The Kedah government’s proposal to build the Kedah Integrated Fishery Terminal (KIFT) in Tebengau near Kuala Kedah will adversely affect the environment and livelihoods of coastal fishers in the area.
Voicing objections against the proposed project, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) have jointly called on the Kedah government to cancel the project immediately.
SAM and CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said Kedah government should have learnt from the bad experience of other mega projects such as the disastrous Kerpan tiger-prawn farming.
The idle Kerpan farming area had now become partly overgrown with weed and mostly barren.
Idris also questioned the need to have another fishery terminal port in the northern region waters when the close-by Batu Maung fishery terminal in Penang was not being fully utilised.
“We hope that this mega project that will harm the environment, threaten fishery resources and subsequently livelihood of coastal fishers is cancelled immediately.
“Don’t repeat the mistake of Kerpan and Batu Maung,” cautioned Idris in a statement today.
He said the Kedah project would badly affect the livelihood of 2,000 coastal fishers in Kuala Kedah and the surrounding areas.
He warned that besides causing water pollution, the project would reduce the fishers’ catchment area, namely Zone A, and pose serious threats to fish breeding grounds.
He rebuked the Kedah government for failing to consider the adverse impacts of the project on the marine environment and livelihood of the local coastal communities.
“We believe that the development cost of this project is very high and wasteful, taking into consideration the waning fishing sector in the country, which is currently affected by dwindling fishery resources and declining fish landing,” said Idris.
The proposed RM1.831 billion KIFT project is reportedly will be fully funded by Lu Hai Feng Development Sdn Bhd from China.
The project is proposed to begin next year after approval was obtained from the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) last month.
The KIFT is planned to be built on state land covering 2,340 hectares, out of which, 1,864 hectares will be used for navigation of vessels and the rest of the area will be reclaimed.