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Penang PAS calls Anwar a hypocrite seeking publicity over fisherfolk meet

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PAS Penang has chided PKR president Anwar Ibrahim for taking advantage of "media frenzy" and seeking publicity during his meeting with a group of fisherfolks in Sungai Batu, Bayan Lepas.

The party's Penang chief Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff (above) said Anwar had issued no clear statement, as he neither rejected nor said he approved the "monstrous" Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

"He actually seemed to be pleasing all quarters," Fauzi said in a statement.

"PKR does not need to be a hypocrite," he said.

Fauzi was referring to the event on Saturday which was held between Anwar and a group of fisherfolks who opposed the PSR, which involves the creation of three artificial islands covering a land mass of 4,500 acres.

Some parts of the islands would be developed and sold to fund the state's ambitious RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan.

However, fisherfolk associations and NGOs have opposed the project. Some 200 marched to Parliament on Jul 11 to urged Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to cancel the project, which will be developed by SRS Consortium.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has agreed to meet Anwar, while the PSR Fisherfolk Taskforce has been directed to start compensation talks with their representatives.

Fauzi said Anwar's attempt to gain "cheap publicity" has rendered the Port Dickson MP's effort meaningless when he failed to firmly disagree with his own allies.

"DAP is now very keen to ensure the success of the project. Even Anwar is probably traumatised to make any promises after Pakata Harapan has become unnecessarily popular these days in breaking ones," said Fauzi.

Fauzi said Anwar's interest in the issue only begun after several fisherfolk and NGO groups held a rally in Parliament last week to express their objection.

He added, despite the 'noble cause' Anwar was trying to champion, he also raised problems revolving around medium and lower class contractors to Mahathir, when he met the Prime Minister.

"Was his act a sincere gesture to strive for people's justice for whom life would be uncertain due to terrible environmental impacts, or a crony's vested interest?

"More unconvincingly, he advised fisherfolks to reject any form of compensation offered. What sort of deceptive and deceitful agenda is he staging?" Fauzi asked.

Fauzi asked if Anwar realised that Anwar's advice to the fisherfolks about compensation was" a big slap" for state government leaders, especially Penang executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin, who is also from PKR.

He noted that Afif previously claimed that more than 50 percent of the folk agreed with the PSR, although according to the EIA report, only 17 percent of them supported it.

"Do you acknowledge that during the objection of that project and its components, none of the Harapan or PKR MPs or state assemblypersons raised their voices on the issue?" Fauzi asked.

"Don't take advantage of current media highlight to become the sole reason for your heroic media stunt."

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