Priceless treasure: Eerie, enchanting Pulau Jerejak


The ruins of dormitories and leper homes, old reservoirs and undergound chambers, places of worship, jail cells, even a courtroom add an eerie touch to the island’s natural greenery that should be preserved as a state treasure for Penang.
I am appalled and still cannot fathom how, between a federal agency (Uda) and a state agency (PDC), 80 acres (a huge chunk of the flat land) of this national/state treasure could land up with a private developer, Ideal Property (which paid just RM160m for a 49 per cent stake that was previously held by PDC). 

Was there any public participation in this decision? Who were involved in the negotiations with Ideal at all stages? Was this matter tabled at the Penang State Assembly for debate?

Ideal Property is also hard at work with land reclamation at the stretch in front of Queensbay Mall for the Queens Waterfront project, directly across from Pulau Jerejak:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

If it gets its way, Ideal plans to build a bridge to link Penang Island to Jerejak Island, where it wants to build 1,200 homes, luxury hotels and a theme park. (Why would anyone want to build a theme park on a natural treasure?)

On 21 January, a Penang Forum team and other concerned individuals visited the island and hiked for four hours around the place to find out what was at stake. These are a few of the photographs snapped along the way.

An underground chamber that was probably used to store water from the reservoir above:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

The jungle trail appeared to be recently widened, perhaps by a small bulldozer?

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Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

An operating theatre or church…

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

… illegally altered to a temple:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

Below is a memorial to a couple of Russian soldiers killed when their ship Zhemchug was sunk in a surprise dawn attack by the German cruiser Emden, which had crept into the Penang harbour in stealth on 28 October 1914. Their bodies were believed to have drifted to Pulau Jerejak and were initially buried by local fisherfolk:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

Part of a prison complex:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

The prison guardhouse:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

Part of the picturesque Balqis trail connecting the eastern shore to the western coast of the island:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

A couple of the many graves on the island:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

A panoramic view of the northwestern coastline of Pulau Jerejak:

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

A couple of guards have already been posted at the now shuttered Tropical Island Resort. They said they work for “Q Islands”, which is a subsidiary of Ideal Property.

Visit to Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

Save Pulau Jerejak! Keep it as part of The Commons that belongs to everyone.

Check out the full slideshow of 61 photos below:

Pulau Jerejak 21 January 2017

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  1. Meanwhile Singapore officially opened its largest nature park, the 64 hectare Chestnut Nature Park (North) was officially opened yesterday (Feb 25), with an area bigger than 110 soccer fields. The opening also more than doubles the biking and hiking trails. The mountain biking trail has been extended to 8.2km from 1.6km, while the hiking trail is now 5.6km, up from 2.1km.

    The park is the third of five buffer parks to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.These parks act as buffers to protect the reserves from the impact of urbanisation.Two more parks, Windsor and Thomson, will be opened in the coming years. These parks are kept more natural than other public ones.

    Nature lovers will be able to experience a variety of vegetation and local bird species along the hiking trails. Remnants of old kampung dwellings are also scattered within the site.

    Can Pulau Jerejak be developed into such nature park?

  2. In the leading, apocalyptic, global religion called capitalism – that will soon finish us off – natural, historical or cultural wealth open to the public is taboo. It must first be privatised to cronies and packaged for exploitation, with its ethics and standards set to suit the the dominant, Western, Coca-cola culture. This is called social and economic progress, aka “development”.

    • Take the wealth-money-factor away from this pursuit of capitalism & we may find some sense of sanity + in-born human values in what ever we think, say & do.

  3. Before talking about conserving/preserving eco-environment, greenery etc, priorities should instead be focused on the basic civic mindedness of keeping our environment clean..not asking to emulate the standards of Singaporean streets , but at least try to not treat the road/drains/sewers as an informal dumpsite. If we can’t even reform the thinking of ordinary Malaysians, how do you expect them to fare in big scale projects like eco-preservation of an entire island. I hope the state gomen will, with their assets of many overseas educated thinkers, do a feasible study on how to enforce the relavent rules and regulation + education on their own initiative instead of waiting for federal to act. Achieving this will also mean a big boost to our transport system.

    Ps: Foul State of Ferry terminal and Komtar Bus Terminal detected for years, yet unattended. 2 of the major entrepoints of Tourists to our state.

