Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said action would be taken if it was true that the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project has a negative impact on the public and environment. (NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said action would be taken if it was true that the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project has a negative impact on the public and environment.

He said the government would study claims that the project was affecting the livelihood of local fishermen and assured that their concerns would be addressed duly.

“If their worries are valid, action will be taken accordingly,” he told a press conference in Parliament today.

Earlier, hundreds of fishermen from Penang and Perak, along with representatives from numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gathered at Tugu Negara before marching to Parliament to protest the proposed PSR project.

A memorandum was then handed over to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.

The fishermen had opposed to the PSR project as they claimed it would greatly impact their livelihood, and urged the government to study the matter thoroughly before making any decision.

Yesterday, the Penang government said it would go through the conditions for the approval of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the PSR project before meeting affected fishermen to discuss the issue of compensation.

Its chief minister Chow Kon Yeow today said the meeting was planned to discuss compensation packages for the fishermen, which was among the conditions stipulated for the EIA.

The PSR project involves the development of three man-made islands with a total size of over 1,800 hectares, with parts of the islands to be put up for sale.

The proceeds from the sales would then be used to fund projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), a RM49 billion project aimed at solving traffic congestion on the state’s island side.

On July 7, Salahuddin said the Federal government had yet to make an official decision on the PSR, noting that they were still waiting for reports from several parties on the implementation of the mega-reclamation project.

He said although the EIA had been approved by the Department of Environment, it did not mean the PSR had been approved.