KUALA TERENGGANU (New Straits Times): Boatmen ferrying passengers along Sungai Terengganu are disappointed they have not been receiving the financial assistance promised by the state government.
Muda Ali, 70, claimed that the state government had promised RM10,000 to each boatman in January.
“We were told the money had already been approved for distribution, but we have yet to receive it.
“Where is the money?
“It is frustrating as we have no money to repair our boats,” he said yesterday.
Another boatman, Zahari Mohd Awing, 39, who spent RM5,000 repairing his boat recently, said: “I have to fish and repair nets to earn additional income to support my six children.”
Seberang Takir assemblyman Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said instead of giving money to the boatmen, the state government had decided to replace their old boats.
Ahmad, who is also the state Education, Higher Education, Science, Technology and Human Resources Committee chairman, said this was a better way to solve their problems.
“If we give them the money to repair the boats, it will disrupt their daily operations of which they are very dependent on to earn their living.
“But first, we want the boatmen to revive the Terengganu Passenger Boat Association so the boats can be delivered.”
The new boats would be delivered in stages this year, he added.