Gobbling up the commons: Fisherfolk unhappy with Penang land reclamation

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Fisherfolk have once again expressed their unhappiness over the land reclamation in Penang.

There is a moral issue to consider here. The sea belongs to all of us: it is part of ‘the commons’. The commons is “the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately”.

After the land reclamation, the state government will sell the land to developers. In effect, it is ‘privatising’ the commons for developers to reap enormous profits. And at almost 4,500 acres with gross development value of RM160bn, it is not piddling land reclamation we are talking about. Is it fair for the present state administration to commit future administrations to these controversial and grandiose plans for the next decade or two?

Check out this photo-story by a Penang-based filmmaker who spent a day with the fisherfolk of Tanjung Tokong in northeastern Penang Island. As one of the fisher folk said, “Tanah dah mereka ambil, sekarang laut pun mereka nak?” (They have taken our land, now they want to take our sea?)

As their catch dwindles, the fisherfolk now have to burn more fuel and time going further into the sea for their catch. How do you begin to compensate for loss of marine life and increased scarcity of fish as a source of food, not to mention the fisherfolk’s loss of earnings?

The following video shows an SRS rep describing their land reclamation methods in southern Penang Island while environmentalist Dr Leong Yueh Kwong talks about the impact of the land reclamation.

It is unlikely that the land reclamation plans would be popular among the local residents of the south. Has the state government commissioned an independent poll of how they feel about the 4,500-acre land reclamation plan?

Many would realise it is another case of the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of losses.

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zoro
zoro
8 Sep 2016 9.33pm

anil how can you put up photos with empat mata fisherman? please do not go so low. first time a empat mata fisherman in the world.

Gerry
Gerry
11 Sep 2016 4.43pm
Reply to  zoro

MARA must have done a great job in training the fishermen such that they are now able to print pictures for use in press conference.

zoro
zoro
8 Sep 2016 9.25pm

we buy fish from.siam. the fish are caged and harvested. so why buy caged fish when we also can caged them

Lijun
Lijun
8 Sep 2016 11.07am

tengok muka sudah tahu bukan fishermen.

Damien
Damien
8 Sep 2016 2.26pm
Reply to  Lijun

These fishermen can seek employment from Red (Shirts) commander Jamal Yunos, who can set up his chain of Sekinchan Ikan Bakar franchise on Penang. Gelakan can help to import fishes from Thailand for barbecue feast next GE14 you help me I help you.

Gerry
Gerry
11 Sep 2016 4.44pm
Reply to  Damien

Jamal Ikan Bakar can rival Manhattan Fish Market?
How come no franchise in Penang?

gk ong
gk ong
12 Sep 2016 11.56am
Reply to  Gerry

Ismail Sabri can offer free rental at Umno building for Ikan Bakar business in Penang?

tunglang
tunglang
12 Sep 2016 10.22pm
Reply to  Damien

Assuming just to shiok-sendiri or steam thy political masters?
As adult commenters, can do better than to spew such irrelevant comments.
If you are so concerned of other’s businesses, why not invest in them?

David Loman
David Loman
9 Sep 2016 8.33am
Reply to  Lijun

Make appearance can also get dedak. Easy money. Just like those trouble makers at Komtar. Cash is king.

tunglang
tunglang
12 Sep 2016 10.23pm
Reply to  David Loman

Did you see the dedak in situ???

David Loman
David Loman
8 Sep 2016 10.20am

Southern Johor Fishermen: On the Brink

Forest City halves fishermen’s earnings in Johor
https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/293185

gk ong
gk ong
8 Sep 2016 11.44am
Reply to  David Loman

These Johor projects by cronies and influential persons, thus no report of protest on mainstream media?

Alif
Alif
8 Sep 2016 1.21pm
Reply to  gk ong

Very true. Royalty project cannot dispute.

tunglang
tunglang
8 Sep 2016 11.42pm
Reply to  Alif

One thing – football can dispute with just a thumb drive!

