PORT DICKSON MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is hoping for a ‘win-win’ situation for the Penang government and the fishermen regarding the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
He said this after receiving a briefing from the PSR and Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project delivery partner SRS Consortium in Komtar today.
“I appreciate the openness and the readiness of the Chief Minister and the Penang government to brief us on the project, as well as to listen to our views.
“The rationale of the project was presented to me. I was also briefed on the rising cost of transportation as well as the financial constraint faced by the Federal Government.
“After listening to both the fishermen and the state, I see there is a willingness to continue the discourse.
“The state is open about it and they are not adamant about going through with the reclamation of the three islands. They are saying that it is open to negotiation on condition that the state gets the funds.
“(With the funds), perhaps the whole development can be scaled down to even two or one island. It is contingent upon the financing of the infrastructure projects. Some form of reclamation, of course as a matter of principle, we should allow. But then it (has to be) a win-win situation,” Anwar told a press conference in Komtar.
Anwar said that the matter should not only be about compensation but also to ensure that the welfare and future of the fishermen are protected.
“However, it is too early to conclude. We must give the state some space to continue with the negotiation,” he said.
Anwar commended Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow for his openness and willingness to negotiate.
“I understand the needs of the state as well as the welfare of the needy in the affected area,” he added.
Chow said the state government thanked Anwar, state executive council members, assemblymen and MPs for attending the briefing by SRS Consortium.
“We thank all of you for your concerns and views. In line with the openness of the state, we will consider them. That includes the main concern which is providing the affected fishermen a fair deal.
“The state will appeal to the Federal Government for funding. We hope to seek funds for the Bayan Lepas LRT project, and perhaps the Pan Island Link 1 project.
“The official letter from the state will be submitted to the Federal Government soonest possible,” he said, adding that the state was willing to review the size and scale of the PSR project should the LRT project becomes a federal project.
Also present were Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, and Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan
Video by Law Suun Ting