Hornbill Unleashed

October 31, 2010

Bakun Damned: Where have all the waters gone?

 By HU Editor

(Video link inside)We have just received a call from Daniel, a Kenyah teacher, in Belaga: “Nanga Merit, Nanga Metah, Punan Bah, SK Long Terawan, SK Nanga Merit, SK Punan Bah, Kampung Terawan … All the schools and villages below Belaga Town are cut off because the river has dried up due to the impoundment of Bakun Dam.”

Even the engineers of Sarawak Hydro are telling us that the state government has no plan to overcome the problem because they are unlikely to stop the impoundment.

Please help us to highlight our problem. The people in those settlements need food and medicine, but the water is too shallow for boats to travel,” Daniel sounded desperate.

Indeed, it is disconcerting to see the pictures of the once mighty Rajang (called Balui at this point) River in Sarawak dried up below the Bakun Dam, and the famed Pelagus Rapids reduced to sad sights of huge rocks standing on water measured in inches.

The state government had blamed it on nature, again … refuting claims that the impoundment of the controversial Bakun Dam, commenced on October 13, had anything to do with the drying up of Sungai Balui/Rajang.

State Education Department director Mortadza Alop, who was in Kuching to receive the Loyalty Service Award on Friday, echoed the words of the state government as he told the press that the situation is manageable and he has yet to receive any distress call.

Baru Bian, prominent native customary land rights lawyer and state Chairperson of the People’s Justice Party, called on the state government to stop the impoundment, carry out fresh independent studies and shelve the mammoth dam plan.


Bakun Damned: Where have all the water gone?By HU Editor 



    If you follow HU or Dayakbaru.com or any of the Sarawak websites you will find out how things are NOT working for us!

    I know I have read what is happening, hard not to. I have seen the place Taib lives ourtesy of Sarawakians. You have to vote for someone new, someone who will look after you. Things must change. Its not 1800 its 2010. Much has changed since the Rajah Brooke’s era..

    Books: Yes I bought a book ‘James Brooke – White Rajah’.Also read another book ‘Decent into Chaos’. We don’t get that many Malaysia books in our libaries mostly holidays to your country.

    You are right, I don’t know a lot about Sarawak, never really studied it in any depth, never like history either.Now I am interested in Malaysia as a whole, its a beautiful country.

    About Britain and your country. Yes we romantaise about Sarawak. We, or I should say I, like to think of forests, wildlife,a peaceful place where every race lives together in harmony.

    Quietly we work in the background trying to get supermarkets to sell less palm oil products on your behalf. We *have* I hope made even a small difference but more needs to be done. I also support WWF on your behalf when the habitat is at risk. Recently I gave my voice via WWF for the tigers.

    Seems the British get blamed for lots of wrongs but before my time – I should read more. I am reading but get the feeling you are annoyed about the British. Do not blame me please, that would be wrong.

    We don’t hang people, hav’nt done for years in fact most get soft..too soft a sentence thats one of many reasons people like the UK. We don’t send people to Bondi beach either. ~grin~

    Comment by Kate — November 9, 2010 @ 5:27 AM | Reply


    Batang Rajang valley is now deeper with the water drying up. Every one is left high and dry!

    I told some Sibu people whom met recently that the river had almost dried up and they did not believe.

    Can you please provide more recent photos to show how much the water level has gone down?


    Comment by Abang — November 4, 2010 @ 8:57 AM | Reply

  3. The way I see it and I hope I am wrong. Linda Tsen is going to win the Batu Sapi election. I have seen how the people especially the natives so downtrodden and devoid of any resistance that they are willing to shrivel up and accept their fate. These people are the people with the broken spirits and in Sandakan one can see their dejected and gloomy look. They are willing to accept their fate and however their “bapa” treats them. Their “bapa” in this case is BN. In Sarawak the Dayak warrior spirit is still there as can be seen from the native challenges in court against the White haired monster regarding NCR issues. However if Batang Ai is anything to go by PR is just no match against the BN machinery in the rural areas and that is the key to break the White haired Monster’s hold on Sarawak politics. The money politics involved in the rural areas is just mind boggling. I am afraid unless PR can take Putrajaya the Monster can only go in one other way and that is to meet his maker.

    Comment by Sarawak Son — November 4, 2010 @ 1:58 AM | Reply

  4. The government should come clean by telling Sarawakian the truth: ‘Rajang river will remain as a creek until impoundment proces is completed’

    Comment by ChaTaiPaw — November 2, 2010 @ 12:10 AM | Reply

  5. lolololol

    Be careful when water is a problem – cleanliness, etc become problem.

    Even Malaysia’s “1Citizen” can get chicken pox!

    Sam, you don’t catch chickpox from water, you just get it, usually in childhood, along with the likes of measles (very tiny spots).

    Comment by Kate — November 1, 2010 @ 7:18 PM | Reply

  6. quote Watcha Why don’t we just buy service from some weather company? unquote

    Can they do that, is there an equivalant of our Utillities company (water board) Gosh Whatcha, I wish I knew more how things work in Sarawak but I don’t. everything in England is so different.

