THE newly formed Gerakan Pembela Ummah Penang branch wants the state government to thoroughly study the Penang South Reclamation project’s impact on fishermen in Teluk Kumbar and the neighbouring areas.
Its vice-chairman Mohd Akhir Che Mat said the project stood to affect nearly 5,000 fishermen, mainly from the Malay community, in the southern area of the state.
“We will raise our concerns on this matter via the proper channel. We hope to meet the relevant exco members to present our views and suggestions.
“We hope the state will listen to the people and use other options that will not change the demography of residents in the area,” he said at the branch’s launch at the seminar hall of At-Taqwa Mosque in Bertam, Kepala Batas, near Butterworth, on Sunday.
Mohd Akhir said the Penang branch was formed to address issues faced by Muslims in the state.
He said 30 Muslim non-governmental organisations belonged to the group.
“We are hoping for more members in our Penang branch which is tasked with uniting Muslim NGOs in the state to voice the community’s concerns.”
Mohd Akhir also spoke about the Penang Transport Master Plan, the the proposed Light Rail Transit alignment near Sungai Nibong Besar and other issues.
“We are not against development but want to ensure it is carried out properly without affecting the economy and culture of Muslims,” he said.
Gerakan Pembela Ummah national chairman Aminudin Yahya launched the branch. The event was attended by 65 people from 25 NGOs, including members from PAS and Umno.
Also present were its Penang deputy chairman I Dr Zaki Ibrahim, deputy chairman II Mohd Naim Salleh and general secretary Mokhtar Ramly.