Hornbill Unleashed

August 11, 2011

Murum natives: Where’s our money?

Joseph Tawie

Some RM680,000 meant as compensation for the Kenyah community in Sarawak’s Murum Valley has ‘disappeared’.

About 500 members of the Long Wat Kenyah community in Murum Valley where the RM3 billion Murum Dam is sited have not received the RM680,000 compensation for the graves of their ancestors despite the money having been disbursed to a government agency.

According to Dr Elie Luhat, chairman of the Long Wat compensation committee, the authorities claimed the money was paid to the Sarawak Museum for disbursment to them.

“The authorities say that the money has been paid to us, but we have not received it, not even a single sen.

“So where is the money now? No one seems to know where the money is!” he said.

Luhat said the community was also demanding that the police carry out an immediate investigation into the missing RM680,000.

“We have lodged a police report in September last year. Until today nothing is heard of the outcome of the investigation.

“We want the police to carry out an immediate investigation,” added Luhat.

Luhat said that the money was to be used to perform rituals (miring) in order to appease the spirits of their forefathers whose graves would be submerged by the Murum Dam.

The money would also be needed to carry out reburial rituals, he added.

He said that the people believed that the spirits of their ancestors were angry as they were not at peace with what was going on in Murum.

Luhat also lamented that the interests and welfare of the Kenyah community were not being taken care of by the government.

“The authorities say they have paid for the compensation of our dead ancestors, but what about the living descendants?

“We are still living and we have not migrated. We want to be part and parcel of the resettlement programme.

“They offer the Penans, but not us. And our longhouse of 50 doors is going to be submerged,” he said, pointing out that there was some confusion over the Penan and Kenyah communities.

Displaced natives

The RM3 billion dam which is about 70km from the Bakun Dam began its construction in October 2009 and is expected to be operational by 2013.

The 80m high dam is expected to submerge some 30,000 hectares of the Murum valley, displacing 2,800 natives, including 1,800 Penans.

It is to create a reservoir that can feed water into a generator plant to produce 900 MWs of electricity once it is completed.

The China Three Gorges Project Corp (CTGPC) is undertaking the construction. The dam is the first of 12 dams to be built throughout Sarawak.



  1. We already have Bakun and Murum….its there not a lesson learn? Now the govt is talking about Baram Dam….

    There not lesson learned from their experiences having these 2 dams? Any now your’re aggreeing or giving away the land to build another dam that we dont need! Yes…. I am talking to the Kayan and Kenyah….. Taib and the cronies cut down all the valuable timber from Kuala Baram right to the Indonesian boarder….then now they take away out land for Palm Oil plantation; that not enough…now taking cunk of our land for the Dam! Once its turn into a lake…that it, it unreversable anymore!

    Comment by HH2H — August 11, 2011 @ 1:51 PM | Reply

  2. Like the song, Billy don’t be a hero? Right, how are we not to sing it aloud when we witnessed injustice allaying our poor fellow countrymen? A Cheat! Knowingly that these remote group of our countrymen may not even afford a transistor radio to get tuned onto a 24 hours news all day long they may have to bear in long silence from the outside world sometimes. Unless someone who is reliable that existed from their very own tribe and also the one who frequented their home ground to help in conveyancing the SOS message to the state men.

    What man, report lodged in last September and yet still they could not be abled to trace the hijacker even within the white collars compound! It also indicates that the elected state man did not appear in the village since the past ten months. Therefore please don’t blame us to seek the media to shade some light upon the dark shadow. Please don’t treat our Fair Land Sarawak with such wayang kulit excuse.

    And it is very sad indeed none of this issue was raised during the last State election campaign. Alas, Praise The Lord the joy of the hijackers has to be short-livened because Dr.Elli The Great emerges to speak out openly to defend our poor fellowmen on the broken promise. Who to blame now Act of God or Acts Of Men?

    Comment by miaowkia — August 11, 2011 @ 11:17 AM | Reply

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