    • Paul, can’t you differentiate state, ferry and bus company’s properties? The ferry and bus terminals are run by respective corporations and not by state or mppp. The state is trying to take over the ferry from Syed. Last heard it was sold to Rapid. Surprise until now there is no time table for the ferries. They come and go when they like. Why tun lang don’t make noise? Low class to walk and take ferries?

  4. Dedak cannot reply and now spin to say I am you. Now dedak spin and proud to say pg is no longer you with developments around. So now dedak is proud of Penang moving forward. Barking and kau beh kau bu is part of dedak sandiwara

  5. Some still believe WW2 General Yamashita might hide looting treasures in Jerejak island. Penang Forum should lead expedition to uncover the gold which may worth over RM1.6 billion enough to buy that Ideal Properties 49% share 10 fold, and in the process keep the island pristine and forcibly heaven!

  6. Another dedak tidal faham. First what is meant to retire. To do run a business is to be retired? Retired angmohs can run a business under dedak’s laws here? Dedak change his tune wanting retired people to be material rich when they have make a fortune when they are young. Dedak used to complain foreigners buying heritage or prewar properties and now like Elvis spin the pervis and support them buying prewar properties. Lastly dedak thinks expats can straight away do business and Penang langs are incapable.

    • You are very ‘ulu’ & not in the real happenings in Penang.
      Stop riding the donkey & come to Penang to x-perience first hand – the good, the bad & the ugly.
      Then you will differentiate what is real from what is dedak-concocted for your spinning.

      • Ulu people like me take environmental friend and walk with the donkey around pg. But dedak make the most noise like snake oil salesman. Talking about green but very progressive driving polluting cars and jamming the narrow roads. just like Decaprio who fly from NY to LA in personal jet 5 times in a week.

      • That is how you spin other’s comment for the lack of reasoning or better judgement.
        Pls try harder & not spin or parroting!

      • Dedak tries to divert and did not refute my points. Dedak like his BN masters turn around

      • Dedak tells me to stop riding donkey which environment friendly telling all to get food truck to get better profit. More food truck more carbon foot prints and more road jams. Hawkers no longer in push carts or tricycles but more trucks.

      • yes many esp brats do not know. you also do not know unless you show s video with you directing here. otherwise a dedak wasting our time.

    • You cannot show proof because it is a sentimental issue. Some people prefer things to be kept in pristine natural condition. It is emotional attachment that is intangible feelings.

      • What’s pristine? Pg forum focus on wrong things. The previous shipyard is a time time. They left behind lead paint, grease, machine oil, scrap metals, and unknown toxic buried and covered with washed sediments. Try building your castle home at the same site. Sydney Olympics was once a union carbide site. They spent fortunate to make it safe.

  7. Dato Huan CG better speak out now instead of playing with pokemon toys with your grandchildren otherwise Parti Cinta Malaysia is irrelevant!

    • Nothing constructive ever come from Parti Cinta Malaysia, only witness the nonsense from Huan CG so far. Therefore the Ong Heng Huat battle cry from LGE still resonates with the majority of Penangites.

  8. Opening Forum should engage Ideal directly.
    Should advise Ideal to build eco resort within the jungle of Jerejak.

  9. Looks land sounds like Opposition in Penang like PCM Huan is sleeping on the job not safeguarding the interests of the prople of Penang???

    I personally think Ideal Propertirs not doing enough CSR, unlike SP Setia giving out free buffets and concerts from Hong Kong, Taiwan and local Astro artists the recent one to the Commoners!

    I call for Ideal and Ivory to give back more to society and dont just laugh all the way to banks.

    • PCM Huan barks…
      But many a times he barks .. and devalues his character, whatever that has remained since his departure from Gerakan. He should instead come out condenming the 20sen RON95 price hike to be relevant in the eyes of rakyat suffering because of escalating cost of living. Even though LGE administration is not perfect, Huan has failed to put up a strong altrrnative that can sway the Ong Heng Huat followers towards the opposition.

  10. Anil must have insider info about RM169 million for Ideal Properties to own 49% stake in Jerejak? If indeed true then a Durian Runtuh scenario as Ivory Properties had paid RM1.1 billion for Bayan Mutiara land which appears less attractive yet more pricey?
    Ideal can possibly use and buy Botak Hills excavation land to further reclaim and expand the coast and shoreline?
    Anyway, I hope there is a roller coastal theme park in Jerejak as I can’t afford to travel overseas to enjoy that due to falling like he’ll ringgit!

