CAP urges Penang Government to scrap reclamation project

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Penang government to scrap the reclamation project which is proposed at Permatang Damar Laut near Batu Maung here as it will affect the environment, life and livelihood of 300 coastal fishers in this area.

In our survey, CAP found that in addition to coastal fishing zone becoming narrower, the fishing village and forest along Pantai Indah here will also be destroyed if the project is implemented.
At present the project developers are conducting survey and marking work. CAP is disappointed that local residents were not officially informed by the state government regarding the impending reclamation project. The locals do not know the real purpose of the project and are worried of their future.

CAP urges the state government to make public the real purpose of the reclamation project in this area. CAP is concerned that if the project is implemented it will not only threaten the life and activities of local fishers, but will also affect the surrounding environment. The fate of the fishers in Permatang Damar Laut will be the same as fishers in Tanjong Tokong and Sungai Gelugor if their fishing areas are reclaimed for development projects.

Thus CAP hopes that the state government will cancel the project. Instead the State should assist the fisher community in this area to increase their catch and solve the long-standing problem of sludge pollution that has yet to be effectively tackled and has become more serious now.

CAP’s investigation found that thick sludge has settled on the coast here and many visitors to the beach here are disappointed to see this sedimentation. Apart from seriously polluting the sea, this problem also causes threat to fish resources and fishing catch has declined by over 50% since the problem started two years ago.

The coastal fishers here claim it is difficult to cast their fishing nets as it is often damaged due to getting entangled in drift wood or iron rods. CAP requests the state government to investigate the matter and help the affected fishers who have long been living in misery due to the pollution problem. Adequate compensation should be given to the fishers to reduce their families’ burden of living.

Press Statement, 20 October 2015