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Fishermen near reclamation in Penang receive goodies for CNY

Fishermen near reclamation in Penang receive goodies for CNY

GEORGE TOWN: Fishermen near the Silicon Island reclamation project were not left out of Chinese New Year celebrations.


The 20 Tier 2 fishermen from the Chinese community, comprising seven from Pulau Betong, six from Seri Jerjak, five from Batu Maung, and two from Teluk Tempoyak, each received hampers as part of the project’s initiative to present goodies to stakeholders during festive celebrations.


Among them was 64-year-old Ooi Hock Chye from the Seri Jerjak fishermen unit, who said he truly appreciated the gesture, likening it to winning a lucky draw.


“I felt very happy when the Pusat Perkhidmatan Setempat Nelayan (PPSN) called just before Chinese New Year to tell me I had a hamper waiting for me.


“This was also the first time I was invited to PPSN to celebrate Chinese New Year,” he said Wednesday (Feb 14).


Ooi and his wife, who works as his “awak-awak” (crew), were both recipients of the project’s Social   Impact Management Plan (SIMP), which is being implemented by the Penang state government, the owner of Silicon Island.


Ooi has received his first ex-gratia payment of 75% under the scheme while his wife is waiting for hers.


“Although it was a small gathering, I found it very meaningful.


“Even though the project has started, it is good that PPSN is still reaching out to fishermen during festive seasons,” Ooi added.


Batu Maung fisherman Saw Chan Seng, 44, also lauded PPSN for its festive programmes with fishermen and urged the centre to keep it up.


He said the programmes brought people of various races and cultures together to share the festive cheer and strengthen harmony in the community.


“This is very good for our community, so I hope PPSN can continue to organise these festive programmes,” he said.


It was the first time they received festive goodies from the project.


Since its inception in 2016, PPSN has actively organised festive programmes for fishermen while gathering their feedback on the reclamation, assisting them in resolving various issues related to their jobs and registering them for the SIMP.


Previous events were, therefore, more focused on Tier 1 fishermen from the Permatang Tepi Laut, Gertak Sanggul, Sungai Batu and Teluk Kumbar units that are closest to the Silicon Island site.


So far, PPSN has registered 71% of 952 fishermen eligible to receive SIMP benefits.


Those who have not registered are urged to do so at PPSN as soon as possible for their applications and ex-gratia payments to be processed by the state government.

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