Fisherman lodges police report against audio clips accusing her of conspiring with three-island reclamation company

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Fajinah Jaafar, 60, speaks to Malay Mail regarding the Penang South Reclamation project that was put on halt at Gertak Sanggul in Penang, September 13, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Fajinah Jaafar, 60, speaks to Malay Mail regarding the Penang South Reclamation project that was put on halt at Gertak Sanggul in Penang, September 13, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 23 — A veteran fisherman has lodged a police report against two audio messages being spread on social media and through WhatsApp accusing her of conspiring with the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project delivery partner, SRS Consortium.

Fajinah Jaafar, 60, who lodged the report at the Sungai Pinang police station in Balik Pulau here, denied that she was involved in any conspiracy after claim she was cheating the public into signing a petition in support of the project.

She said the audio recordings had falsely accused her of conspiring with SRS to offer Covid-19 aid to the people in Permatang Damar Laut in order to get their signature for her petition in support of the PSR project.

“I have never been involved in any offering of Covid-19 aid by the SRS and I have never made any promises of aid to those I approached to get their signatures,” she said.

Fajinah, who had voiced her strong support for the controversial three-island reclamation project off the southern coast of Penang island repeatedly, said she had only explained the merits of the project to the people she met in order to get their signatures.

“I explained to them that the PSR is for our future prosperity and for the development of the local community, especially the fishermen in future and all who signed my petition did so willingly after listening to my explanation,” she said.

She said the two audio messages attacking her were disappointing as she believed she has a right to voice her own views, support or any objection over any topic based on her own beliefs.

“We have never stopped those who are against the project from holding protests and they even cooperated with other non-governmental organisations and certain political parties to appeal for the project to be cancelled,” she pointed out.

She said she has also never spread lies and slander against any other party or group through social media and WhatsApp.

She said this was why she had lodged a police report against those malicious messages so that action can be taken against those responsible.

An environmental group, Persatuan Lestari Alam Sekitar Pulau Pinang (Lestari), also voiced its support for Fajinah.

The association assistant secretary Nasa Sultan said Fajinah had started collecting signatures in support of the PSR on her own initiative and that the group supported her initiative.

“We feel that PSR should be implemented for the development of the southern coast of Penang island and a few other Lestari members have also helped her to collect the signatures,” he said.

He said they had successfully collected 1,000 signatures in support of PSR and this proved that the perception that the local community is against the project was not true.

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