GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow assures fishermen worried about the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project that their rice bowl will be protected.
"The state has reiterated its stand that the fishing community will not be neglected. We take their livelihood seriously and their demands will be given priority," said Chow.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday (July 12) in response to a protest on Thursday (July 11) by fishermen opposed to the PSR outside Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, Chow said that the Penang Fishermen Association had submitted a list of demands to the state government.
"Their wish list includes the need for a temporary jetty, deep sea boats and ex-gratia payments to legitimate fishermen. The proposal was made during a meeting with the state government on May 31," he said.
Chow also said that the Penang government is already looking to offer low-cost houses or rent-to-own units for the fishermen on top of the earlier job offers in the reclamation project.
He also said that State Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin would head a special task force to look into the demands of the fishermen.
Chow added that the task force members headed by Dr Afif are state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik and Bayan Lepas assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz.
State Economic Planning Unit division secretary Maheswari Malayandy, Southwest District officer Mohd Hafiz Aswad Nadzri, Penang Transport Master Plan special purpose vehicle chief and former state executive councillor Datuk Lim Hock Seng and state Fisheries Department director Noraisyah Abu Bakar are also panel members.