Hornbill Unleashed

December 2, 2012

Sarawak NGO wants Australian firm out of dam projects

Save Rivers

In the last leg of its Australian anti-dam campaign tour, NGO Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (Save Rivers) is set to meet with energy company Hydro Tasmania tomorrow to seek full disclosure of the latter’s involvement in Sarawak mega-dam projects.

Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang and Baram village head James Nyurang are among the group who will meet with Hydro Tasmania chief executive officer Roy Adair, in Launceston, Tasmania in a scheduled hour-long meeting, where the group is expected to seek a commitment from Hydro Tasmania to withdraw its staff currently in Sarawak.

NONEThey will also hope, according to a statement by Swiss-based environmental NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), to pressure the Tasmanian government-owned company to sever ties with Sarawak Energy Bhd and state Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s (left) plans in the construction of several controversial hydroelectric dams throughout the state.

Hydro Tasmania acts as a consultant for Abdul Taib’s government on several of the projects, including the Bakun Dam and is claimed to be providing skilled manpower to Sarawak Energy through its subsidiary, Entura.

The group is also set to meet with Tasmania deputy premier Bryan Green, also on Monday, to discuss Hydro Tasmania’s involvement in Sarawak and the Tasmanian government’s role in the matter.

These meetings are part of many lined up for the Sarawak anti-dam campaigners in Tasmania and other states such as Canberra, Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne, as they fight against 12 proposed mega-dams in Sarawak, including at least one ongoing blockade of the road leading to the Murum Dam construction site.

Aside Kallang and Nyurang, other participants in the Australian tour include 12 members of the Sarawak indigenous community.

‘Misrepresentation of facts’


Meanwhile, in its statement, BMF further accuses Hydro Tasmania of being defensive and claims it is now trying to downplay its involvement in the Sarawak dams scheme for fear of the consequences of the media fallout from the campaign, based on a media release by the company.

In the release, available on its website and dated Nov 27, Hydro Tasmania slammed Save Rivers’s campaign, especially the allegations leveled against the company in regards to the Baram Dam project, claiming it to be “materially inaccurate” and represents a “significant misrepresentation of facts”.

The company quoted Adair who declared Hydro Tasmania was “not involved in flooding rivers and displacing indigenous peoples. We are not providing consultancy services on the Baram Dam project”.

Calling itself a “small player” in the Sarawak hydropower project, the company, however, acknowledges five of its “people” are on secondment in Sarawak and said this number will be reduced to four by the year-end.


  1. “Calling itself a “small player” in the Sarawak hydropower project, the company, however, acknowledges five of its “people” are on secondment in Sarawak and said this number will be reduced to four by the year-end.”

    Well, what can we say about the Aussies… only that it is in their blood as sons of former ‘you know what’ thrown out of England! How can they be small players only when they have people directly invloved at the management level? SNAKES!

    Comment by brian pirit — December 3, 2012 @ 10:42 AM | Reply

    • If Hydro Tasmania is “only a small player”, then getting out of the project is no big deal and its not going to incure huge financial lose.
      True or not Adair???????

      Comment by Just as concerned — December 3, 2012 @ 11:00 AM | Reply

    • A narrow minded tendency to make giant sweeping statements to include innocents & guilty alike!

      Why not blame the policy makers who ignore their own standards of honesty transparency and accountability.

      Comment by anon — December 3, 2012 @ 1:35 PM | Reply

      • Well, the policy makers are representatives of those majority who support and voted them in as their policy makers and are therefore responsible for any decisions they make. The Australian gov’t’s silence on the involvement of their companies means they support what their companies do regardless of what the consequence are to the affected Sarawakian Natives. Australia as a whole is guilty!

        Comment by brian pirit — December 3, 2012 @ 3:08 PM | Reply

  2. At one the Save Sarawak Rivers in Melbourne some lighter moments flowed from the comments on the dam projects-

    1. Taib’s SCORE projects intends to create 3 million jobs, Sarawak population is about 2.5 million… so something wrong with the planning.

    2. Taib’s first wife still on CMS board of directors so many years after she died. Comment by speaker on how would she get her director’s fees. Quip by an audience- burn papers money (laughter)

    3. Sarawak will go into the Guinness Record Book as the country with the most dams in the world…

    Comment by Riverman — December 2, 2012 @ 10:02 PM | Reply

    • “Taib’s SCORE projects intends to create 3 million jobs, Sarawak population is about 2.5 million… so something wrong with the planning”.

      The more reasons to import more foreign Muslim workers who will eventually be given Mykad as in the case of Sabah. Why else do they keep building huge religious buildings in Kuching if not to cater for an influx of foreigners despite being a minority in Sarawak? And the public schools are already flooded with religious teachers from Malaya for the same purpose.

      Comment by brian pirit — December 3, 2012 @ 3:16 PM | Reply

  3. Send your kids to school elsewhere, not Australia !

    The bunch in in Labor Government now are clicks of the Bushwhackers, as the Tony Blair hounds!

    The Australian gomen charges tax on Lynas Malaysia. Malaysia gave tax free haven status to Lynas. Say something goes wrong in Lynas, the Australian still gets their tax. But where will Malaysian government find the money to mend and rebuild lives in Gebeng?

    Bloody Aussies! Wont even send a “monitoring team” for GE13 ! NOT TO HELP OPPOSITION, but just a “monitoring team” !!!

    Comment by kookabara — December 2, 2012 @ 7:53 PM | Reply




      Comment by NEWMAN — December 6, 2012 @ 4:38 AM | Reply

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