poisoning or a whole list of stomach, intestinal and digestion problems.

        Just about anything and everything that is served at roadside stalls and even smaller restaurants mostly does not have clean settings. The list of foods is endless and many commonly used things are prepared in the most unhygienic way. Stallholders and shopkeepers do not follow prescribed food hygiene rules while preparing and serving eatables and cause the spread of abdominal diseases among the people, especially children. The authorities concerned are requested to look into this serious matter.

    • must be more equal than others? what has bangkok metropolitan of 7m and street food has to do with some cutting in idyllic island. as it is totally out of tropic. why it is not deleted. of course where is the river of justice and fairness when others are deleted?? very good slogon river of justice

      • Mr Zoro, u r relatively a newbie to this blog so do not understand issues at heart that appeal to Anil.
        Try to read comments in this blog from 2011 to 2016 to understand why tlang raised this matter. I do not necessarily share the views of tlang but Anil has to somehow favor him for his longetivity presence ( some call him kowpehkowboh type ) to sustain whatsoever justices.

        Do be patient and continue to raise issues close to Anil’s heart. Otherwise, you may fall into the abyss of oblivion like many past “regulars” notably Yang, now probably marketing 72K homes somewhere on earth.

        Anyway, we look forward to your healthy exchanges with tlang to add colors to this blog if not we are bored by MO1 extravaganses.

      • Thanks Damien. Actually its not an issue of favouring anyone just because they share the same views. Just hoping that people can try and stick to the topic without carrying a personal grudge or running ‘battle’.

  5. This is despite the expensive coastal and other boats, supposedly to safeguard us and the country. So, the far worse logging in interior mainland is not surprising. After the drought and rice crop failure last year and the Star expose, the Kedah Exco in charge of forests claimed that the (BN) state gomen needed the income from extensive logging. This year, they seem even less concerned as a drought seems unlikely. The recent Star report shows logging as usual. About 8,000 villagers are drinking muddy water.

    “To be rich is glorious”.

    • Umno-BN in Kedah is no different from PAS cutting trees in the forest.
      Also Umno-BN is having reclamation project at Kuala Kedah to build Aman Laut condominiums.

      But now MB Ahmad Bashah is opening the Bkt Kayu Hitam/Southern Thailand border check point 24 hours hoping to enrich (the state and the cronies) RM20 from every foreign vehicles (Thai cars) entering the state.

      • Malaysian government collects RM20 road charge for foreign vehicles (mostly Singapore cars) entering Johor, and 25% of the collection goes to Johor government, who in turn use the money to provide free Bas Muafakat services in JB, Kluang, Batu Pahat and Muar. Not sure if the Kedah government would do likewise to provide free shuttle service for Alor Setar, with the money collected.

  6. Will we see Penang Forum folks set up a camp at Jerejak to stage protest, instead of holding talk in cramped indoor space, in order to get world’s attention?

    • How nice to have Sunday sermons indoor with all facilities than in sorching sun or under thunderous rain. Who knows bite by mosquitoes and get dengue

  7. The trees keeping Vietnam afloat

    Rising sea levels threaten to drown the Mekong Delta, which produces the majority of Vietnam’s rice. The only thing standing between the country and the ocean is a tree.
    Vietnam is in danger. Rising sea levels pose a huge threat to this coastal country. In less than 100 years much of southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta – the heart of the nation’s rice production – could go the way of Atlantis. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment predicts that the ocean will swallow more than a third of the region by the year 2100, taking a swath of Ho Chi Minh City with it. Halfway up the coast from the Mekong Delta, Hoi An’s prognosis is better, but it’s not immune. The city sits where the Thu Bon River meets the South China Sea. Its inhabitants are already used to hauling furniture upstairs during seasonal floods.

    With a dire forecast and limited resources, Vietnam doesn’t have a lot of options. In 2015, then Minister of the Environment Nguyen Minh Quang told the press that the country’s best bet was to plant more mangrove trees.

