LKIM studies pension, aid scheme to benefit 60,000 fishermen

24 Nov 2019 / 22:03 H.

PASIR PUTEH: The Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) is studying establishing a pension or aid scheme to help ease the burden of some 60,000 fishermen who have been forced to stop from going to sea due to old age or illness.

LKIM chairman, Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, said the study involved several factors, especially from the legal aspect and financial constraints of the federal government.

When I went down to the ground, I saw firsthand how they were suffering, especially those who still have families to support,” he told reporters after addressing a friendly gathering with the residents of Tok Bali Fishermen’s Resettlement Scheme here, today.

More than 100 fishermen from the area attended the event. Also present was Kelantan LKIM director Zarina Abd Latiff.

Muhammad Faiz said the assistance was necessary as they, especially the traditional fishermen, were unable to face the risk of surfing the waves and facing storms due to illness and advanced age.

He said, the fishermen who lived from hand to mouth were left behind compared to farmers and smallholders who had many other sources of income.

In this regard, he hoped the Kelantan state government would also help resolve the issue of ownership status of 300 Tok Bali fishmen’s houses that required the state government’s approval.

Muhammad Faiz said this was because the state government had full control over the site of these houses which had been inhabited by nearly 280 fishermen from Tumpat, Kota Bharu, Bachok and Pasir Puteh over the last six years.

He said that due to the lack of approval, the home loan repayment rate of RM150 a month to the government could not be implemented, instead they were only charged a maintenance fee of RM20 a month.

“This is a disadvantage to the fishermen as they have to take longer to pay off their debt and not as stipulated in 35 years,” he added.

Muhammad Faiz said LKIM had to bear almost RM200,000 a year on maintenance, including electricity and water supply. - Bernama

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