BEAUFORT: Fishermen in Sabah's Membakut district have urged the Pakatan Harapan government to take notice of their plight.
Abdul Razak Musri, 58, said things have not been easy for them since GE14 as existing aid had reduced.
He said for the special living allowance for fishermen, each person in a household would get RM300, but now only one person can get it and it has been reduced to RM200.
"The Government recently announced that there will be a RM50 increase but we don't know when we will get it," said Abdul Razak on Tuesday (Jan 7).
Awang Bulan Hassan, 61, said even with advancing age, he had to worry about how to earn more money to feed his family.
He said on top of the reduction of the special living allowance, the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) had also reduced.
"Our catch is not always enough and now the assistance is less," he said.
Another fisherman, Awang Sudin, said financial aid issues aside, there was a freeze in the issuance of new boat licences.
He said without the additional boat licences, fishermen were crowding onto licensed vessels.
"We now have up to 10 fishermen on a boat – it is heavy and dangerous," he said.
Earlier, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yakoob listened to the fishermen's plight and urged the Government to do more for them.
He said although the poor might not be able to pay taxes like the rich, they too deserve a decent living.
He urged the Government to listen and the fishermen and come up with tangible solutions for them.
The Kimanis parliamentary by-election is set for Jan 18. Early voting is on Jan 14. Kimanis comprises the state constituencies of Bongawan and Membakut.
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