    Mangroves are the climate superheroes of the arboreal world. They grow in swamps along the coasts: thin trunks and tangled, spidery roots submerged in dark, briny water. The roots filter saltwater and can expand eroded coastlines. They also create natural storm barriers and protect agricultural land from saltwater infiltration. And on top of everything else, mangroves are atmospheric vacuum cleaners, pulling unparalleled amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.

    “The organic carbon stocks stored in mangrove ecosystems are three to five times larger than other forest types,” confirmed Sigit Sasmito, a researcher with the Center for International Forestry Research and Charles Darwin University in Australia.

    Read on if you still think mangrove swamp is ugly.

    • Sea level rise only happen to Viet? Ah must be due to china high tech and building facilities in south china sea. Never mind Viet has oredi bought some subs. Can make 110% use.

  8. If it is the Alcatraz, no public is allowed only vips like prisons can go and live there. In 1884, it is forest reserve and why tunglang is like a mouse and quiet when they built shipyard and pollute the island with machines and oil just because you worship umno and gilakan.
    Ask pg forum Salma Khoo if it is a heritage site? Why not karpal Singh kandang kerbau is also a heritage site. Same with pudu and kajang jail.

    • Ask why you got Malaysian citizenship from a gomen (you hate) under BN???
      Wrong timing???
      Pls answer with intelligence!

      • Personal attacks against other commenters that have nothing to do with the blog post in question will be removed.

      • TQ Anil.
        Sometimes, my comments were not shown BUT I didn’t cry foul.
        Do remember & show respect that this blog belongs to Anil, not to anybody’s self ego or insanity.

      • Try and stick to the topic, please. Or try and give us some new insights into the topic.

      • That is your river if justice when tunglang is commenting out of topic as who is giving out citizenship. What has citizenship got to do with jerejak? You remove mine many times and said it is out of tropics but his stayed. River of justice.

  9. Make M’sia’s Alcatraz a heritage site

    event coordinator Ben Wismen said the isle’s role as a “biodiversity repository” was recognised as early as 1884 when it was declared a forest reserve.

    “It is home to more than 120 plant species and 50 animal species. The inventory is far from complete and 295ha of the forest within Jerejak are still waiting to be gazetted as a reserve,” he said.

    The forum, which attracted about 100 participants, concluded with calls to the state government to conduct public dialogue sessions and feedback on the development of the isle.

    They also wanted the state government to draw up an independent special area plan for Pulau Jerejak complete with full study and documentation of the naturalbiodiversity, archaeological, marine and culture survey.

    They also wanted Pulau Jerejak to be gazetted as a state park with its historic structures conserved, restored and protected.

    The forum also suggested that the whole isle be gazetted as a state heritage site under Penang State Heritage Enactment.

    They also wanted to see the listing of Pulau Jerejak as a national heritage site under the National Heritage Act, and possibly World Heritage Listing with the cooperation of the National Heritage Department.

    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/04/15/forum-gazette-jerejak-as-heritage-site-isle-was-the-site-of-quarantine-station-detention-camp-and-pr/#ZAQ2gJPDDlTfEESr.99

    Note: Penang CM retorted that Penang Forum was barking up the wrong tree is uncalled for as a responsible state leader who sold the Cleaner Greener Penang with political salivas. What’s left of his conscience & bravery to protect Penang’s natural & cultural heritage is left to anyone’s judgement.

  10. The person who wrote this article and asked worker is real dedak and dumb. Of course workers work for a company. Can complain about cutting and felling but never ask worker which company the workers are working for? Another dedak show that area is hilly part difficult to built if use machinery

    • @zoro: Who is dumb here?
      You know nothing yet of what is asked or not. Discreet will fit you. Some sentences are at your own discretion.
      If you no nothing keep silence and do your own research instead of killing a goose that lay the golden eggs….
      Remember Rethink Respect
      Thank you
      Be blessed…

      • You know so much? Then show you are not the real dune and tell us which company instruct the workers to do the cutting? where is the river of justice to pulau jerejak if the island is deforest? Or the company has the permit to do preliminary work? Remember you do not deserve respect if we hear only story from one party? You just believe when each has his self interest and agenda. The writer write so vaguely and yet you take it as ultimate truth. You better keep quiet if you do not know which company as they are doing the not secretly in the dark but in open and broad daylight. You just look at some comments and replies based on guesswork.