Damien
Damien
9 Sep 2016 7.59am
Reply to  tunglang

Thumb drive to MACC could be a new trend, despite this time they claimed to element of corruption at FAM just technical matter.
Do if there is corruption, then Msia football ranking could be even worst? What a nightmare!

David Loman
David Loman
9 Sep 2016 8.10am
Reply to  tunglang

The thumb drive provides lots of thunder to scare the s… out of FAM, but in the end there is hardly a rain drop. I suspect all issues are ‘settled’ else FAM could face the brunt of FIFA for is misadventure. Meanwhile Harimau Malaysia is expected to drop in FIFA ranking after losing 0-3 to Indonesia, in a match where a Prof KKK described the Malaysian players to be as mechanical as robots.

Sora Zhen
Sora Zhen
9 Sep 2016 3.32pm
Reply to  gk ong

The class divide us all. If you have power or position, you can get away with anything.
Good to see Anil fighting for the rights of commoners.

zoro
zoro
9 Sep 2016 11.05pm
Reply to  Sora Zhen

have you seen a short sighted fisherman.? a empat mata fisherman? how can more potray such a pic? clesrly misguided.

tunglang
tunglang
12 Sep 2016 10.28pm
Reply to  zoro

They may be short-sighted, but they can probably see a donkey from a mile away….

tunglang
tunglang
12 Sep 2016 10.26pm
Reply to  David Loman

Johor fishermen are different, i.e. must show concern for them.
But Penang fishermen are not, i.e. they are on the take of dedak as assumed by you?
What hypocritic show of concern!

Damien
Damien
8 Sep 2016 7.09am

Nowadays some say the fishes sold at Penang Island mostly from Thailand, being salted to let them stay fresh longer. You can’t taste the different especially at Mamak stalls as mostly being fried very dry.

Gone were the days when you can catch groupa easily at the shoreline of E&O. Now you need expensive dedak to entice them to your hook.

gk ong
gk ong
8 Sep 2016 11.42am
Reply to  Anil Netto

Local fishermen sold tgeir subsidized diesel to Thai counterpart for easy profit without having to cast a net?

Ramsoon
Ramsoon
7 Sep 2016 8.35pm

weird….why the fishermen unhappy when federal government has not yet approved 4500 acre land reclamation plan? and why the fishermen keep silent only when previous BN penang state government had approved 4361 acres land reclamation?

really amazing :)…..
oh sorry for my bad english

tunglang
tunglang
7 Sep 2016 10.09pm
Reply to  Ramsoon

Really amazing that this environmental issue can be politicised for no other apparent reason that to twist it to shield the CAT! Better get real & grow up, otherwise who will be the fools!

ramsoon
ramsoon
8 Sep 2016 1.03am
Reply to  tunglang

really environment issue? i doubt that…..please bear in mind that federal government won’t pay a single cent in this ptmp project. you thought federal government willing to help you? so who is the biggest fool?

ramsoon
ramsoon
8 Sep 2016 1.07am
Reply to  tunglang

and i’m curious about those fishermen reaction, it has nothing to do with politic

zoro
zoro
8 Sep 2016 8.27am
Reply to  tunglang

fishermen can get subsided petrol from.federal like felda and fekcra schemes on land. ask federal who can use taxpayers

zoro
zoro
11 Sep 2016 9.43am
Reply to  zoro

What a fishy CAT interested in fishes. Tun lang pay tax and gst to pg Gomen and not bn federal Gomen. BN federal Gomen gives help to felda, SME but not fishermen??

tunglang
tunglang
8 Sep 2016 11.47pm
Reply to  tunglang

PTMP is no holy-excuse to damage our sensitive coastal waters.
Don’t be a blind fool just b’cos the blame game says there’s no money from the Feds & therefore a big excuse to swap deals like nobody’s business.
Unless one is still a fool regardless of what is UBAH-ing Penang for the worse.

tunglang
tunglang
8 Sep 2016 11.49pm
Reply to  tunglang

No need to be curious!
Just follow one of these fishermen on their daily trips to the seas.
And help them to count the catch.
Gurney Drive is a good place for a start.

