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Related Link: Jerejak Package | Jerejak Hotel | Jerejak Destination Guide | Jerejak Photo Gallery |

Jerejak Island Destination Guide

Pulau Jerejak gained its alias as The Alcatraz of Malaysia, because of the Jerejak Prison. Located towards the south eastern tip of Penang Main Island, this 362ha island is rich with history, flora and fauna.

This island, though not as famous compared to other islands in Malaysia, has had its fair share of auspicious historical events. Francis Light, founder of Penang was said to have arrived in Pulau Jerejak in early 1786 before heading on to Penang.

As a result of Francis Light's earlier ruling whereby immigrants were allowed to claim whatever land they could clear Penang became flooded with immigrants. As a precaution step these immigrants were sent to Jerejak's health inspection centre before they were deported to Penang.

Later in the late 1930's, the British Empire built a hospital that could house 150 Tuberculosis patients at a time. This was located at the eastern part of the island.

Jerejak saw military action during World War II, when a German submarine attacked a Russian naval vessel. It is believed that Jerejak was the site for a German submarine base from June of 1943 to March 1944. A ceremonial cemetery dedicated to Russian soldiers still remains on the island. However, no records indicate that actual bodies were buried at the site.

The Jerejak Rehabilitation Center began operating from 12 Jun 1969 to August 1993 with its first batch of 200 detainees. This first batch of inmates consisted of those detained during the 13ph May 1969 race riots.

In 1982, an upsurge in drug related convictions resulted in the highest number of detainees in Jerejak, 982 to be exact.

7 inmates on the island who worked outside the prison area and were nearly finishing their sentences managed to escape. The first escape incident in January 1988, saw 4 inmates 'leaving' the island while the second incident in Mac 1988 saw 3 inmates flee.

In its course of closing down the prison, 900 detainees were transferred to prisons in Johor. The first transfer involved 100 detainees whom were sent to Muar prison, Johor. The following transfers were in-groups of about 60 detainees and were all stationed at the Simpang Ranggam Prison, Johor. The last group left on 13 August 1993.

Jerejak, an island covered with thick coastal forest aging approximately 4,000 years, hosts about 210 species and 71 families of plants. Many types of plant communities can be found here, the main ones are Dipterocarp & Mangrove Swamps.

Dipterocarp is a timber species found on hilly areas of the island. It usually forms a high proportion of the emergent and main canopy strata of the forest. A Dipterocarp forest is richly diversified and contains timber such as Meranti (Shorea spp.), Mersawa (Anisoptera spp), and Keruing [Dipterocarpus spp) which are highly priced.

There are also Mangrove Swamps in the area. The largest is located near the old prison building, north side of the island. The mangrove swamps are named so because of the mangrove trees, which dominate these wetlands. These trees are tolerant of the brackish water and saltier coastal conditions, and they are usually surrounded by a watery wilderness. This area also provides habitat and breeding ground to organisms such as crabs and jellyfish.

Besides the wide range of flora available on the island, there are also a variety of fauna species on Pulau Jerejak. Among the 39 animal species here are White Bellied Sea Eagles, Monitor Lizard and Long Tailed Macaque.

The White Bellied Sea Eagle, also known, as Haliaectus Leucogaster is black in color with a white spot underneath thus the name white bellied. Its major resting site is at the southern tip of the island. This is an ideal place for bird watching as this is also the perching area for many other bird species.


Penang Island jetty to Jerejak Island
Jerejak Island to Penang Island Jetty
6:30 am
8:30 am
11:00 am
12:15 pm
2:30 pm
4:30 pm
6:30 pm
8:30 pm
10:00 pm
12:30 am(Fri & Sat only)
7:30 am
10:30 am
11:30 am
1:30 pm (12:45 pm on Fri only)
3:30 pm
5:30 pm
7:30 pm
9:30 pm
11:30 pm
1:30 am( Fri & Sat only)
Ferry Tickets must be purchased from the Ticket Counter at Penang Island Jetty.

Guests with Room / Event Reservations : RM10.00 nett per Adult / RM5.00 nett per Child Return Trip


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