Hornbill Unleashed

August 3, 2012

Jacob misleads Baram folks on dam: NGOs

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) and Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) take to task the MP for Baram over a “preposterous” statement about the Baram Dam project.

With reference to the statement by Baram MP Jacob Dungau Sagan that appeared in The Borneo Post (26 July 2012) headlined ‘Govt follows requirements on dam construction’, we in Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) together with the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) would like to make the following statement.

We find Jacob’s statement to be preposterous and it is irresponsible of him as an elected representative of the people of Baram to say that the Government would not flood its own people.

By going forward with the Baram Dam project, the reservoir created would flood 412 square kilometres of the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan heartland in Baram which will force about 20000 people to be displaced from their ancestral lands.

The affected people would have no choice but to start new lives in a totally new area. As we have seen in the case of the Batang Ai and Bakun Dam, the people affected there face numerous problems which the government has yet to resolve until today.

We would like to ask Jacob what United Nations requirements the government has followed diligently. If he is referring to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which Malaysia has agreed to adopt in the United Nations, then the government has violated a number of articles, among others, Article 26 (right to land) and Article 18 and 19 (ensuring participation in the decision-making process and obtaining free, prior and informed consent).

Up to now, the government has not yet obtained the consent of the affected people in Baram. The people of Baram strongly oppose this project. This is proven by numerous letters, police reports and protests made by the people of Baram against the project. All this while, the government has been using the community leaders and the Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Malaysia (FORUM) to give the perception to the public that the people of Baram support this project.

Consent does not mean that only the community leaders agree to the project; it should be based on the consensus of the whole community as stipulated in the UNDRIP. The consensus of the whole community is vital as this project will adversely affect the rights, survival and future of every member of the community.

Peter Kallang

Chairman, SAVE Rivers

Philip Jau

Chairman, Baram Protection Action Committee



  1. Dayaks must vote out all the Dayak candidates or YBs of BN. By robbing the rakyat of thousand of hectares of land, these BN men were only too happy to change the leaking roofs of the rural poor, giving away hundreds of bags of cement, a few hundred speed boat engines, water tanks, sewing machines, refrigerators and generator sets, to be shared by all the rural poor while they themselves ripped few hundred million ringgit or few billion ringgits to be shared among BN Dayak YBs.

    Comment by SK Subramaniam — August 5, 2012 @ 7:58 AM | Reply

  2. If the Orang Ulu (Kayan, Kenyah and Penan) dont want this dammed dam….. just chase out the contracts….fight with your live! Cakap banyak tak guna punya lah….. the Kayan/Kenyah arethe one who place these idiots where they are now.

    We all know, these poeple just want the timber…..the land be flooded, so they will get the license to harvest all the timber within the flooded area…ame as as Bakun/Batnag Ai….. Ting Peck king made couple of Billion from the sales fo Bakun timber!

    Comment by rod — August 3, 2012 @ 5:07 PM | Reply

  3. ‘Proposed Baram dam to benefit people in the area’
    Posted on August 3, 2012, Friday

    USE IT WISELY: Jacob (right) hands over a letter of approval for the minor rural project to one of the project recipients.
    MIRI: The government’s ultimate goal, if it ever builds the proposed Baram Dam in 2018, is to bring integrated development to greatly improve the living standard of the people in the area.
    Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan said the project too is to ensure that Sarawak has enough power for its development programme so that it could become part of the nation’s high-income nation.
    “The bottom line is their life (the affected people) would be much better than what it is now. That is what we want – to eradicate poverty, have better facilities, new towns flourishing, new schools being built, water and electricity supplies, clinics and I think this is what the government is thinking,” stressed Jacob to reporters here yesterday after presenting government grants totalling RM251,000 for 17 projects.
    He regretted that the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the opposition had painted a negative picture on the proposed project even though it is only at the proposal stage, adding that the relevant studies are still being carried out.
    Jacob, who is the Member of Parliament for Baram, assured that the Baram Hydro Community Consultative Committee headed by him will work closely with the government in ensuring that when they do the resettlement plan, and implementing the project, the interest of the people must be given top priority.
    “We are there to ensure that the interest of the people there are given top priority because from what the NGOs and the opposition are doing at the moment, they are painting a very negative picture of the dam and so on,” he said.
    Jacob pointed out that the proposed Baram dam was one of the efforts to eradicate the current high rate of poverty especially in Ulu Baram. It was also to provide employment to the people, adding that the timber industry is a sunset industry while oil palm project is not feasible in the interior area that is lacking good infrastructure.
    “But we have resources of the river that could be converted into energy to help the state to have enough energy at least that is our contribution to the state. At the same time we want the authorities to look into the welfare of the people and this is very important and that is why we established the consultative committee,” he stressed.
    Jacob said the committee involves the Federation of the Orang Ulu Malaysia (FORUM) that consists of all the associations and community leaders in the area and also intellectuals in the areas and in towns, the headmen and the people on the ground, the village development and security committees.
    The committee is to serve the interest of the affected people so that people cannot categorically say the government is forcing the project on them. This is not the case.
    So far the committee has established a mini-lab in Kuching with the cooperation of the State Planning Unit, where they have given their recommendations on what the government should do.
    Jacob added that they are currently refining the recommendations and doing comparative studies with areas where dams have been built like in Murum, Bakun and Batang Ai so as to assist the government to plan and make sure the full implementation of the programme will benefit the affected people.
    Thus, Jacob urged the people in Baram to cooperate with the consultative committee and government in finding the most effective ways of implementing the project that is meant to
    benefit them too.
    The proposed RM4-billion Baram Hydro-electric Dam Project is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy project.
    Its reservoir will cover an area of 39,000 hectares where at least 20,000 people from 25 longhouses will be resettled when the dam is built.

    Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/08/03/proposed-baram-dam-to-benefit-people-in-the-area/#ixzz22T8qtGp9

    Comment by Hornbill Unleashed — August 3, 2012 @ 4:16 PM | Reply

  4. Maybe he thought that a dam is just like a basin half filled with water.

    Comment by Edward, M — August 3, 2012 @ 3:23 PM | Reply

  5. Sarawak and Sabah made a wrong decision to joint Malaya in 1963. If they declare for independance just like Brunei, oooh..today your will be somebody…A rich country !!! See now, your are the poorest state in Malaysia even though your state have the most natural resources..But, all this $ were steal away by those bastard BN leaders !!! Sad !!!

    Comment by Mike- Johor — August 3, 2012 @ 12:35 PM | Reply

  6. All Malaysians must support the cause of those affected and likely to be displaced by the dam or other dams elsewhere. in Sarawak. We must not allow the paramount thief minister and his gang of thieves from PBB, SPDP, PRS and SUPP and their cronies to “rape” our rainforest and enrich themselves by extracting the timbers for profits, awarding themselves with infrastructure and roads projects and constructions of these dams. We must stop these crooks and vote them out in GE13.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — August 3, 2012 @ 12:13 PM | Reply

  7. Lihan insists Baram dam development a God’s gift for Orang Ulu
    Borneo Post, September 10, 2010, Friday

    MIRI: Telang Usan assemblyman Lihan Jok reiterated that the Baram hydroelectric dam project is a gift from God for the minority Orang Ulu.

    “I am not ashamed to say that the mega project is a gift from God because as a result of the project the government will build a 60-km road from Long Lama to the dam site at Long Keseh, benefitting about 12,000 Kayans from nine longhouses along the river,” he said.

    He said he had proposed to have a road to link all the longhouses along Baram River before the dam was even conceptualised, more as a wish for a better life for the people.

    The road came into the picture when the government proposed the Baram dam, he added.

    “What I am saying is that if there is no Baram dam, there won’t be any road being built. It does not make any economic sense just building a road like that. The proposed dam justifies the building of the RM500-million road,” explained Lihan.

    Urging his critics to look at the bigger picture, he said the stretch of road from Long Lama made up Package B of the overall road project under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. He said the package cost the government a massive RM500 million.

    Package A is the stretch of road from Beluru to Sungai Tinjar encompassing Lapok road.

    The upgrading of 35.73-km Lapok road at a cost of about RM101 million commenced three days ago and is expected to be completed in three years, Lihan revealed.

    “Our people who are already poor have had to buy 4WD vehicles to travel through this road, having to bear high maintenance cost due to wear and tear their vehicles were subject to. But this will be behind us three years from now,” said Lihan.

    Comment by Teddy Gumbang — August 3, 2012 @ 8:42 AM | Reply

    • These are two like minded so called leaders of the Orang Ulu. One wants to flood the lands to deprive their own kind of their livelyhood and one wants roads to the damned dam which is to flood the lands. Well,we can make them eat the damned dam and the roads if they go hungry in the future! They can have the damned dam for breakfast, roads for lunch and water[soup terjun] for dinner. That goes for their cucu-cicit and for generations to come!

      Comment by Brian — August 3, 2012 @ 11:21 AM | Reply

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