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92.3% fishermen registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan


92.3% fishermen registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan


16 MARCH 2024

92.3% fishermen registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan

Following verifications from the Fisheries Department (DOF) to determine the active and inactive status of the remaining eligible fishermen, it was verified that 80% (215) out of the remaining 29% (272) who have yet to register for the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) are inactive or no longer eligible.


With that, we are pleased to report that the SIMP registration to-date among eligible fishermen has achieved 92.3%, among which include 100% registration from Permatang Tepi Laut and Gertak Sanggul units as well as 92.3% from Teluk Tempoyak unit. Except for Sungai Batu unit (54.22%), the remaining units (Teluk Kumbar, Batu Maung, Seri Jerjak, Pulau Betong and Kuala Sungai Burong) have also generally recorded above 92% registration. Efforts are ongoing to engage the remaining eligible fishermen before the closing date by end of this month (Mar 31).


The high registration rate reflects the trust and confidence of the fishing community in the State Government’s commitment to fulfilling the promised benefits, including ex-gratia payment, provision of new boats and engines, education assistance, new sheds, upskilling training, jobs and business opportunities.


Addressing concerns about mudflats, it is important to note that the southern coastline has historically been muddy due to intertidal mudflats. Additionally, garbage often washes up onto beaches after heavy rain, hindering fishermen’s activities during low tide. (Please refer photos dated back to April 2019 and in July 2023 before reclamation works begin to verify this). To mitigate this long-standing issue, the project proponent is committed to providing a 250m wide navigation channel, enabling fishermen to navigate regardless of tide conditions.


Contrary to claims, dredging activities have not commenced and are only expected to start in 2027, in adherence to stipulations outlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. As part of the approval conditions, monitoring of water quality also includes a 24-hour real-time monitoring of total suspended solids (TSS) and installation of silt curtains to further prevent the dispersion of sediment.


The project proponent has also been diligently submitting water quality report to the Department of Environment (DOE) on a monthly basis since October 2023. To date, we have not received any queries or concerns regarding our water quality report from DOE, indicating that our submissions have been satisfactory as per the approval conditions.


It is also worth noting that local fishermen usually catch fish in areas located beyond the project site. We received this information from local fishermen and we verified this using satellite images from an independent consultant that captured the movements of fishing boats in the southern Penang Island waters. The findings are also consistent with data from the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA).


As a responsible government to address claims of declining catch as a result of the reclamation works since September 2023, our officers from Pusat Perkhidmatan Setempat Nelayan (PPSN) were immediately mobilised to engage with fishermen directly and conduct a comprehensive survey. Feedback gathered from these active fishermen uniformly refutes any discernible impact on their catch attributable to the ongoing project.


It is essential to acknowledge that the state government is not dismissing the fact that reclamation may impact the ecosystem. This is why the PSI Ecology Offset Masterplan (PEOM) and SIMP are in place to mitigate and improve environmental conditions and fishermen’s livelihood.


It is regrettable that certain media outlets have chosen to propagate sensationalised narratives without a comprehensive understanding of our local context and the intricacies of our development plans. We urge responsible journalism that is based on facts and a nuanced understanding of the challenges and aspirations of our community. Should the media still decide to continue reporting these matters, we encourage them to reach out to the Strategic Communications & Stakeholder Management team via [email protected] for clarification and accurate information.


Dato’ Seri Farizan bin Darus
Chief Executive Officer
Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd

Muddy coastline along Permatang Damar Laut in April 2019.

Coastline in Teluk Tempoyak in April 2019.

A photo taken in July 2023 showing the muddy coastline in Pantai Esen before reclamation works take place in September 2023.

An aerial view photo of the reclamation site where the silt curtains installed are functioning well to prevent the dispersion of sediment.

Summary of total SIMP registrations by fishermen from 9 fishermen units

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