Hornbill Unleashed

May 23, 2013

‘We want development, not dams’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

K Pragalath

A protest by about 300 people against the contruction of dams in Sarawak was held outside the venue where the International Hydropower Association is holding its biennial congress.

About 300 indigenous people and a NGO, Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (Save Rivers), protested against dam constructions in Sarawak this morning.

The 300 people are community members from Bengoh, Murum and Bakun and also community members from the proposed dam sites at Baram and Limbang who are directly affected by the dam constructions in their respective areas.

The protest was held outside Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching, which was the venue for the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) biennial congress.

The group of people were dressed in blue, and stating ‘No More Damns’, protested for about an hour since 10.30am today. They also carried banners that read ‘Respect Native Rights’, ‘Stop Baram Dam’, and ‘IHA Stop Collaborating With Corrupt Regime’.

“Indigenous communities are voicing their opposition to the dams being built on our land. We were not given a voice inside the IHA congress so we are using our voices here in the form of a protest,” Mark Bujang who is Save Rivers’ secretary general said in a press statement today.

Members of the community affected by the dam constructions also spoke up at the protest.

“We all came to Kuching today to show IHA, Sarawak Energy and the Sarawak government that despite what they say, we disagree with the dams.

“I live in a dam affected area so it is too late for us but I do not want see others suffer as we have,” said Ngajang Midin from Long Ayah, a community affected by the Bakun Dam.

Johannes from Long San, Baram, said that people in Baram are up in arms against the proposed Baram Dam.

“We know the government plans on building a dam in the Baram area. Our ancestral lands will be flooded, and we will loose our land and livelihoods.

“We have learned from Bakun and Murum Dams. The government only thinks about how to make money with the dams but they don’t care about us. We want development but not dams.

During the one hour protest, the executive director of the IHA heard out Bujang’s objection and spoke briefly to Bujang.

Alternative meeting

In relation to this protest, Save Rivers announced that they would hold an alternative conference at the Riverside Majestic Hotel tomorrow.

This alternative conference will feature ex-Australian senator and environmentalist Bob Brown.

When contacted, Save Rivers media liaison officer Brihannala Morgan told FMT that they are currently facing some hiccups in securing the hotel as their venue for the alternative conference.

“They are a bit worried after finding out that we organised a protest this morning. We are in the midst of convincing them to allow us use their venue. We are also looking at other options,” said Morgan.


  1. DAMS mean timber, steady cement production by CMS, other spinoff like road construction to the damned dams. I can’t think of a regime so corrupted, cruel to the orang asal and proud. Very soon the frog will disintegrate in the pot of hot water

    Comment by the Mukah Watcher — May 25, 2013 @ 10:47 PM | Reply

  2. Sarawakians want all the wealth stolen by Taib Mahmud to be returned to the people too. Taib Mahmud must go. Alfred Jabu must go. James Masing must go. William Mawan must go. Michael Manyin must go and Awang Tengah must go. Sarawak BN must fall !

    Comment by Sulaiman Salleh — May 24, 2013 @ 7:25 PM | Reply

  3. A reelection to be calld in Baram shall show to the thief minister that the majority of the natives in Baram and who have been affected by the Murum dam do not support Taib’s ambitious plan.

    Comment by Irene Kana — May 24, 2013 @ 5:24 PM | Reply

  4. With his RM4 million tax free income a year, Torstein would fly to Singapore every weekend unless he had to travel to certain part of Sarawak to pacify the natives. Sarwakians must pressure him to leave Sarawak as soon as possible. He is a personal consultant of Taib Mahmud but his exorbitant salary was paid for by taxpayers through Sarawak Energy Bhd, a clever scheme hatched by the thief minister.

    Comment by Special Branch — May 23, 2013 @ 11:02 PM | Reply

  5. Torstein Dale Sjoveit is a CEO without substance and a conman. Telling stories are emerging from Sarawak Energy to ordinary Sarawakians of his sheer incompetence, ignorance, and lack of vision, in running a company like Sarawak Energy. Behind the public relations exercise in the likes of IHA conference, SEB’s sponsorship of social events, etc. that he’s using to create an impression of a leading and well-runned organization, he may be heading SEB to financial ruin. That’s why he has repeatedly refused to disclose to the Sarawak public’s request on how the RM15 billion loan is being responsibly spent.

    According to sources in SEB, the Murum project costs has now balloned and the project is further delayed from the original contractual schedule. SEB employees in Projects Execution department had also secretly revealed that their head of department, the CEO’s buddy, henchman, and fellow Norwegian Einar Kilde, is just as incompetent and at a loss as how to manage power projects, as a result of which many projects are improperly managed, suffers from cost overrun, and worst delayed as compared to the time when projects were managed by local Sarawakians.

