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Fisherwoman collects 930 signatures to resume PSI project
Fajinah Jaafar, a fisherwoman in Penang, has collected 930 signatures in her plight to resume the Penang South Islands (PSI) project that was cancelled.
After hearing that the project will not continue, the 60-year-old decided to file a petition to overturn the result.
She said, “I want this project to continue, which is why I, with my sister’s help, am willing to collect signatures and support from those who want the PSI project to continue.”
She had collected signatures by old fashion means, pen and paper, because she did not want the public to question the validity of her work. 421 signatures were from other fish traders and 509 from the public.
The fisherwoman believes that Zakaria Ismail, the Sungai Batu fishermen’s unit chief, success in halting the project will destroy the livelihood of other fish traders.
She added that she refuses to give in because fishermen will be sucked dry by poverty in future generations.
The Penang South Islands project was to fund numerous infrastructure projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan. The infrastructure included the building of light rail transit and monorail links, water taxis, cable cars, undersea tunnels, and several highways.
Zakaria along with 185 fishermen fought against the project because they claimed that prawns and other seafood, which accounts for 620 tones, will disappear from that part of the sea.
He said, “Where else can you get fresh, quality big prawns. It is only in the south of Penang and nowhere else.”
Fajinah currently uses a second-hand three-decade-old boat that has 40 horsepower that is unable to withstand bad weather.
She said, “The state government wants to provide free boats, tuition, and education schemes for fishermen’s children and housing. Isn’t that enough? All this for the sake of our future.”
She considers herself a nobody and a person without rank, additionally with no property.
However, she stands for the future of her children and grandchildren. “I do not want this poverty to be inherited,” she added.
-THE MALAYSIA VOICE