Fishermen relieved with federal govt's stand on Penang land reclamation

GEORGE TOWN: The federal government's firm stand in addressing the land reclamation issue in Penang has provided a great relief to the people here, especially the fishermen, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau Member of Parliament, said the stand in not supporting the project clearly showed the federal government was concerned with the fate of the over 1,500 fishermen and their families who depended on the sea in that area for their livelihood.

"Imagine, the waters in the southern part of the state which is the source of their income is suddenly gone. This is unreasonable and should not be considered at all," he said in a statement here today.

Yesterday when addressing the people here, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Najib Razak had said the federal government would not support the land reclamation project in Penang if it would bring huge losses to the people and affect their income in the areas concerned.

Hilmi said Najib was aware the zone that was targeted by the DAP-led Penang government was rich in marine resources and that the proposal would affect the people's source of income and bring a negative impact in the long run.

"I urge the Penang DAP government to be more sensitive and not to act indiscriminately by submitting any project without any regards to other parties, especially the people in the state," he said.

Prior to this, the state government announced the implementation of a 1,800ha land reclamation project in Permatang Damar Laut in Barat Daya district, worth RM46 billion, to build three artificial islands for development purposes. — Bernama