ANTICIPATION: 50,000 workers during construction stage, and 4,000 jobs for skilled workers later
KOTA TINGGI: FISHERMEN in Pengerang yesterday received RM1.24 million from the Federal Government for the refurbishment of their homes.
A mock cheque for RM1.24 million was presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Pengerang member of parliament Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
He said the RM1.24 million was for the refurbishment of 124 houses of fishermen in Pengerang. He said another RM1.7 million had also been allocated to rebuild 172 houses for the fishermen.
The allocations were made under the government's Fishermen Housing Special Project, under the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.
The presentation was made during the launching ceremony of the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) at Kampung Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Pengerang, yesterday.
Najib assured residents that there would be no environmental issues pertaining to the project's development as every care would be taken by Petronas to preserve the natural surroundings.
He also gave his assurance to the local folk that they need not worry of the future as the development would create ample job opportunities, improved facilities and infrastructure such as in the form of better roads, education opportunities and healthcare.
"There will be an influx of 50,000 workers at the building stage of this project, whose presence may create a new township, and the workers and their families will have big spending power.
"Some 4,000 vacancies for permanent high-skilled workers will also be filled and there will be another 1,000 workers from the Taiwan investor who will soon set up their own facilities here," Najib said.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the Rapid project would not only raise the standard of living of the locals, but also attract foreign direct investments and high technology to Johor.
He also said the relocation of the residents would be carried out in stages according to the progress of the development.
"The first phase involving Kampung Sungai Kapal, Kg Langkah Baik and Kg Teluk Empang will start from next March," he said.
Meanwhile, local residents met at the function expressed support for the project.
Heng Mong Ning, 77, a fisherman in Kg Sungai Kapal said he had been living in the village all his life.
"All my children are grown up and are working outside of Pengerang.
"I have no qualms about moving to another place. I also have no worries concerning environmental hazards," Heng said.
Marsinem Sarmono, 56, and her daughter, Julaiha Jalal, 22, are also ready to move when the time comes.
"Of course, I will be sad as I have lived in the village for 25 years. But development can only bring positive changes, so I will have to maintain a positive attitude on the matter."