Hornbill Unleashed

December 8, 2012

Natives threaten army with court injunction

Joseph Tawie

The construction of the RM40 million road connecting Ba Kelalan to Bario in Sarawak, at the cost of an essential water catchment area has angered local villagers.

KUCHING: Angry villagers in Ba’Kelalan have threatened the Malaysian Royal Army Engineers Regiment with a court injunction if they persist in building the Ba’kelalan-Bario road.

“If need be, we will apply for a court injunction to stop the army contractors from proceeding with the road construction,” said Baru Bian, a lawyer and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.

Bian said that he had written to the chief of the Armed Forces that the villagers did not want the road (Ba’Kelalan-Bario road) as it passes Sungai Muda, which is a water catchment area.

The villagers have instead proposed that road be built from Belingi-Lepo Bunga-Bario. This would then safeguard the catchment area.

“The villagers have objected to the road being built through Sungai Muda as it would affect the water catchment area at Sungai Muda,” he said.

Bian, who is Sarawak PKR chief, said he was disappointed with army’s reply that only a few people were against the road construction while the majority of the villagers were for it.

“The folks in Ba Kelalan wants to protect Sungai Muda because its destruction would affect the lives of about 2,000 villagers from Punan Kelalan, Long Muda, Long Kumap, Long Langai, Long Lemutut, Buduk Nur, and SK Ba’Kelalan, an international award winning school,” he said.

In the letter, the army also said that the few people who rejected the road were the supporters of the Bian and that it reflected a very bad image.

“I have submitted a list of 152 villagers who are against the construction, and I will be calling for a big meeting in Ba’Kelalan on Dec 16, 2012,” said Bian.

“If the army still persists in carrying out the construction, we will apply for an injunction. It is  typical  of the BN mentality to blame the problem on the opposition.”

What about NCR rights?

On the reason given by the army that it is a ‘security road’ having its strategic importance to the forward operation base along the border to Lapo Bunga Cam, Bian said that it appeared that the army refused to listen to the people.

“Are they are serving the people or are they serving their own interest?” he asked.

He also questioned whether the road was properly planned as there was no EIA report and did not appear to involve the state authorities.

“And what about the native customary rights land of the people? Have they been excised out? My suspicion is that the project is improperly done and I urge the army to listen to the people,” he said.

Last month the villagers set up a blockade at Pa’Patar and Arur Lutut which is near the water catchment area called Sungai Muda.

The villagers claimed that contractors had already cleared about a kilometre stretch of the jungle despite their disagreement to have the road built through Sungai Muda.

The villagers told reporters last month that the army had explained to them that they opted for the Sungai Muda route because it is 20km shorter than the Belingi-Lepo Bunga-Bario route, and thus would incur less cost.

The villagers, however, did not buy that story because the Belingi-Lepo Bunga-Bario route is already there and merely needed small improvements, such as culverts.

The construction of the RM42 million Ba Kelalan-Bario Road started on Oct 1 and is expected to be completed by Sept 2014.

Defence minister Ahmad Zaidi Hamidi said army would implement the project under the Blue Ocean Strategy, and the road was a continuation of the 75km Long Luping-Ba Kelalan Road which was completed in September last year.

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2 Comments »

  1. WHY NOT EVICT THE MALAYAN OCCUPATION ARMY?

    Comment by Anon — December 9, 2012 @ 12:28 AM | Reply

  2. Tahun baru udah sampai Anak Zorro accronym untuk budak pertahanan main wayang kulit lagi. Hak anak bumi sejati tak usah di kasihi, budak2 suruhan Anak Zorro ini sedang cari carI ubi kayu di Ba’ Kelalan untuk cari durian runtuh lumayan bagi tahun akhir 2012 ini. Scorpene udah sapu dan tuan nya udah bela gak tahu sembunyi di mana lagi. Anak Zorro pertahanan juga yang dapan banyak ubi kayu dari jalan baru Ba kelalan ini. Siapa anak bumi sejati negara Bolehsia ini?? Anak kerala dan yang di import n celup juga yang bermaharaja lela di negara bolehsia ini dan anak bumi sejati selalu di pijak dan di buli He he he riwayat sang anak bumi Kelalan dan seluruh negeri.

    Comment by zorro unmasked — December 8, 2012 @ 9:56 AM | Reply


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