HIGH diesel price, labour shortage and the influx of seafood from neighbouring countries have been blamed for the hardship suffered by the 7,000 fishermen in the Selangor coastal areas.
Nanyang Siang Pau reported that faced with the present situation, an average of 60% of fishermen in Selangor chose to stay at home instead of going out to sea.
As a result, the operations of several downstream industries have been affected.
According to the daily, Selangor fishermen, who used to pay 66 sen for a litre of diesel, must now come up with 89 sen for the same quantity.
They even had to pay as much as RM1.05 per litre, which was the price of industrial diesel, whenever the Fishermen’s Association ran out of government-subsidised diesel.
Interviewed by the daily, the Sekinchan Fishermen’s Association president Cheah Tet Chuan said over half his members felt that their daily trip to sea was not viable because of the high diesel cost and the low prices for their catch.
“That’s why in Selangor, so many fishermen are taking a rest at home at any given day,” Cheah said.
The Sekinchan state assemblyman, Datuk Cheah Kim Leng, said he would bring up the fishermen’s problems to the state government.
“The situation is serious and warrants quick attention by the government when more than half of the fishermen in the state find it not viable to go out to sea,” Cheah said.
Sin Chew Daily reported that Loot, the deputy president of the Chinese education movement Jiao Zong (a body representing the Chinese school teachers), arrived at the police station on Wednesday with his lawyer Ngeow Yin Yee
The daily said police took a statement from Loot over his speech on Chinese primary schools' land ownership.