Terengganu fisheries director denies claims fishermen earning below RM500

KUALA NERUS: Terengganu Fisheries Department director Zawawi Ali has denied claims that fishermen in Kampung Telok Ketapang and Kemaman earned less than RM500 a month.

Zawawi said the claims made by Kuala Terengganu Member of Parliament Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad had deviated from the fact as there were other financial aid channelled from the government.

"The government has given a monthly allowance of RM300 to the fishermen … so they can't be getting just RM200 ... presently their actual income per month is about RM2,000.

"This is based on data obtained and it is proven so," he said when met by reporters at Pantai Tok Jembal here today.

According to Zawawi in Terengganu over 1,659 fishermen hauled 16,509 metric tons of fish per annum which was worth more than RM132 million.

He added that even fishermen who worked on a part time basis could earn about RM700 a month.

Meanwhile, North Kuala Terengganu Fishermen Association chairman A. Rahman Bakar, 68, said the fishermen who were registered received monthly assistance and when this was added to their daily income they earned more than what was claimed by Raja Bahrin.

He added that during the monsoon season when the fishermen could not go out to sea, they had the government allowances as well as other forms of assistance to fall back on.

Another fisherman Mat Aziz Ali, 67, who has been fishing for the past 50 years said those who had lamented such, were not real fishermen but were just trying to create an issue.

"We get at least RM900 or RM800 per month excluding the living allowances," he said. — Bernama