GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will hold a meeting with the fishermen community on Monday to further discuss the state’s plan to carry out the large scale Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told newsmen that Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin would meet the community in Kuala Lumpur.
“The meeting is to listen to the plea of the associations. We have always been engaging the fishermen community and its associations.
“We will make an announcement about the matter in due time. The process (negotiations) is still ongoing,” he told a press conference here today after visiting the Permatang Damar Laut Community-Based Rehabilitation Centre (CBRC).
Also present were Chow’s wife Tan Lean Kee, Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin and Domestic and International Trade, Consumer Affairs and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.
Chow was responding to a question on the memorandum submitted by Penang Tolak Tambak coalition to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) yesterday against PSR.
The Penang government is expected to reclaim three man-made islands in the southern part of the island near Permatang Damar Laut to fund the ambitious Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Environmentalists and non-governmental organisations are not in favour of the reclamation and the multi-billion ringgit PTMP project over concerns of adverse effects on marine species and fishermen’s livelihood.
Afif previously had said that the state government would continue to discuss with the affected parties on compensation packages.
Meanwhile, Chow said that the state government would consider providing additional aid to “top-up” the existing allowance for the CBRC staff.
This followed grouses raised by CBRC chairman here Fatimah Kader Bacha that the staff have been receiving a monthly allowance of only RM800.
She also said current allowance had failed to spark interest among potential new staff who could be employed to manage the special needs children there.
Chow said that the matter would be raised in the upcoming state executive councillor’s meeting.
“The matter has been raised in the parliament and the respective ministers are aware of this. We will discuss this in the state meeting and one of the ways we adopted previously is to top-up to the existing allowance,” he said.