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More than 90% registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan, says PIC

More than 90% registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan, says PIC

GEORGE TOWN: A total of 92.3% of fishermen have registered for Silicon Island’s Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP), says the Penang Infrastructure Corporation (PIC).


SIMP was created to facilitate compensation benefits for fishermen affected by the Penang South Islands (PSI) reclamation project south of Penang island.


There was 100% registration from the Permatang Tepi Laut and Gertak Sanggul units as well as 92.3% from Teluk Tempoyak.


“Except for Sungai Batu (54.22%), the remaining units (Teluk Kumbar, Batu Maung, Seri Jerjak, Pulau Betong and Kuala Sungai Burong) have also generally recorded above 92% registration,” PIC said in a statement on Sunday (March 17).


Its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said efforts were ongoing to engage the remaining eligible fishermen before the closing date on March 31.


“The high registration rate reflects the trust and confidence of the fishing community in the state government’s commitment to fulfill the promised benefits, including ex-gratia payments, provision of new boats and engines, education assistance, new sheds, upskilling training, jobs and business opportunities,” he said.


Farizan said following verification from the Fisheries Department 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 SIMP are inactive or no longer eligible.


Farizan said contrary to claims, dredging has not started yet and is 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 24-hour real-time monitoring of total suspended solids and installation of silt curtains to further prevent the dispersion of sediment.


“It is also worth noting that the local fishermen usually fish in areas outside the proposed 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.”


Farizan also said that to address claims of declining catch as a result of the reclamation works since 2023, officers from the Fishermen One-Stop Service Centre were mobilised to engage with fishermen directly and conduct a comprehensive survey.


“Feedback gathered from active fishermen uniformly refutes any discernible impact on their catch attributable to the ongoing project,” he added.

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