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IPOH, June 10 -- The Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation (SADC) and a shrimp aquaculture operator in Kuala Bagan Tiang will be called to clarify allegations that the project has destroyed a mangrove swamp forest and affected fishermen’s source of income.
Perak Menteri Besar, Datuk Saarani Mohamad, said the state government needed further explanations, and the outcome of the discussions would determine the next course of action in finding a solution to the issue.
“I have read the newspaper reports. I will call the management of the SADC to study the matter, to look at the landowners when it was approved, and to whom, as well as the status of the operator. All these we have to discuss and do our best under the law.
“We have to take into account all factors, including from the angle of the fishermen, SADC and also the aquaculture operator,” he told a media conference, after officiating the vaccination centre (PPV) at the Indera Mulia Stadium today.
Saarani was commenting on the statements of Parit Buntar MP, Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, yesterday, who claimed that the implementation of the shrimp aquaculture activities in the area had destroyed mangrove swamp forest and affected the income of fishermen.
Muhajid claimed that the income of the fishermen in the area, who were already impacted by COVID-19, would be affected if the shrimp aquaculture project was approved, while residents would be exposed to the high tide, which could overflow to nearby houses without the mangrove forest.
He said 19 hectares of land had been approved by SADC for the project. Previously, he said protests to the state government by villagers against another existing project in Sungai Kota, Tanjung Piandang, Kerian had fallen on deaf ears.
Meanwhile, state Plantation, Agriculture and Food Industries Committee chairman, Razman Zakaria, said that the land belonged to the government, and had been handed over to the SADC for development, from as early as 2015.
“However, if an imbalance between the ecosystem and the environment exists and the income of the fishermen is affected, the state government will conduct a review to protect the interests of the people,” he said in a statement.
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