PETALING JAYA: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya on Friday (July 12) and discussed Penang fishermen's grouses over the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
On his Facebook page, Anwar described the project as a "mega project that has impacted the lives of the fishermen".
"The project has a large impact on the environment and the lives of the fishermen," said Anwar.
He added that he had conveyed the fishermen's wishes to meet with Dr Mahathir over the issue.
The PSR project involves the development of three man-made islands with a total size of over 1,800ha, with parts of the islands to be put up for sale.
The proceeds from the sales would then be used to fund projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), a RM49bil mega project aimed at solving traffic congestion on the state's island side.
Prior to this, a large group of fishermen from various associations from Penang and Perak staged a protest against the PSR project and the sand mining project in Perak.
In their joint-memorandum, the group expressed disappointment and questioned the speedy approval of PSR's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Department of Environment (DoE) on July 5 – less than a month after the feedback submissions deadline.
The group said several non-governmental organisations and technical experts had submitted separate feedback letters to the DoE on why the project should proceed.
"Instead of upholding the importance of public participation, the DoE's treatment of the EIA process ignored valid concerns and objections, as if the public does not deserve any explanation," said the memorandum.
The memorandum was submitted to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.
It was reported that the Penang state government had assured that it would go through the conditions of approval for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report before holding another meeting with the state's fishermen association.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the meeting with the association would discuss the compensation package for the fishermen, which was among the conditions stipulated for approval of the EIA.
Note: This article has been amended to reflect the actual details of the meeting.