MALACCA: A day after a group of fishermen from the Portuguese Settlement accused DAP politician Lim Guan Eng of withholding RM100,000 in compensation for them, another group of fishermen came out in his defence yesterday.
The Portuguese Settlement Fishermen Action Committee in a statement yesterday said they were informed of the status of the money, which Lim had negotiated on their behalf seven years ago over a reclamation project.
Its chairman Gerard Danker said they were shown a bank statement indicating that the money was deposited into Public Bank and now stood at RM134,999.88.
”We regret that someone had used the name of the action committee to make false allegations against Lim, who is our advisor.
“The person who claimed to be the vice-chairman of the committee has misled the people as there is no such post.
“The money is meant for those who fought for their rights during the height of the reclamation project which affected our fishing ground,” he said at a press conference, which Lim also attended.
In 1996, an action committee was formed and Lim became their advisor and negotiated for compensation, which the developer was said to have handed over to Lim with conditions attached.
Lim said several factors delayed the disbursement of money, including his unexpected jail term and the abandonment of part of the Pulau Melaka project which raised doubts if the developer would demand back the money.
“I have been in touch with the fishermen,” he said. “We held a decisive meeting on Sept 12 and agreed that the money be disbursed before Christmas this year to make the occasion a really merry one for them.
“The action committee would have to work out a list of qualified fishermen who deserve the compensation.”
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