Hornbill Unleashed

April 9, 2013

Don’t believe BN promises, natives told

Joseph Tawie

Thus far the Sarawak government has failed to meet promises made to resettle natives in Batang Ai and Bakun, says a local NGO.

Sungai Asap, where 10,000 natives of Belaga were resettled after they succumbed to the promises of the Sarawak administration in regards to the Bakun Dam is almost empty these days.

About 7,000 settlers have left the resettlement scheme in search of a better living elsewhere.

According to Save Rivers Sarawak chairman Petter Kallang more than 5,000 of them have gone to cities and towns in search of employment opportunities, while another 2,000 have returned to their places of orign and built ‘jelatong’ (floating) houses along the Bakun river.

“In those days the government said that Sungai Asap was the place where they would have better standard of living.

“They were promised with more opportunities, good infrastructures and modern day amenities.

“But today about 70% of those resettled in Sungai Asap have abandoned the ‘township’ due to the non-existence of opportunities, modern day amenities and infrastructures as promised.

“Now, for the victims of Bakun dam it is too late because their lands are all drowned and their past endeavours inundated.

“But it is not too late for the Baram community,” said Kallang.

He was responding to a statement made by Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Second Minister of Resource Planning and Enviroment, who had said that the response to the proposed Baram Dam had been very good now after the government had explained the project to the people.

Astonished at Tengah’s statement, Kallang said: “The people of Baram and all those who could be affected by the proposed dams must be wary of the promises made by the proponents of the dam projects especially for the much promoted new township.

“Never believe in the sweet talks by someone who is known to be insincere. The past practices by the government are enough proofs of their insincerities, ” he said.

Scrap plans immediately

Kallang reiterated Save Rivers call for “all plans” for the Baran Dam and other similar projects to be “scraped immediately”.

“Ever since the Baram people heard about the proposal for construction of the dam, there have been numerous and various types of protests against the project.

“Even at the public gathering in Long Lama on Feb 23, referred to by Awang Tengah, where the Sarawak Chief Minister made the announcement for a new township, there was a demonstration by the people on boats and on the streets.

“But these leaders are oblivious to our voices,” he said adding that the big turnout at Long Lama was allegedly due to rumours that the government was going to distribute money.

Kallang said that in trying to convince the public and the people affected by the dam projects, the politicians have been claiming that the resettlement terms and conditions would be done to the satisfaction of those affected.

“Promises are made for better compensation and various opportunities to improve the standard of living for those affected.

“They claim that mistakes made at earlier dams would not be repeated.

“So, when they built Bakun Dam they promised that they would not repeat the mistakes done in Batang Ai.

“However, today while many problems in Batang Ai are still not resolved, those affected by Bakun are in an even worst problematic situations than those in Batang Ai.

“Even Murum Dam, the first of the 12 dams proposed to be built after Bakun, is not spared from problems regarding compensation and resettlement either.

“The problems faced by those affected by the Murum Dam led to a blockade by the villagers last year.

“These problems affecting the people at Murum are still not resolved to this day.

“The government is not honest and prudent in these matters.

“It is not too late to find solutions. The government must scrap plans for Baram and other mega dams immediately,” he said.

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7 Comments »

  1. That idiot and Taib’s balls licker, James Masing, dismissed that the state land awarded to Norlia Abdul Rahman ever existed and that the video by Global Witness was like a holywood movie with prepared scripts. Can you imagine a Dayak YB and president of PRS would stoop so low as to defend the thief minister who was directly implicated in the video? All Dayaks must vote out PRS in GE13 to teach James Masing for insulting the intelligence of the Dayaks. Ignore PRS completely and let it be SWP and Pakatan .

    Comment by Marcus Raja — April 12, 2013 @ 10:53 PM | Reply

  2. After 50 years of. BN rule in Sarawak and Sabah, we are still beggars in our own country. We qued up for BR1Ms, frustrated with our low living standards and veryhigh cost of living. Barang2 semua naik and Bn has been stealing from us and thereafter insulted us by making us beg for BRIMs.

    Comment by Bartholomew — April 10, 2013 @ 10:03 PM | Reply

  3. Lawak 1Malaysia:

    Comment by Gopal Raj Kumar — April 9, 2013 @ 8:59 PM | Reply

  4. With RFS, the dayaks are marching to liberate themselves from BN’s slavery.

    Comment by Antonio — April 9, 2013 @ 3:18 PM | Reply

  5. BN’s Janji Di Third Party!

    Comment by Jailani — April 9, 2013 @ 12:10 PM | Reply

  6. The people of the interior are peaceful folks.
    Gone are the days of violence, of aggression n ferocity.
    These are the good deeds of the missionaries.
    “To give the other cheek”.
    It’s the weakness of the representatives n elders.
    Weak in body n mind. The power of satan, they succumbed.
    The simplistic mentality are abused.

    Comment by Chong n Kassim — April 9, 2013 @ 8:32 AM | Reply

  7. The missionaries have not fully played their part in guiding the natives in remote Sarawak to vote for a government that will respect and protect their culture, NCR lands and to protect them from thugs from timber and plantation companies. Many still do not possess birth certificates or fail to register as voters.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — April 9, 2013 @ 7:08 AM | Reply


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