  11. The trail (by the look of it in the video) seems to be a done deal for sometime – for some months back.
    The layer of dead leaves & clear trail (no fallen tree branches) suggest it was left for some time & some form of on-going maintenance.
    That chainsaw & machete are too small a size for lumberjacking (which needs a 6-foot chainsaw). More for opening a small trail in the jungle.
    Once they land a bulldozer, it signals the start of the end of our million years rainforest in Pulau Jerejak.

    Time to evoke/conjure the disembodied spirits, ghosts, demons & kuntilanaks to haunt+terrorise these workers of destruction till they leave the island back to its pristine nature.

    • Sonicfish you must not swim across to perak or kedah waters? Sg mudah is in kedah and drinking water is for kedahans. Likewise singland don’t drink Malaysian water. China don’t eat durians from Malaysia..

      • Anil should open up other topics since lately the topics seems to be around developments in Penang. Somehow good developments in Penang is not reported, thus unbalanced in reporting in this blog.

  12. On the plane from Bayan Lepas to KL, you can have aerial view of Jerejak on clear mornings. Do take effort to snap photos and post them on anilnetto.com for readers to know the current fate of the green island.

  13. New beginnings…! The start for a better world. Its 5 to 12 the hour has come. Thyme to Take Action,before it is too late. Take your power back!
    Its not only for pulau Jerejak, the disease of corruption and destroying is spread ing as a fungus all over the world. The forest, the rainforest, the toendra, the Amazon.
    Lets not even talk about rivers and oceans
    Stand as a Rock for the future to come for our children. Dont let them live as robots in concrete buildings. They need nature. A greener and cleaner Penang, a greener and cleaner world. Spread the article with video to all your friends and relative, the oh so social media and likes!! Like it or not just spread the word. Spread it as the wind, north-east-south-west. The world needs to know what is going on in reality, in between all the soap-dramas!!!
    Waves of justice…from rivers to oceans,
    Waves of love and mercy!
    Waves as rollercoasters
    Back to Nature… in balance!
    You have a job today, a job of New Beginnings. Its the first Sumday after the first full moon after the spring equinox!
    Seeds are planted, they need to grow, before the harvest. Spread the seeds for a better world…please!
    Thank you my fellow Wayfahrers!

    For new-comers please read the former articles about historical, beautiful pulau Jerejak.

    Peace be with you…
    Magic Margie

    • Why so quiet when puLau jerejak used to house boustead shipyard and built weapon armed boats? When the shipyard is decommissioned is the site properly decontaiminated and the ship building material oil and grease are properly removed. Yet none of you and gang is like church mice on this.

    • Margie, are you from Lord Of The Ring epoch? White Magic Magi?
      Just my hunch.
      I love New Zealand countryside (my dream sanctuary far south from the madness of materialism & possible WW3)

      • MargieMagician
        I was in NZ last year but weather then didn’t permit me to mountain biking at Rotorua’s Redwood. If you have insights, get your team to turn Jerejak as mountain biking heaven. With the natural terrains that being preserved, we can have both nature biking besides manmade roller coasters.


        If not happening, then I have to save up to go Middle Earth NZ again to do my mountain biking.

      • Mountain biking is a good recreation activity for the young, instead of having Mat Lajak youth on our highways endangering road users and themselves.

        Anyway with proper tree planting like Singapore, the greenery in Jerejak can be maintained admist development.

    • Meantime, nature lovers like MargieMagician can gathers fellow friends and supporters (expatriates can contribute cleaning tools) to do gotongroyong to clear up any mess in Jerejak to gain valuable publicity to preserve at least 33% of island as natural recreation area.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here