GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government is still discussing compensation packages for fishermen affected by the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) Project.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pix) said talks are currently underway and there will be an announcement once a decision is made.
“The state government and the project delivery partners must study the offer for the fishermen as the master agreement for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) has just been signed,” he said in a statement here today.
Chow was responding to a statement from former Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Rural Development and Health state exco Dr Afif Bahardin Iast Monday that he was worried about the welfare of the fishermen who were affected by the project.
He said the Fishermen Taskforce Committee was set up in 2016 to tackle issues faced by fishermen in the south of Penang Island and ensure their welfare during the implementation of the PTMP and PSR projects.
He added that the Penang government had appointed Deputy Chief Minister 1, Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman as the new chairman of the Fishermen Taskforce Committee to lead this effort.
“The Penang government is planning to offer the best package to the fishermen through the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) which includes an ex-gratia payment, a new jetty with complete amenities, and job which will provide better and more stable income during the PSR,” he said.
He said according to records from the local fishermen service centre (PPSN) which was the go-between for the fishermen and state government, 633 individual and group engagement sessions have been held between 2015 and June this year.
He said representatives of the Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara) have also met with the State Government. In January this year, Pen Mutiara presented the proposed fishermen’s scheme to the taskforce committee.
“The package and benefits scheme for fishermen at the PSR site will be implemented before the land reclamation works begin by early next year,” he said. -Bernama