    Like I said yesterday. Our system of voting is different. We would not tolerarte such an old man Minister, no disrespect to Minister Taib but he IS far too old. Also heaven forbid, our votes are totally private, no jinxing the sytem. Certainly no police lol, army or any other force to prevent us getting to the polling stations.

    Our Politics: Its in English only…sorry!

    Take a look at our oldest, Mr Gordon Brown that was. Now take a look at Mr Cameron. You see Watcha, he is much younger, younger idea but he is not for the working man. So we vote (the working man ) for David Millibrand in five years or less, see how young he is.

    Nice tune by the way (your link) ~smile~

    So these dams I read about. Our water comes from pipes underground, then through the sink in the home. Do these dams transport water to the land, then to your longhouses? But your Sarawak river (I have a beautiful image when it was filled up) when it rains, do you not have water from there or is it not drinkable. When the Rajang is full you eat the fish so it must be clean!

    Here is the image, I presume it IS indeed Sarawak river. The image I had a long time now from a friend who wanted me to see it in all its glory, which of course it does.

    Like I mentioned I don’t know how things work for you and your people.

    Comment by Kate — November 1, 2010 @ 7:14 PM | Reply


      Hi Kate we all thank you for the comments and appreciate your support.

      If you follow HU or Dayakbaru.com or any of the Sarawak websites you will find out how things are NOT working for us!

      First, please don’t give our Pekmoh any ideas! He will form another company to sell water to us! There is no stopping this old guy. He is fast for his age! Ha-ha…

      UK people have a rather romantic idea about Sarawak. I assume you are knowledgeable about Sarawak. If not, there are actually a lot of books on our history, people and politics. Many English people have written about Sarawak and some have lived here for 3 generations at least- Rajah James Brooke, Charles Brooke, Charles V Brooke who sold us to UK in 1946. Plus large numbers of “ex-pats” British official and their families from 1946. HU already published a history of Sarawak…

      Your political-socio system no doubt has come a long way.

      Ours is still stuck in the mud around 1800s with a feudal & corrupt (colonial) UKMNO BN Gov’t. bent on creating a religious raj.

      UK people may have a “democratic system” now but they also had to fight for what they have – universal suffrage, workers rights, public health, freedom of speech association & expression (now seriously restricted by “anti-terrorist laws) etc.

      On the down side Britain embarked on colonising the world and became the most organised drug dealer in history by force of arms (Opium War) on the China and forced it to buy opium. Millions of Chinese became addicted to opium. When the Chinese liberated themselves from foreign domination- including UK , smuggling drugs was made a capital offence.

      This history ironically was briefly revived when the UK citizen was convicted of drug smuggling in China and most of you were up in arms against the execution of this poor fellow. It seems that UK was arguing for the right to smuggle drugs again! I know it was an issue of being humane.

      Not long ago your courts sent poor people to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread, people were executed for minor crimes…(Just love Charles Dickens books for teaching me the injustice of your system in the 1800s)

      UK descendants were “hunting Abos” in Australia till 1960s. In Tasmania the Aborigines were practically wiped out through genocide. The white settlers even put poison in the flour for the aborigines. Today they are third world citizens in their own country even tho the Australian Gov’t is very “humane” and speak out (selectively) for human rights. South Africa was a shining case of race relations promoted by Britain and the Dutch settlers.

      The British occupied part of Shanghai before WW2 and apparently used to display a sign outside a park in its controlled territory “Dogs & Chinese not allowed”. If you ever seen a movie called “The Fist of Fury” the star Bruce Lee (symbolically) kicked and smashed this sign.

      UK is still occupying North Ireland with its army. England is now under siege after September 11 by Muslims fanatics who waged war on your country. UK is also now ruled by BIG BROTHER. It one of the countries with the most surveillance camera in the streets watching its citizens. So freedom has to be re defined. Is this totalitarianism in the making? George Orwell prediction in his book “1984” has come true.

      UK under Tony Blair also waged war on Iraq using the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)pretext and committed mass murder with your carpet bombing of Baghdad- over 100 thousand dead and maimed. Previous under Saddham (sure he was a bad guy but no excuse to invade an independent country) Iraq was united as nation and now Iraqis are divided and engaged in a Bloodbath of each other. Thanks to USA and UK the liberators!

      UK also colonised Sarawak.

      When “the wind of change” blew over S.E. Asia after World War 2, the Brooke Gov’t sold us to UK 1n 1946. In 1963 UK dumped us under the foreign rule of Malaya. Our country was & is so rich we would have no problem running our own independent country. Yet we were forced into an unequal relationship with Malaya which has now totally abused our right of self-determination and plundered our country to the limits. We have remained a colonised country. UK denied us of basic human right to decide our destiny.

      Recently a courageous and patriotic Sabahan presented paper to your Parliament expressing our views and feelings about the British/Malayan idea of “Malaysia”. There has been little news since this took place. You can read his submissions…

      Comment by Abang — November 4, 2010 @ 10:01 AM | Reply

      • So Abang….what next for us Sarakian or Sabahan(if they are intersted since they had sold their sold to UMNO). Will we fight for and independence state….or at least autonomy state.

