Hornbill Unleashed

August 7, 2013

Sarawak moves to take over 4,000 hectares for Baram dam

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The notice issued last week on the acquisition of 4,000 hectares. August 6, 2013.JENNY DENTON

The notice issued last week on the acquisition of 4,000 hectares. August 6, 2013.Sarawak will acquire some 4,000 hectares for the Baram hydroelectric project today after issuing a notice last week, although the proposed dam has not yet been assessed or approved, say locals.

A legal “direction” published in the Borneo Post last Friday said an area of 4090.8 hectares was “required for public purposes, namely for the development of a hydroelectric dam” and that all native customary rights over the area would be extinguished.

It said compensation would be offered for the native customary land.

Under state law and international project development guidelines a social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) must be completed before the proposed dam can be approved or its construction started.

An SEIA is currently under way for the Baram proposal, and Sarawak Energy, which is overseeing plans for nine new major dams in total, insists no decision has yet been made about it.

But the public road leading inland towards the Baram area has already been renamed as the dam site access road and its new sign carries the logo of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

SCORE, the government’s dramatic industrialisation plan, is premised on a capacity to produce and sell cheap electricity from Sarawak’s rivers.

The proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam would flood an area of just under 400 square kilometers, which is home to an estimated 20,000 indigenous people from 32 villages.

The Land (Native Customary Rights) (No. 39) 2013 Direction was issued by the Ministry for Resource Planning and Environment, which is headed by Sarawak’s Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Under the Sarawak Land Code people who have native customary rights to the land have 60 days from when the notice was published to apply for compensation.



  1. Support the Baram Dam if it truly means fair and adequate compensations and a far better living standard and environment for the affected people.
    Compensation rates should be much higher than the normal market value because the people affected are not willing vendors.

    Comment by Ayen Piyat Tawai — August 10, 2013 @ 4:30 PM | Reply

    • Means they should be part owners of the Damned Dam for as long as their NCR lands are under water! Isn’t that fair and more then adequate compensation?

      Why can’t taib give a better living standard for people he forced to make huge sacrifices to him and his cronies?

      So where are the business and job opportunities taib is talking about for the affected people as in the case of Bakun? Sg. Asap resettlement is almost deserted except for the elderly.

      Comment by brian — August 12, 2013 @ 8:53 AM | Reply

  2. This is daylight robbery. The yet to be gazetted amended Sarawak Land code has no power to extinguish any NCR land.

    Comment by Irene Kana — August 7, 2013 @ 7:24 PM | Reply

    • The headlines is misleading and purposely done so. In fact it isn’t Sarawak that moves to take over the 4,000 hectares,it’s the planner,the proponents, the cronies, and those who directly and indirectly benefits from the construction of the Damned dams the ones behind this take over. They just loves to steal from the poor natives and probably laugh at the natives useless and fruitless protestations.

      Their time for suffering will come!

      Comment by brian — August 10, 2013 @ 12:11 PM | Reply

  3. Just one question….Will the compensation be able to set those displaced and forced to resettle in some kind of human farm up for life or at least matched those given by Mahathir to the folks in Sepang for KLIA?

    And why distinguish their rights to the land when taib can rent it from them after all taib will be set up for generations to come from just supplying cement for the construction of the Damned dam. And not to mention the kantow he will get from Samalaju!

    But what I really hope is that he burst his tummy [PECAH PERUT] from over eating and over indulgence in making the orang ulu dirt poor!

    Comment by brian — August 7, 2013 @ 12:45 PM | Reply

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