Hornbill Unleashed

July 13, 2012

Villagers fear new road will disrupt water supply

Joseph Tawie

They claimed that any roads works will pollute the river, disrupting the community’s primary source of water.

Thousands of villagers in the Ba’Kelalan constituency in Lawas have registered their strong opposition against the construction of a proposed road that will pass through Puneng Kelalan and Muda rivers.

They claimed that any roads works will pollute the river, disrupting the community’s primary source of water.

Work on a 45-km stretch from Ba’ Kelalan to Bario in the highland is expected to start soon. It is being undertaken by the army as part of its “Jiwa Murni” programme.

While welcoming the construction of the road, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said the villagers have been told by the Land and Survey Department officials that the proposed route for the new road would pass through Puneng Kelalan – the upper reaches of Kelalan River – and Muda rivers, crossing many streams and both Muda and Kelalan rivers.

“This is a matter of great concern to the villagers in the area. Although they welcome the road construction as they are aware of the improvement it will bring, their lives and livelihood will be at risk.

“The road works will inevitably cause the pollution of these streams and rivers on which the people depend for their daily needs.

“It would mean great suffering for the villagers because the source of the feed piped water and the main wet padi irrigation for Kampung Buduk Nur and Kampung Long Langai and all the villages downstream will be severely disrupted,” he said.

Bian said the villagers are appreciative of the road but want it rerouted.

“The villagers request that the new road take the route of the old road along Long Lemutut, Natad Olo and Sungai Burak, as these pose no threat to their water supply,” said Bian.

He added that he will be writing a letter to the army headquarters in Kuala Lumpur together with the petition submitted by the villagers.

Copies of the letter would be sent to the state authorities, he said.

Second appeal to authorities

Bian said this would be the second letter that he would be writing to the army on behalf of the villagers on the same issue.

He said he had also raised the matter in the State Legislative Assembly but thus far there was no reponse from the authorties.

It seemed like the government purposely wants to construct the road to pass through the upper reaches of the Kelalan and Muda rivers, which had plenty of timber.

“What makes the people more worried is that somebody will get the timber [contract].

“And if this also happens, it will further worsen the pollution problems of the villagers downstream,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ninth Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier-General Stephen Mundaw said when the construction of the road from Bario to Ba’Kelalan is completed, the people will be able to travel from Lawas to Ba’Kelalan and all the way to Bario.

“It will be a difficult task as we are faced with rugged terrains, altitude and weather. We need to construct bridges along the way before we are able to complete the whole project,” he was quoted as saying.

Currently, people who want to visit Bario have to fly in small planes.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/12/villagers-fear-new-road-will-disrupt-water-supply/#ixzz20PXYlAtW

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3 Comments »

  1. How about the land area in Pulau Salam……taken by the Awang Tengah and the geng?

    Comment by rod — July 17, 2012 @ 8:36 PM | Reply

  2. The new road will pass or cut through land alienated for plantations and or timber concession areas given to ministers and cronies. Just do a search with the authorities.

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — July 13, 2012 @ 8:37 AM | Reply

  3. IF NOT WHERE WOULD THE ROAD GO?

    “Meanwhile, the Ninth Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier-General Stephen Mundaw said when the construction of the road from Bario to Ba’Kelalan is completed, the people will be able to travel from Lawas to Ba’Kelalan and all the way to Bario.”

    Obviously and back!

    The good General is parroting the standard UMNO PBB BN flimsy excuses about “weather and rugged terrain”.

    Have you read about the Burma China Road this in your military studies? Why would Sarawak soldiers defend the Malayan invasion of Sarawak on behalf of UMNO?

    The Burma Road “The road is 717 miles (1,154 km) long and runs through rough mountain country.[1] The sections from Kunming to the Burmese border were built by 200,000 Burmese and Chinese laborers during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and completed by 1938.[2] It had a role in World War II, when the British used the Burma Road to transport materiel to China before Japan was at war with the British. Supplies would be landed at Rangoon (now Yangon) and moved by rail to Lashio, where the road started in Burma. In 1940 the British government yielded to Japanese diplomatic pressure to close down the Burma Road to supplies to China for a period of three months.” Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Road

    [Then in Dec 1941 Japan launched Pacific wide surprise attack on British Empire from Hong Kong to Borneo]

    For the record:

    Burma Road = 1154 km construction time ONE YEAR- have a look at the pictures of the windy zig zagging mountain highwayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Road

    Borneo highway = construction time 48 years in Malaysia = ZERO km!

    48 years 48 Burma Roads = 55,000km+ = go round Borneo 10 times or more….

    In 48 years BILLIONs all our oil wealth is drained to “develop Malaya” enough to built more than 10 Pan Borneo Highways!

    If we have control of our oil resources and revenue we would be able to build many good roads and pipe water and electricity to the poor in Sarawak. No need for PKR!

    Baru Bian – PKR spokeman what say you on this subject of UMNO Petronas oil plunder instead of roads?

    Do we apologize for Malayan colonialism?

    Comment by anon — July 13, 2012 @ 7:25 AM | Reply


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