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Fishing community will be taken care of, says Penang exco

Fishing community will be taken care of, says Penang exco

Published by Malaysiakini • 22/04/2020 • 12:31 pm

Susan Loone

Published 22 Apr 2020, 12:31 pm

Modified 22 Apr 2020, 2:26 pm


Fishermen affected by the development of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) will be monitored via the state’s Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP).


State executive councillor Norlela Ariffin (photo) said the SIMP will benefit the fisherfolks and local communities impacted by the PSR project.


Norlela, who replaced Afif Bahardin in March, oversees the agriculture, agro-industries, rural development and health portfolio.


In a written reply to the Penang legislative assembly today, Norlela said the SIMP will include several measures that can assist fishermen during the PSR implementation stage.


“Examples of these measures include ex-gratia payments, new job opportunities and training, construction of new fishing piers with facilities such as storerooms, boat maintenance, among others.


“Currently, the SIMP is under discussion and in-depth review by the fishermen’s taskforce committee, which was initiated by the state government,” she said.


The state government will soon announce the steps under the SIMP, added Norlela, who is also PKR’s Penanti assemblyperson.


Despite ongoing discussions, the state has taken several initiatives such as setting up a fishermen’s local service centre (PPSN) which has been operational since May, 2016, in  Pematang Damar Laut and March 2017 in Gertak Sanggul,” she said.


Norlela was responding to Pantai Jerejak assemblyperson Saifuddin Nasution Ismail who asked if the PSR would affect the fishing community.


Saifuddin also asked what are the measures taken to protect the affected group and what compensation will be provided for them.


The Penang fishermen association has collaborated with Penang Forum to oppose the PSR, which involves the creation of three artificial islands.


The activists have marched to Parliament last year to urge then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to cancel the project, which is a component of the Penang Transport Master Plan.


Meanwhile, Norlela said the PPSN serves as an intermediary platform that connects the state government and the fishing community, especially on issues of community importance and for disseminating accurate information on the PSR project.


In addition, she said the SIMP will also implement ecology programs such as mangroves, artificial reefs, and eco-shorelines for PSR marine basins, among others, to gauge the impact of PSR projects on marine ecology,” she said.


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