• “This initiative will be an improvement for fishermen since they have to wait for the tide before they can go to sea at the moment.”

GEORGE TOWN (Jan 30): The Penang government, through Penang Infrastructure Corp (PIC), on Saturday (Jan 28) stressed that the Penang South Islands (PSI) project will not destroy the livelihoods of fishermen, as claimed by certain parties, and instead their route to the sea will be made easier regardless of the tides.

PIC said that the proposed reclamation works will not prevent fishermen from going to the sea.

“Their passage to the sea will be facilitated by a new navigation channel, which will allow 24-hour access to the sea regardless of the tides.

“This initiative will be an improvement for fishermen since they have to wait for the tide before they can go to sea at the moment,” PIC said in a statement.

In addition, the state government also drew up a social impact management plan (SIMP) scheme on Feb 5, 2021 to help fishermen affected by the PSI project by upgrading their socio-economic level.

It said that the SIMP scheme is not limited to ex-gratia payments, but includes assistance with boats and engines, empowerment packages and housing schemes, where the state government has offered ex-gratia payments of RM20,000 to skippers and RM12,960 to crew members at Level 1, and RM13,200 to skippers and RM5,400 to crew members at Level 2.

“The ex-gratia payment offer in the PSI project is the highest in the country when compared to other reclamation projects. A total of 345 qualified fishermen have registered for the SIMP scheme to date, and 328 fishermen have received an initial payment of RM500.

“The balance of the ex-gratia financial assistance, as promised, will be given by the state government after approval of the environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan is obtained,” it said.

“This clearly shows the state government's commitment to continuing the PSI project, which will have a positive impact on the state's economic growth," he said.

On Friday, the media reported that the Penang Fishermen's Association (Pen Mutiara) maintains its stance that it will not accept any offer from the Penang government regarding the implementation of the PSI, without meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Its chairman Ibrahim Che Rose said he hopes that the Prime Minister's Office will provide a slot for a meeting with Anwar to discuss the matter.

  1. Approval of Penang South Islands project subject to EIA’s requirements – Nik Nazmi
  2. Chow: Environmental impact assessment report for Penang South Islands to be finalised next month
  3. Penang South Islands project expected to commence in 3Q, says Chow