    • No inside info. Those details were reported.. should be RM160m. So you can calculate for yourself.

  11. The present government seem oblivious and deaf to all the suggestions and concern in all matters. They are overconfident that nobody has the right to criticize them. It’s so sad to see what is happening to our island. I think at this rate Pulau Jerjak is a goner

  12. In lieu with the ever reliance of the service cum tourism sector to boost our state’s economy other than praying for more FDI in the form of manufacture-factories..its essential for a “Sentosa” but of a greener theme. Hard Truths to keep Penang Going.

    • We already have a theme park elsewhere in Penang.

      We dont need a developer to build 1,200 homes so that tourists will visit. Jerejak should be preserved for ecotourism and as a getaway for ordinary Penangites to enjoy Nature.

    • Why must we blindly copy-cat others’ irrelevant (to us) development:
      Sentosa Island, Palm Jumeirah (Dubai), London Ferris Wheel.
      It is as if we covet these kind of ‘progress’ without much thinking, but just to make more money cepat kaya (for businesses)
      to fuel the economy for its sake (so the excuses).

      Progress is inevitable, but what’s the use of state economic planners & Penang Institute & an accountant politician with big ego
      when all these ac-hoc (knee-jerks) developments (on-going) & in the pipe-line are simple not integrated in any vision (if any) & unsustainable.
      See what happened to our Wet World Wild Adventure Park (Moonlight Bay). Chap lap or drowned?
      Looking at the tourism sector as the potential driver of Penang economy, should we just do another ‘manufactured’ or ‘die-cast’ models
      of others’ success stories, or should we be more creative to create our own originals based on our intrinsic values & assets?
      More theme parks is not going to make the cut if it is just another ‘die-cast’. The same for shopping complexes, which btw in Penang’s style of business
      a new one replaces (or cause to die) another old one with the same crowd of shoppers & window shoppers. Just look at One Stop, Pulau Tikus. Copy-cat KL?

      Komtar Pundits should go back to the CAT drawing board & put on a thinking cap – what actually (based on past records) draws tourists to Penang?
      Theme parks, shopping, high end condos, man-made islands, or makan-makan & old world charm?
      Or is it still the 70s-80s Sun, Sea & Sands (which Golden Sands Hotel is most probably squeamish to claim as its name sake).

      Cultural Tourism is still my bet (food + kopitiams, festivals, potpourri of Asian cultures, old world architecture, old trades, filming sites, even trams).

      • Cultural Tourism (food + kopitiams, festivals, potpourri of Asian cultures, old world architecture, old trades, filming sites, even trams) will likely attract backpackers, not necessarily those high spending tourists?

        This is just my observation. Please accept my opinion and make adjustments, if needed, to your proposed strategy. No offence to your otherwise good advice.

      • You are wrong. Backpackers stay in budget hotels & eat street hawker food (not Starry-Eyed-Buck or KFC or Soul’s Garden).
        They have more time to walk around, not rushing in tour groups & can truly soak in (intimately) the cultural ambience & post them in Facebook, Flickr & Tweeters, which is free advertising for Penang. The viral effect is unimaginable – which brings in annual backpackers some of whom are new or frequent visitors based on recommendation of real x-perience of Polo Panang.
        No need to do the maths.

      • Remember the 80/20 rule?
        Focus on the high spending wealthy tourists (20% of inbound tourists) who contribute at least 80% of tourism dollars to Penang.

      • 20% comprising 5 – 7 star hotels, high end cafes & shopping complexes (mostly owned by Singlanders)?
        Have a heart for those who also earn a living from budget hotels, street hawker food, etc who comprise 80% of Penangites.
        That is how tourists dollar should go to the locals.
        80/20 rule applies more to skills/talent focus, not to sharing the economic cake.

      • You are very wrong! Pls check with 5 – 7 Star hotels like Golden Sands & see their programmes.
        The only difference of packages is the pricing.
        For example do you know Nyonya wedding packages are still a hit with high end tourists? This is an old story started some 20 years ago & still hot!
        As for world class period filming, did Chow Yun Fatt came here as a backpacker?
        Have a Kopi-O kau kau in one of the old world charm kopitiams & see the real on-going stuffs in Pulo Panang.

