Govt will consider demands of Johor fishermen affected by oil spill, says Nik Nazmi

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya will look into the demands of fishermen in Johor affected by the recent oil spill that spread from Singapore waters, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

“We will study their demands... based on the legal provisions (available) and look into ways of how we can deal with this moving forward,” the Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister told reporters after launching Karnival Alam Kita at Tasik Titiwangsa here on Saturday (June 23).

Nik Nazmi's comments followed the recent oil spill after a ship collision in Pasir Panjang Terminal, Singapore that also affected several beaches in the southern part of Johor.

The minister said Phase 1 of clean-up works at oil-tainted beaches near Sungai Rengit beach has reached 95% completion.

ALSO READ: Insurance firm to pay for oil spill clean-up on Johor beaches, says exco man

He also added that the clean-up of rocky and gravelled areas was 20% complete.

“So far, we have found that the Sungai Rengit beach, fishing village and jetty are clean. However, we will (see that there is) constant monitoring,” he added.

Nik Nazmi said the work is expected to be completed within a week, given favourable weather conditions.

He added that the authorities were also informed about oil pollution near Cik Kamat Island and the contractor has been told to clean up the area.

“However, we will do an evaluation first and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has deployed assets to monitor Pengerang waters stretching to the Abu Bakar Maritime Base.

"So far, no oil spill was detected there,” he added.

ALSO READ: Over 71,000kg of oil-soaked sand scooped up at Sentosa’s beaches following oil spill

On Thursday (June 20), Singapore media reported that the republic will seek compensation for costs incurred from the owners of the stationary vessel that discharged the oil.

The Maritime and Port Authority said the owner of Singapore-flagged Marine Honour – which was hit by Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima on June 14 – is liable for costs incurred in containing and cleaning the oil spill and damage to infrastructure.

On Friday (June 21), Johor exco member Ling Tian Soon said the insurer of one of the vessels involved had appointed a contractor to clean up the beaches at Sungai Rengit and Teluk Ramunia in Johor affected by the oil spill.

It was also reported in the media that fishermen in the area were experiencing losses as they were unable to fish for fear their nets and gear would be irreparably damaged by the oil.

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