    And the CEO is getting paid US1.2 million a year for these mess he is creating! Together with Einar Kilde who is paid US600,000 per annum they are both ripping Sarawakians off nearly US2 million per annum for achieving nothing so far. For those salaries SEB can employ three Malaysian CEO’s who are much more competent and well versed with local requirements. And he has the cheek to demand from SEB an annual bonus of 5-9 months of his outrageous salary when an average SEB employee gets just between 1.5-2 months bonus and a meagre amount compared to his! If he is not a conman then who is? !!!!!

    So his claim that he is only helping Sarawak is a big joke. He is only a soldier of fortune and a hypocrite who will pack and leave when the next employer offers him even a slightly higher wage. Word has it that with his ill-gotten wealth from a developing country like Sarawak, he has already bought a yacht and building a dream house in Norway. Nothing can be more hypocritical then his claim that he is trying to help Sarawakians and Sarawak! If he conducts himself professionally and transparently, then he must disclose what and how much benefits he is getting from your contract with SEB? Otherwise Sarawakians will only be convinced that he is a conman and demand that the CEO resigns and leaves Sarawak immediately!!!

    Comment by Disgusted Sarawakian — May 23, 2013 @ 6:54 PM | Reply

    • This is the fault of Taib and Hamid Sepawi!

      Comment by T — May 23, 2013 @ 9:51 PM | Reply

  6. Remember Bakun Dam?

    What has happened to the project?

    Sarawakians to be screwed again?

    Comment by Ras — May 23, 2013 @ 2:17 PM | Reply


    Fighting for land rights is a fight to preserve your rights!

    Why have you for 40 years let the Penans and NCR fight by themselves!

    What are your afraid of ????

    Over 300 people have demonstrated yesterday. If the demo is still on go and support them!

    Do it for your country Sarawak!

    That is if you are true Sarawakians and not pendatangs!!!!

    Comment by SARAWAKIANS — May 23, 2013 @ 9:15 AM | Reply

  8. We suffered extreme hardship at the hands of taib and his chinese cronies and we should make it a hell for the IHA members while they are around to let them have a taste of what they support and promote by attending the conference.

    If possible shit in their food while they are having their meal!

    Comment by brian — May 23, 2013 @ 8:46 AM | Reply


      Brian we can see how strong your strong feelings are against the oppressors but we need to unite the many to defeat the few.

      The term “timber tycoon triad” is more accurate to describe this tiny 1% of the Chinese ethnic people who have inflicted havoc on our society and environment aided by Taib.

      It is a better way to unite the Chinese with you.

      We all have a chip on our shoulders and the biggest one is the minority UMNO PBB BN ruling class and its oppression and exploitation of our people.

      So we need to unite the many to defeat the few.

      So we target them as a class not as any ethnic grouping.

      If we take the ethnic approach we need to be fair and also target the tiny Dayak ruling elite of Masing, Linggi, Mawang, Numpang, Jabu.

      Blogging is a good way to spread ideas but nothing beats real grass root work. Go and speak to the people or join an NGO to fight for the people! Make your anger against the oppressors work for you.

      This message applies to all Sarawakians who want to save Sarawak and take back their country. Unite!

      GOOD LUCK!

      Comment by SARAWAKIANS — May 23, 2013 @ 9:33 AM | Reply

    • So Jacob Sagan, Leo Moggie, Linggi Jugah and many more from the Dayak community are not Taib’s cronies? Do you know that there was not a single timber concession given to any Chinese in Sarawak? 100% of timber concessions were in the names of Bumiputra. Big names like Rimbunan Hijau, Samling or WTK are just contractors to log the timber.

      Comment by Special Branch — May 23, 2013 @ 11:08 PM | Reply

  9. Each protester spent few hundred ringgit and many hours of travelling to reach Kuching and the protest was over in just one hour? This is a real shame and showing lack of conviction . They should be prepared to be arrested and should camp out during the duration of the conference and or protest outside the residence of the paramount thief minister , Taib Mahmud.

    Why bother about an alternative conference when those attending would not share the plight of the affected residence?

    Comment by Mata Kuching — May 23, 2013 @ 7:28 AM | Reply

    • The organisers would be looking after them. Otherwise they lose support.

      Do not be too critical. We all must unite against the fascist regime!

      Comment by anon — May 23, 2013 @ 9:36 AM | Reply

  10. Why only 1 hour? Stay for the hold duration of the meeting and also hold protest where all the delegate stays and having their meals. Approach their meals table and protest while they having meals, sleeps, having shower….. all these to show them how we will feels and experience when the bulldozers work our lands…..disturbances from all the illegals workers that they bring in to work in the timber camps that going to clear all the trees from the affected area.

    Comment by Rod — May 23, 2013 @ 12:21 AM | Reply

    • That is the weakness of those organising. It should be for the duration of the conference.

      Comment by anon — May 23, 2013 @ 9:36 AM | Reply

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