      • Just back from heritage site CNY celebration. Anil and tunglang should try Armenian Street Mee Goreng (the kart one not the shop).

      • Dedak is asking politicians and planners to think backwards to 20 years ago and one hand to progress forward. Dedak wants to be forward by thinking 20 years backwards?. Dedak better become PAS. They think thousand years ago and practised them.

      • It’s called Miao Hui. A celebration of Chinese culture which annually attracts cultural tourists, local & international.
        That Mee Goreng stall has been there for more than 2 decades, now most probably run by next generation. Affordable, no frills (no excessive liao), taste just as heavenly.

      • The nyonya wedding is only commercial play act to earn £¢€¥. Ask the
        bRATS if they know about Nyonya culture. Even young (women) do not dress Nyonya style clothing’s or find nonya food. Tun lang should take lead

      • Don’t know about Nyonya Wedding trends but still wanna talk more rubbish!
        Come to Penang & visit the wedding studios to keep up to date!…

  13. Eerie, enchanting, priceless.
    Pulau Jerejak is definitely a potential recee site for international film makers.
    Adventure, horror, paranormal, psychic, even historical. The ambience is there for real.
    The dam (above pic) looks familiar with SingLand’s McRitchie Reservoir, which is already a famed paranormal site.
    Even the forsaken tombstones in the middle of nowhere are familiar encounters in the jungles of SingLand.

    Ask yourself: Can any developer recreate these priceless treasures? With souls, to be more precise & eerie.
    Of course no recreated (reclaimed) island that robs the livelihood of fishermen.

    • Dedak spin. Where there are people or animals there are tombstones. What so special unique about jerejak? Temples and chapels are normal in human society. You go to chinese or European island, you can temples, shrines or churches and tombstones. Eco tourism? Pandas and painters in the island? Instead dedak wants people to get infected with zika or dengue. Jerejak forests are infested with mosquitos. tourists bring diseases with them and disease spread with their bites just like (natives) of amerika were infected with VDs from Europe.

  14. Ideal Properties was unheard of not many years ago, but managed to pull in resources to become Condo King of Penang. The people need to know how entrepreneurs like Dato Alex the founder is able to convince the local government to so many tender processes? Parti Cinta Msia Dato Huang Cheng Guan is surprisingly not able to throw some light on this matter, and only becomes active to question such dealing during GE14 or only when approached by TV3 to comment?

    • Actually Alex’s father was the founder of several development companies like Rich Focus and so on… Ideal’s rise (allegedly) has very much depended on a Tabung Haji’s property landlord of Sg Ara area.

      • Not wrong to assume that Ideal’s Alex is the crony of CAT administration? Huan can certainly bring to light and clarify this assumption.

    • Gwynn
      I believe you are choosing Pensmg as 2nd home expatriate. If so, you must gather more of your fellow comrades to voice out for local commoners if there is injustice on the island.

      • Rich expats should use their wealth to contribute to Penang economy and help the locals.

      • Rich expatriates shop at Cold Storage, willing to pay the price premium instead of going for bargains at Tesco or Giant.

      • tesco is from uk. there is no cold storage supermarket. or ask gywnn if shop in harrow??

      • Some of these rich expatriates are more frugal than our flashy MyVis zipping yuppies drinking Starry-Eyed-Bucks Kafe.
        Should learn from them expatriates how they saved during their hardworking life abstinence in order to enjoy retiring in a magical island full of incredible history south of Andaman Sea!

      • Dedak turn around. In one reply dedak says enjoy like and in next reply says open business or parasailing ie has to work during weekends and late into nights for cafe business. What a good gasing player for baby bloomers

      • To be ulu is honest than a dedak and snake oil peddler spinning and pervising saying contradicting words.

      • if developer did not build houses, how to be 2nd home expats? or one has to tumpang in one of guest house in lorong cinta and mske visa to land if smile

      • FYI, many retiring expatriates don’t go for these high-end condos priced insanely (according to their senses) but invest in magical prewar houses or old bungalows which they can do businesses like cafes or para sailing (if they are staying in George Town or Tanjung Bungah) as well as enjoy magical island full of incredible history!
        Paham kah???


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