Latest News

PSI project a boon for future generations, say fishermen

PSI project a boon for future generations, say fishermen

Published by TheStar • 4/5/2023

The Penang South Islands project involves the reclamation and development of three islands covering 1,820ha. The project’s EIA report has been approved.


GEORGE TOWN: Fishermen who have expressed their support for the Penang South Islands (PSI) reclamation project firmly believe that the mega initiative will bring many benefits to future generations in terms of improving living standards and generating employment opportunities.


Lye Phaik Soon, 56, a fisherman in Teluk Kumbar who has been supporting the project since the beginning, said PSI was a good opportunity for the younger generation to get regular and stable jobs such as in the manufacturing sector.


“When this project is completed and factories are built, it will benefit young people because, in addition to a guaranteed income, they can also contribute to the EPF (Employees Provident Fund). If they want to continue being fishermen, of course, there will be ups and downs with the unpredictable fish catch.


“Without state government’s help such as diesel and petrol subsidies and fishing nets, it is quite difficult for the fishermen to earn their living now,” he told Bernama.

‘The biggest threat to coastal fishermen is not PSI but trawlers that encroach into our coastal fishing zone,’ said Teluk Kumbar fisherman Lye Phaik Soon.


The PSI reclamation project is to develop three artificial islands, with an area of approximately 1,700 hectares in the waters of Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas and part of the Penang Transportation Master Plan.

The father of five claimed that the fishermen supporting the PSI project are discriminated against regarding their licence renewal and living allowance payments.


His allegation is backed by his peer, Zazali Sirun, 55, a skipper with 20 years of experience who claimed that the fishermen association refused to help him to renew his licence.


“Is it wrong for me to support a state government’s project when I am a native of Penang?


“Allegedly, more than 400 fishermen have been blacklisted by the association and we are blocked from renewing our licences. But Alhamdulillah, the Fishermen’s Local Service Centre helped me to renew my licence with the Fisheries Department,” he said.


The Permatang Damar Laut fisherman also thanked the state government for the efforts to provide each registered Penang fisherman with a 90-horsepower, 27-foot boat with complete equipment worth RM80,000.


On the allegation that the project will destroy marine life and coral reefs, Zazali said the locations earmarked for development do not have natural coral reefs, saying that he hoped the people especially the fishermen will not be misled by statements made by people opposing the project.


Meanwhile, Haris Abdullah, a 63-year-old Sungai Batu fisherman said the PSI project was not the first reclamation project in Penang as the eastern and northern parts of the state have also been reclaimed.


“But none of the fishermen in the areas complain of losing their source of income,” he said.


Sharing the same sentiment, a female fisherman Fajinah Jaafar, 62, said when the Second Penang Bridge was proposed, she was among the groups who objected to the plan because it would disrupt marine life.


“After the bridge has been built three years later, fishermen managed to catch high yield in the area, especially shrimp of up to 30 kg…it is possible that the same thing can happen with the construction of the islands,” she added.- Bernama

No Comments

Post A Comment