Fishermen claim PSI project will threaten economic, social survival

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang South Island (PSI) project, which began work on July 1, is set to threaten economic and social survival of the fishermen.

State opposition leader Muhamad Fauzi Yusoff (Pas - Sungai Dua) said it was one of many complaints he received from to fishermen, set to be affected by the project.

He said they (the fishermen) had also asked if the controversial project had been well thought out .

"Isn't it with the implementation of this PSI project that Penang will lose its seafood resources and food security?

"The effects of this project will cause fishermen in the affected area, the majority of whom are from the Malay community, to lose their main source of livelihood," he said when debating the speech by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak at the state legislative assembly sitting here today.

Fauzi said, prior to this, the marine produce obtained from the area was profitable and landed in the market to the local 'taukehs' apart from providing sustenance to fishermen from north Perak and Kedah.

"However, it is this very water that is set to be destroyed by the state authority.

"Besides that, the effects of the waste disposal from sand mining at Mukahead, to be removed 12 nautical miles from the area, will pollute and destroy the ecosystem in the area. It can possibly reach Langkawi island because it will be washed away by the strong ocean currents.

"So, this development will change the population demographics that will threaten economic and social survival.

"Shouldn't what happened to fishermen from Tanjung Tokong and Paramount due to reclamation and development serve as a lesson about the impact on the fishing community? The reclamation there had caused 80 per cent losses of seafood in the those areas," he added.

It was reported that the PSI reclamation project, which is a new urban development off the coast of Penang island that includes homes, leisure, and work sites, began reclamation work in July.

The Penang government decided to scale down the PSI project following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's announcement on May 6 that the federal government would provide additional funds to assist the state in expediting the construction of the George Town-Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) project.

The LRT alignment has since been expanded to Seberang Prai.

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