BAYAN LEPAS, May 5 – About 300 coastal fishermen in Teluk Kumbar, near Bayan Lepas, Penang, are worried that they will lose their livelihoods due to the increasingly serious marine pollution problem in the waters. The incident, which took place over the past five years, has caused the fish, shrimp, crabs, clams and snails that are their main source of catch to be threatened with extinction.

The Penang Consumers Association (CAP) in a survey made it is understood that this pollution is due to the dumping of sewage waste from residents in several villages and housing estates in the area. A fisherman, Bakri Bakar, 56, when met by CAP, said that the dirt was dumped into the river here and directly into the sea where the water turned black and smelled bad.

Since the threat of pollution, marine life and the catch of fishermen here have been declining, thus affecting their source of income, he explained. Bakri regrets that although this problem has been going on for a long time, no action has been taken by the relevant parties to overcome it.

According to him, the waters 100 meters from the shores of Teluk Kumbar have been polluted by dirt and rubbish. The material was stranded on the beach carried by the current causing the area to smell unpleasant. CAP is worried about the incident and if left unchecked the rivers and seas here will be polluted even more seriously in the future. Fishermen who depend on the catch in the area will lose their source of income to support their livelihood.

Therefore, CAP urges the Penang government, Penang City Council (MBPP), Department of Environment (DOE) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident and take immediate action to address it. CAP asked the relevant parties to disclose the results of the investigation made and the action taken to the public, especially the fishermen involved in this problem as soon as possible.