LABUAN – The coastal town of Kiamsam here is set for bigger times with an allocation of RM40 million from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry to develop it into the country’s first Fishing Town within two years.
The allocation included RM15 million for the resettlement of fishermen and another RM3 million to build an electrical substation at the current Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) complex in Kiamsam.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, said construction work on the second phase of the project, costing RM20 million, was expected to begin in the second quarter of this year.
“The allocation includes for provision of additional landing facilities through the construction and upgrading work at the complex including jetties to meet the needs of fishing entrepreneurs,” he said at the launch of the Fishing Town Blueprint and a meet-the-people session at the LKIM Complex today.
He said the development of the area is expected to have an economic impact on the 3,000-odd residents and 500 traders and entrepreneurs there.
“This will create a new fishing town which will balance the population density and traffic of Bandar Labuan,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the first phase of the project, costing RM10 million, which involved the construction of basic fish landing components, was completed and fully-operational since last year.
He said the Blueprint for Kiamsam Fishing Town was in line with the ministry’s objective to develop a centralised comprehensive Fishing Town which is in line with the Labuan Blueprint 2018 launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently.
“We hope that the allocation for the fishermen’s resettlement is capable of providing the infrastructure facilities and a community hall, thus giving the fishing community a better quality of life,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the project would hopefully boost the fishing industry there and provide about 1,000 new jobs to the community as well as create a modern fishing town, complete with various infrastructure facilities.
“It is also expected to increase landing activities, thus creating an economic impact on all those involved in the fishing sector and industry in Labuan,” he said.
At the event, Ahmad Shabery also presented a replica of a cheque for RM1.25 million in the fishermen’s cost-of-living allowance (ESHN) to chairman of the Labuan Fishermen’s Association.
He also presented a cheque for RM36,100 in LKIM’s Fishermen Natural Disaster and Welfare Scheme, involving 17 recipients, and another cheque for RM22,500 in LKIM’s Aquaculture Touch Point Aid for two recipients. – BERNAMA