Tanjung Tokong fishermen say compensation is inadequate

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019

A file picture dated April 9, 2017 of reclamation work around the Gurney Drive seafront opposite Sri Tanjung Pinang. - ZAINUDIN AHAD/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Tanjung Tokong fishermen affected by the Sri Tanjung Pinang 2 (STP2) project have urged the state government and the developer to revisit their plight, saying they were inadequately compensated.

Tanjung Tokong Fishermen Association chairman Mohd Ishak Abdul Rahman said the ex-gratia payment given in 2015 is not enough as the fishermen gave been facing dwindling catches of fish, prawns and crabs since the initial work on the project began.

"We only earn a quarter of what we were earning before, and it is extremely hard to make ends meet, " said Mohd Ishak at a press conference in Tanjung Tokong on Wednesday (July 31).

He said the water quality has turned from clean to muddy and their nets were being torn by rocks, pipes and metal rods underwater, including unknown effluents which had cause mass fish deaths in Teluk Bahang.

"We urge the state government to use its influence and ask the developer to grant some of our demands which are reasonable and generally agreed upon, including the request for a new fishermen's jetty.

Mohd Ishak said the request were from the fishermen from the four areas of Paramount, Gurney Drive, Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah.

A spokesman of the developer, Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, said it had obtained all regulatory approvals for STP2 development and is continuing to act with strict emphasis on compliance.

"This includes online monitoring of the water quality level within the project area as part of the environmental mitigation measures.

The spokesman said there has been ongoing engagement with the fishermen since 2003 and the ex-gratia amount and the eligible fishermen were determined by state authorities and Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia.

"The fishermen community has, on the whole, also accepted contributions such as our school assistance programme, support for festive celebrations, open houses and others.

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