10 Mar New co-op to bring better future to south Penang Island fishermen and residents
10 MARCH 2022
New co-op to bring better future to south Penang Island
fishermen and residents
Bayan Lepas, 10 March – The Penang State Government today announced the setting up of a new cooperative that will benefit fishermen, residents and the local business community in south Penang Island.
Koperasi Komuniti Pulau Pinang Selatan (KKPPSB) is set up under the Penang South Islands’ (PSI) Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP). Its inaugural seminar and annual general meeting were held this morning at Hotel Seri Malaysia in Bayan Baru.
Deputy Chief Minister I YB Dato Ir. Ahmad Zakiyuddin Bin Abdul Rahman said the setting up of KKPPSB was timely, as the upcoming PSI development would spur economic growth in the southern parts of the island near the project site.
“KKPPSB will play a huge role in realising the SIMP benefits such as the building of new fishermen jetties, job and business opportunities, entrepreneurship support and many more.
“There will be many business opportunities for locals to provide goods and services to support the PSI development, recreational fishing and agrotourism activities, which will generate good income for the people,” he said in his speech at the opening of the annual general meeting.
The Penang State Government has allocated a RM5 million start-up capital to enable KKPPSB to kick start several business activities.
These activities include selling seafood purchased from south Penang Island fishermen; providing water transportation for PSI construction workers; and building and managing fishermen jetties that will be provided under the SIMP scheme.
In the future, KKPPSB will also run other business activities like manufacturing and deploying fish aggregating devices (FADs) and artificial reefs; managing fish and shrimp hatcheries, providing maintenance services; and supplying food and bus or van transport service for construction workers.
The cooperative will also go into the petrol station, mini market, restaurant and kiosk café businesses; supply ice to fishermen and other businesses in the area; and sell dried seafood products.
KKPPSB can also go into the agrotourism business by running passenger or tourist boat services to ferry sport fishing enthusiasts or sightseeing visitors.
For instance, KKPPSB will manage the recreational fishing jetty at Sungai Kluang in the future. The existing jetty, which will be involved in the Pan Island Link 1 construction, will be replaced with a modern jetty.
“The cooperative will also be given assets on PSI in line with the State Government’s commitment to ensure the local community is not side-lined in the development.
“Apart from annual dividends, members of the cooperative will also get other benefits like job and business opportunities, and death benefits,” said Datuk Zakiyuddin, who is also State Islamic Affairs, Cooperatives and Community Empowerment EXCO.
KKPPSB’s membership will be opened in phases to:
a) Category 1 – Fishermen registered with the Fisheries Department, who operate in south Penang Island around Teluk Tempoyak, Seri Jerejak, Permatang Tepi Laut, Sungai Batu, Teluk Kumbar, Batu Maung, Gertak Sanggul, Pulau Betong and Kuala Sungai Burung.
b) Category 2 – Locals who live or work in south Penang Island
c) Category 3 – State government officials and project implementation agency
Fishermen will be the majority shareholders in the cooperative. When they sign up as members, they will be given 500 extra shares.
The registration fee is only RM10 while the minimum amount of shares for voting rights is RM100.
Datuk Zakiyuddin said the State Government encouraged the fishermen community to join KKPPSB as members to enjoy the many benefits.
“The business community from south Penang Island that can provide goods and services to support the PSI development are also welcomed to join as Category 2 members.
“The PSI project will create many opportunities that can benefit local business owners, and KKPPSB will be a major player in the south Penang Island business landscape for years to come,” he said.
To ensure KKPPSB meets its objectives to improve the south Penang Island community’s socioeconomic situation, namely the fishermen’s, the cooperative’s operations will be properly managed under the guidance of 12 board directors, who represent the fishermen community, local residents, implementation agency and the State Government.
Six of the directors are elected today at the annual general meeting from among the fishermen community, local residents, implementation agency and state government officers.
Meanwhile, the other six are nominated by the State Government to be appointed to the board based on their positions. They are representatives from the cooperative exco, State Economic Planning Unit (BPEN), Penang Infrastructure Corporation and project delivery partner SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd.
Mad Zin Che Din, 73, a former full-time fisherman from Teluk Kumbar, said the new cooperative was a good initiative, and believed KKPPSB’s proposed business plan could take off.
“As long as the co-op is managed well, there’s no reason it cannot do well. I don’t think it’s impossible,” he said, adding that he was interested to sign up.
Mad Zin also said he was comfortable with the State Government’s involvement in the cooperative.
“With backing from the State Government, I think the co-op will be successful, and will benefit its members,” he said.
Teluk Kumbar fisherman Yeoh Teong Chye, 58, said he believed the new cooperative could give the fishermen community a better future.
“I have sent in my membership application. I am sure the co-op will have a bright future.
“We should support whatever that will give us a better future,” he added.