GEORGE TOWN, July 7 2019 : The federal government have not made any decision on a reclamation project on the southern tip of Penang, said Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.
He said that the federal government, currently, was still waiting for reports and feedback from several related quarters on the proposal of the state government to construct three man-made islands under the project in the area.
‘’That I have taken into account in the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) which I attended less than two months ago. We have heard the views of all quarters who were given the opportunity to table their reports in the meeting.
‘’The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and we are awaiting reports from all the related quarters, then only will the government decide. But I want to inform here that the interests of the fishermen and all quarters will be taken into account by the government before we make any decision,’’ he told reporters after launching the 34th annual general meeting of the Penang Fishermen’s Association (PEN Mutiara) here today.
Salahuddin said this when asked to comment on the appeal of the association for the government to reconsider the sea reclamation project for development in the state by taking into account the major impact on the fishermen.
Prior to this, NPPC, chaired by the Prime Minister, had agreed with the implementation of the sea reclamation project and had asked the state government to comply with 18 stipulated advices.
The Penang government prior to this had announced the mega 1,800 ha sea reclamation project at Permatang Damar Laut. The RM46 billion project was aimed at constructing three islands for development purposes.
However, the announcement of the state government prompted the anxiety of fishermen and it was reported that the welfare of over 1,500 traditional fishermen in the area would be affected by the project.
Meanwhile, PEM Mutiara chairman Nazri Ahmad, who was also present at the event, said that fishermen in Penang were adamant in their stand and protested vehemently against the sea reclamation project.
‘’We also don’t know about our fate and the rehabilitation plans following this project. We urge the government to take into account our voice and our welfare before making any decision on the project,’’ he added. – Bernama