Raya cheer for Pulau Betong fishermen


BALIK PULAU: Seventy-seven fishermen from Pulau Betong were given fresh meat by the Pusat Perkhidmatan Setempat Nelayan (PPSN) as part of the Hari Raya Aidiladha festivities.

This initiative, a first-time collaboration between PPSN and the Pulau Betong Fishermen Unit, was introduced to bring festive cheer to the community.

Azmi Mohamad, the director of strategic communications and stakeholder management at Silicon Island Development Sdn Bhd, said this tradition is one of many initiatives under the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP).

“This plan aims to enhance the well-being of local fishermen through various support measures, including ex-gratia payments, new boats and engines, job and business opportunities, upscaling programmes, and educational support for fishermen's children.”

Southern Penang Fishermen Association president Badrul Hisham Hasim said such collaborative efforts would continue to benefit fishermen.

"Our association focuses on the welfare of fishermen and food security.

“We hope the project developer and state government will keep taking proactive steps to protect our marine resources and consider involving southern fishermen in aquaculture farming to ensure a sustainable food system," he said.

Pulau Betong Fishermen Unit head Arshad Omar, who is also the former president of the Southern Penang Fishermen Association, stated that the association had ceased objecting to the Silicon Island project.

"Our priority now is to ensure that eligible fishermen receive their benefits from the SIMP and that their interests are protected during the reclamation process."

He also expressed satisfaction with the Penang state government's SIMP scheme, noting that many fishermen had received the promised ex-gratia payments.

Teluk Kumbar Fishermen Unit chief Roslizan Ramli, who is also a board member of the Southern Penang Fishermen Association, said they were never against development.

However, he stressed the importance of upholding the welfare of fishermen.

"I personally urged and led the fishermen in my unit to register for SIMP when the project was approved.

“We hope the state government and project developer will continue to provide more assistance to the fishing community to help alleviate the rising cost of living," he added.

The Penang South Island (PSI) reclamation project is a Penang state government-owned development.

The reclamation of PSI’s Silicon Island, previously known as Island A, is undertaken by Silicon Island Development Sdn Bhd (SIDSB).

SIDSB is the project developer (PD) set up by PIC PD Sdn Bhd and SRS PD Sdn Bhd.

PIC PD owns 30% of SIDSB while SRS PD owns the remaining 70%.

SIDSB has awarded the design, management and construction of Phase 1 reclamation works of Silicon Island to turnkey contractor SRS TC Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gamuda Bhd.

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