Penang fishermen’s group stands firm against new islands

Fishermen in Teluk Kumbar on the south coast of Penang island protesting against the proposed reclamation project in March last year.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara) today reiterated their stand against the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

Pen Mutiara chairman Mahadi Md Rodzi said the principles of the fishing community remained unchanged, which was to reject the mega project.

“We would like to emphasise that the fishing community still opposes the project, because we understand all the negative impacts that come from the mega project,” he said in a statement here today.

Mahadi Md Rodzi, chairman of the fishermen’s group Pen Mutiara.

He also claimed that the state government had repeatedly issued potentially misleading statements, such as saying the fishing community accepted the reclamation project.

Mahadi said a workshop was held today to discuss fishermen’s compensation – but it only involved government agencies and it did not include Pen Mutiara as a stakeholder.

Describing the meeting as unfair, he said: “Not a single fisherman leader was invited to the Sept 4 meeting to discuss the future of the fishermen themselves, this action is like denying the existence of Pen Mutiara, established under the Fishermen’s Association Act 1971,” he said.

Mahadi added that all suggestions or discussions on compensation should involve Pen Mutiara through its lawyers, and not come from a Task Force or the newly set up Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd through workshops or meetings.

He said PICSB was established on July 9 this year, but the Penang Fishermen’s Association has objected to this project since 2015.

Under the PSR project, the state government proposes to reclaim about 1,821 hectares of the sea to build three islands south of Penang airport towards the east around Permatang Damar Laut, to create a land bank that will be utilised to finance the Penang Transport Master Plan project.

The RM46 billion PTMP project entails the construction of an undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland, highways, light rail transit, monorail and a bus network between the island and Seberang Perai.