        The rest of this comment has been deleted, because it advocates violence – HU

        Comment by headhunter5million — November 4, 2010 @ 1:42 PM | Reply

      • sarawakian…

        Comment by headhunter5million — November 4, 2010 @ 1:45 PM | Reply

  7. […] Hornbill Unleashed reports: We have just received a call from Daniel, a Kenyah teacher, in Belaga: “Nanga Merit, […]

    Pingback by Dried up stretch below Bakun « anilnetto.com — November 1, 2010 @ 2:30 PM | Reply

  8. Be careful when water is a problem – cleanliness, etc become problem.

    Even Malaysia’s “1Citizen” can get chicken pox!

    Comment by Sam Paya — November 1, 2010 @ 2:05 PM | Reply

  9. Nothing to sing about.

    Maybe not Watcha but a nice tune all the same. I would play this at home in England on another medium DVD quite happily.

    But is’nt it true to say that the fate of the Sarawakians is in their own hands?

    Taib is a very old man, with very old ideas. Surely its time to vote for younger blood now? He was born 21 May 1936, people that makes Minister Abdul Taib bin Mahmud 75…….

    [b]Age related problem[/b]

    …..I finally got my head together; now my body is falling apart.

    …..These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter…I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m here after.

    ……It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

    Its sad to see such a beautiful river all dried out.

    Have nice day everyone!

    In England we would not have such old ministers serving us.

    Comment by Kate — November 1, 2010 @ 12:21 AM | Reply

    • A big part of the ordinary folks lives are in the hands of the Police and even the Army during election time. In the towns, Traffic Policemen just must set up roadblocks to frustrate voters.

      Yeah, not nice, Kate!

      Rejang river is the pulse and the life of the Sibu hinterland. Serious is an understatement! Things are going to get very very mean there … releasing the water from behind the dam might be the only decent thing to do. Give it another 3 weeks without the dam water and diseases might arise.

      BTW, you might like Bengawan Solo with a reggae bounce H E R E [CLICK]. Enjoy!

      Comment by Watcha — November 1, 2010 @ 1:42 AM | Reply

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LoyarBurok, Andy Telasai ®, Leroy Ng, ChowPong, Rain Q and others. Rain Q said: Bakun Damned: Where have all the water gone? « Hornbill Unleashed http://bit.ly/ds1lx2 […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Bakun Damned: Where have all the waters gone? « Hornbill Unleashed -- Topsy.com — November 1, 2010 @ 12:11 AM | Reply

  11. Seems that Divine intervention has began: Exposing the shits of Thief Taib.

    Comment by lano — October 31, 2010 @ 9:40 PM | Reply

  12. It seem that everything is tak kena with Thief Minister n all his stooges. The dammed Bakun dam is an white elephant project which has incurred a big loss on the gomen from 3billions to 15billions. Worst now after impoundment on unlucky 13.10.10 the mighty Rejang is drying each day and now u can see rocks at the pelagus rapids zone. Thousands of people will suffer and hundreds of schools children will hv to stop schooling soon. Before this there’s logjam in the Rejang. Thief minister and all his stooges again blame this on nature. God Allah SWT knows what Thief Minister n his stooges had done very bad to the rakyat of S’wak. Now Devine Intervention. 12 more dams to be built. Well Taib is a gila man already. Bakun dam is enough for u. Ur life will end soon. Bakun dam will dam u. Be prepared to be prayed by others. Or else u better pray enough 4 urself. Gone u Thief Minister.

    Comment by Buduk — October 31, 2010 @ 5:46 PM | Reply


    Comment by Merdeka Sarawak — October 31, 2010 @ 5:33 PM | Reply

  14. When the mighty Rajang is dried up, it is a sign that predicts Sarawak will be bankrupt if the thief minister Taib Mahmud be allowed to continue to plunder and loot our state of its enormous assets. Taib’s politics of development, endorsed by all his stooges who received patronage from him, is merely an evil agenda to enrich himself, his family and cronies.

    The mighty Rajang has stopped crying for all Sarawakians and it is up to us to stop Taib Mahmud.Taib Mahmud and UMNO controlled regime must go and be voted out. Make no mistake about dethroning the thief minister and his empire.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — October 31, 2010 @ 4:25 PM | Reply

  15. Can someone get a transcript of what Bian is saying?

    Fine time for the the impoundment … during draught time some more. Why don’t we just buy service from some weather company instead of depending on the boleh Jabatan Kajicuaca? Imcompetent people! Just like their gomen bosses!

    Bengawan Solo puts us to shame … they got the Japanese to turn round the riverse course so it could water dusun and farmlands. And of course … “kaum pedagang naik itu perahu”! Only hantu on the Rejang now, I guess!

    Nothing to sing about. More like to sink down Taib, Jabu and Masing in the shallow muddy creek the Rejang has become!

    Comment by Watcha — October 31, 2010 @ 4:21 PM | Reply

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