THE Penang government and the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) will look into rebuilding the fishing boat workshop near Kampung Bakau Tua, Penaga in Kepala Batas, Seberang Prai Utara, which was destroyed in a fire on the night of Dec 30 last year.
Penang Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said the whole workshop building was razed and equipment inside were damaged due to a short circuit.
He said losses were estimated to be around RM30,000.
Fisherman Norazmi Md Shaffar, 41, said his fishing boat which was sent to the workshop for repair, was destroyed in the fire.
Dr Afif said the workshop was built by LKIM to meet the needs of the local fishermen who want to repair their boats.
“We will look into how to rebuild and restore the workshop as soon as possible to help the fishermen,” he told reporters after visiting the scene recently.
Also present were Penang Fisheries Department director Noraisyah Abu Bakar and Seberang Prai Area Fishermen Association chairman Mahadi Md Rodzi.
Mahadi presented RM200 each from the association’s welfare fund to Norazmi and another fishermen Ismail Man, 52.
Ismail, who was having coffee at a shop nearby on that day said he was informed about the fire at about 8.30pm by one of his friends.
“I rushed to the scene but could not do anything as the flames spread very fast. I could only call the fire station,” said Ismail, who repairs fishing boats on a part-time basis.
He said he used to earn around RM1,000 to repair and overhaul fishing boats which takes about three to four days to complete.
Norazmi said although his boat was destroyed in the fire, luckily he has another boat for his fishing activities.
“I have been a fisherman for more than 20 years now and earn about RM2,000 per monthif I go to the sea daily,” he said, adding that he estimated his losses to be about RM8,000 to RM9,000.