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
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.
A RUSSIAN CEMETARY
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
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
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
Jerejak Island to Penang Island
12:30 am(Fri & Sat only)
1:30 pm (12:45 pm on Fri only)
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
View Pulau Jerejak in a larger map