COMPENSATION:RM1 million to be distributed among 465 fishermen
A GROUP of 465 fishermen from southern Johor, who were left in a quandary following a stalled negotiation for compensation, will receive some cheer prior to Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
State Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Committee chairman, Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said RM1 million would be distributed among the fishermen through their respective Area Fishermen Associations or PNK.
The fishermen from nine villages in south Johor have been waiting for their compensation since 2004. Their demand is due to development projects at coastal areas, which the fishermen claimed have affected their livelihood due to the lesser catch at sea.
"We want to settle the matter at the soonest possible time as there is a large group of people affected by this problem," said Aziz.
He said the affected fishermen had initially requested for RM2.9 million in compensation but through various negotiations between them and a developer, a sum of RM1 million was agreed upon as an initial compensation.
Aziz clarified that the state government acted as a facilitator for negotiations between the developer and fishermen.
It was previously reported that Sungai Melayu village head, Pandak Ahmad, who represented the affected fishermen, urged the authorities to not sideline them on the matter.
Pandak had said the fishermen community were not against development, but only wanted the authorities to fulfil what was promised to them.
He said the livelihood of many fishermen were affected following coastal reclamation work since 2000, where the murky water resulted in the closing of mussel farming and depletion of marine resources in the area.