In my last posting PM Najib, please save the Ramsar sites in Johor, I had pointed out that there is a plan by powerful people in Johor to "develop" a huge chunk of area designated as protected Ramsar sites.
This plan is not a very well kept secret. Almost everyone in Kota Iskandar knows about it. Yes, even MB DS Khaled Nordin knows about it.
How I wish a Johor-based journalist could ask Khaled whether his administration is committed to preserve the Ramsar sites and that he will never allow anyone to destroy the place in the name of development.
I would suggest for that brave journalist, whomever he/she is, to ask those questions to Khaled in front of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive DATUK Ismail Ibrahim.
How I wish I could be there when they try to answer those questions. Well, I actually just want to see their face turned purple. That would have been fun.
If Khaled says his administration will defend the Ramsar sites and not allow ANYONE to destroy them, I will put it on record as bahan bukti (evidence). If later on Khaled's administration allows those sites to be destroyed, I will throw back his words at him.
Well, anyway, for those who are chronically lazy to even google, Ramsar sites in Johor consist of three areas :
1. Pulau Kukup (647 ha)
Uninhabited mangrove island located 1 km from the southwestern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, one of the few intact sites of this type left in southeast Asia. The wetland supports such species as the Flying Fox Pteropus vampyrus, Smooth Otter Lutra perspicillata, Bearded Pig Sus barbatus, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, all listed as threatened, vulnerable or near-threatened.
2. Sungai Pulai (9,126 ha)
The largest riverine mangrove system in Johor State, located at the estuary of the Sungai Pulai river. With its associated seagrass beds, intertidal mudflats and inland freshwater riverine forest the site represents one of the best examples of a lowland tropical river basin, supporting a rich biodiversity dependent on mangrove. It is home for the rare and endemic small tree Avicennia lanata, animals such as near-threatened and vulnerable Long-tailed Macaque, Smooth Otter and rare Flat-headed Cat and threatened birds species as Mangrove Pitta and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher.
3. Tanjong Piai (526 ha)
The site consists of coastal mangroves and intertidal mudflats located at the southernmost tip of continental Asia, especially important for protection from sea-water intrusion and coastal erosion. Tanjung Piai supports many threatened and vulnerable wetland-dependent species such as Pig-tailed Macaque and Long-tailed Macaque, birds like Mangrove Pitta, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler. Globally vulnerable Lesser Adjutant may be observed in the vicinity of the site. The Scaly Anteater, Common Porcupine, Smooth Otter and Bearded Pig are classified as vulnerable or near threatened.
For more details on how important it is to preserve the Ramsar sites and prevent some greedy people from destroying them in the name of development, please read at Ramsar sites in Johor
To appreciate the beauty of those mangrove swamps, here are some pictures of the place I picked up from google images,
The last picture is my favorite. It's the pathway along the beautiful mangrove of Pulau Kukup. I once walked along there with someone I love. It's a long time ago but seems just as if yesterday.
It's so heart breaking....that is if the place is to be destroyed.