Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1, Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said PSR is a project which would be implemented to protect the interest and welfare of Penang residents in the future.
“The state government does not deny they (fishermen) will be affected. We are not only taking care of the fishermen’s welfare…there is a greater purpose why we want to carry out the land reclamation.
“We are running out of land. We do not have land for industries, development and others, so there is a need to carry out the project as a responsible government for the people and the state on the whole. But we will not abandon the fishermen,” he told reporters when met after the opening of a Women Development Workshop for Village Community Management Council (MPKK) today.
On Sept 4, Fishermen’s Association of Penang (Pen Mutiara) chairman Mahadi Md Rodzi repeated his claim that fishermen rejected the mega project.
He said the fishermen community would be affected by the project and alleged that the state government did not invite any representatives of the fishermen’s community to discuss compensation for them.
In reply to the claim, Ahmad Zakiyuddin said the state government is now creating an initiative and assistance to aid fishermen to maintain and improve their income.
“One of the approaches proposed is aquaculture farming using modern methods of fishing, and to teach them carry out better marketing strategy and others. In fact, we also wanted to assist fishermen who want to shift to other economic sectors if they do not want to become fishermen,” he said.
Under the PSR project, the state government is proposing a development project to reclaim 1,821 hectares including building three man-made islands in the south of Penang International Airport towards the waters of Permatang Damar Laut.
The Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) costing RM46 billion would also involve the construction of an undersea tunnel to connect the island to the mainland, highways, LRT, monorail and a comprehensive network of buses between the island and Seberang Perai.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency