THE Penang government can now discuss the issue of compensation with the fishermen affected by the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said an official discussion with the Penang Fishermen Association could proceed since the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the PSR had received a conditional approval from the Department of Environment (DoE). The approval comes with 72 conditions to be complied with.
“The association had two stands when they met with the state government – one was to reject the PSR project, and the other was to move into negotiation regarding the compensation packages in the event that the EIA report for the proposed project is approved.”
It was reported that the last meeting between the Penang government and the association was in May this year; and that the Penang Fishermen Association had tabled its proposal for the compensation packages to be included in the EIA report.
It was also reported that the association had acknowledged that if the EIA report is approved, the association has to accept the fact and would move into negotiation regarding the compensation.
“They (the association) moved on with the idea to negotiate (during the last meeting); and they also had the choice to stand firm, reject (the PSR) and not to propose any compensation packages to the state.
“Regardless, we see this as a proactive move by the association to safeguard the interest of the fishermen.
“The role of the association should not only be confined to objecting the proposed project, but also to look at the mitigation measures for the benefit of the fishermen,” Chow told a press conference after opening the SMK Bukit Jambul MakerLab today.
On issues pertaining to compensation, Chow said the state would look into the list of affected fishermen as provided by the Malaysia Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM).
“LKIM will determine who is entitled to the compensation and the state will consider the list,” he added.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi
Video by Chan Kok Kuan