Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said fishermen could still go to sea when the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project is carried out and the fishermen and their families would be given employment opportunities in the project.
“I believe the process of gathering views and objections had taken place several years earlier as the Environmental Impact Assessment report has been approved and the next phase would be on how to implement the project.
“One of the issues which should be handled is on the impact to fishermen and among the measures considered is through compensation to affected fishermen as carried out in other earlier projects,” he told a media conference here today.
He said the Penang Fishermen’s Association had also submitted a proposed paper on several claims for consideration by the state government which included providing modern transformation boats to skippers, priority for low-cost house purchase for crew members and the construction of a proper jetty.
Chow said the state government would study all claims and would seek the advice of related agencies such as the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) apart from holding negotiations with the parties concerned.
Asked on the statement of the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir that the government would be conducting studies on allegations by several parties on the PSR project feared to be affecting the livelihood of fishermen and the environment, Chow said the state government was prepared to brief any parties including the Prime Minister on the project.
Meanwhile State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin who was present at the media conference said his committee would be holding a meeting with representatives of Penang Fishermen’s Association to discuss compensation for fishermen in September.
He said a one-stop centre had also been set up for all fishermen and members of the public to obtain information on the project.
The proposed PSR project is aimed at creating a land bank to fund Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
The Penang state government had received the EIA approval for PSR project from the Department of Environment on July 4.– BERNAMA