Damien
Damien
7 Sep 2016 7.43pm

Fish farming can sustain the career of Island fishermen. Jabatan Perikanan should take proactive move otherwise fish prawns getting more expensive and already many cannot afford.

tunglang
tunglang
7 Sep 2016 10.16pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Anil, as I mentioned before, fish farming is not as healthy as what it seems – to repeat here: my friend who previously was a fish farmer in Batu Maung once told me he seldom ate his own farmed fish which he fed them with manufac fish feed.
For those undiscerning, it looks good for the economies of scale of fish farming.
Same with chicken injected with growth hormones (to speed up production), which ends up in humans, esp men who consume such chicken to eventually develop fat breasts!

gk ong
gk ong
8 Sep 2016 11.33am
Reply to  tunglang

Overfishing has greatly reduced fish stocks. Now you can see fish of small sizes, not fully grown, are sold in the wet market. Commercial fish farming with modern technology is the way to go, in order to sustain the growing demand. It takes time for certain people to accept, just like having farmed chickens vs free roaming kampung ones. Time to get real.

tunglang
tunglang
8 Sep 2016 11.40pm
Reply to  gk ong

Over-Madness-of-land reclamation leads to less fish in coastal seas from 2008-now.
Local fishermen cannot use drag nets (used for deep sea fishing), so what’s the logic of less fish? Answer: Madness.

zoro
zoro
10 Sep 2016 3.33pm
Reply to  gk ong

Madness = gilakan

David Loman
David Loman
8 Sep 2016 4.48pm
Reply to  tunglang

Farming Fish in Singapore Self-Sufficiency Drive

Singapore fish farms: From kelongs to wifi

Damien
Damien
8 Sep 2016 5.24am
Reply to  Anil Netto

Anil you got the point just look at the typical modern children of Penang now live like slaves in “cages” condos, only leave the homes for schools, tuition and weekend to malls with parents, not enough outdoor activities like cycling in open park for healthier lifestyle.

zoro
zoro
8 Sep 2016 8.30am
Reply to  Damien

anil should thanks us being caged to computers. otherwise we will not read and write in his blog.

zoro
zoro
8 Sep 2016 8.23am
Reply to  Anil Netto

why go out in the sea and spend hours onky to catch a handful whereas foreigners come with their apollo nets and swept everything. why ngos no complain about caged ayam and caged telor. dont buy and eat caged items. dont drink 2in 1 coffee o..

David Loman
David Loman
8 Sep 2016 9.57am
Reply to  Damien

Closed containment – The future of fish farming

Aquaculture system promises eco-friendly fish farming future

New Invention: The Farming Fish – Growing Aquaponics and Superfoods

tunglang
tunglang
8 Sep 2016 11.10pm
Reply to  David Loman

In the end, what fish food you feed the farmed fishes will eventually go to our stomachs.
Speed-up quantity (to meet demand) without safe-for-consumption quality is just as bad as smoking.
Forget about genetic-engineered fish or crops.
It’s how we manage the food chain cycle, even in a controlled environment such as fish farms.
The future destiny of the human species might as well morph into aliens-like Greys if we are not careful in the name of science for maxi-money!

Damien
Damien
9 Sep 2016 8.04am
Reply to  tunglang

Your imagination could turn into career writings for sci-fi movies made in Bolehland, no kidding as today youngsters lack creativity being fed too much with fast food dedak if not being consumed by pokemon go culture render them CIA experimental objects.

gk ong
gk ong
12 Sep 2016 11.54am
Reply to  Damien

Can be a script writer for TV3 drama shows.

tunglang
tunglang
12 Sep 2016 10.19pm
Reply to  tunglang

Spinning again!
What benefit will readers get from such comments?
What a waste of space …