Penang fishermen impose 11 demands for their support

Penang fishermen want mangrove areas cleared for reclamation projects to be restored and an action committee to monitor all environmental issues.

GEORGE TOWN: The fishermen of Paramount, Gurney Drive, Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang have made 11 demands to future assemblymen and parliamentarians.

Their spokesman, Syahifah Hawa Zamzuri, said the demands involved the recognition of the fishermen’s area in Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah as heritage villages; preparing a master plan for coastal fishermen; reviewing and improving the approval of fishing licence as well as reviewing the environmental impact for Sri Tanjung Pinang (STP) 1, STP2 and Gurney Wharf.

The other demands were that all developments in the area must be based on fishermen’s aspirations; rejection of any new reclamation; state must find alternative ways to generate economy instead of “reclaiming and selling” land and monitoring illegal fishing activities.

In addition, the fishermen also wanted strategic planning for the coastal fishing community, conservation and preservation of mangrove areas destroyed due to reclamation activities as well as an action committee to monitor all environmental issues.

“If any aspiring politician is able to fulfil these demands, we will vote that party in the coming general election,” Syahifah, 29, told a forum today.

Gurney Drive, Paramount and Tanjung Tokong fall under the Pulau Tikus state seat, while Tanjong Bunga falls under the Tanjong Bunga state seat.

Both the seats fall under the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat. All these seats were won by DAP since the 12th general election (GE12) in 2008 when the state government had changed hands.

State Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Teng Chang Yeow, who will be contesting the Tanjong Bunga state seat, said the demands made by the fishermen were reasonable and could be fulfilled if the coalition wrested Penang from the opposition.

Teng was accompanied by Jason Loo Jieh Sheng, who will be contesting the Pulau Tikus state seat. Other candidates and representatives were present during the press conference.