Hornbill Unleashed

October 2, 2013

‘Dam workers’ lives threatened by protesters’


Workers at the Murum hydroelectric dam had their lives threatened by protesters who were instigated by “foreign troublemakers and anti-government NGOs”, Sarawak Energy Bhd says.

It said in a statement that the incident involved a “small” group of protesters who on Sept 28 allegedly threatenedits workers, using machetes.

This halted work on the  powerhouse and tunnel, which only resumed this afternoon.

However, in a press conference after lodging a police report against SEB this afternoon, Penan protesters said that SEB’s CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit and police were “rough” towards the protesters and verbally abused them.

Gereng Jadum said that cops rounded up the protesters and took them to another part of Murum so that Sjotveit could yell at them.

“He took us away from our blockade area to the part near the tunnel… He was yelling angrily and was rough to us.

“He was yelling to the police, too, saying: ‘You are cowards for not stopping the Penans. They have no right to set up a blockade’.

“Then he left, leaving the Penans to walk back to the blockade area… in a sort of punishment,” Gereng said.

Gereng, who lodged the report at the Miri police station, said the distance was several kilometres and a fair distance to cover by foot, although it only took 10 minutes by car.

He also alleged that police were spotted driving to their blockade area in SEB vehicles, raising suspicion that they are working hand in glove.

“(Everything SEB says) are lies. Penans never accepted the dam…

“They are blocking our blockade, but what are they claiming from us? We are blockading to protect our property and land from being destroyed by the government,” he said of the blockade, which has lasted two weeks.

The recording of the press conference was provided to Malaysiakini by Sarawak River Networks chairperson Peter Kallang.

Foreign instigators

Meanwhile, SEB said that the protest and alleged death threats had halted work on the  powerhouse and tunnel, which resumed this afternoon.

“It is disturbing to see that the poisonous influence of foreign instigators has now led to threats of violence.

“My clear message to the protesters is that foreign troublemakers and anti-government NGOs have never done anything practical to help you and they never will,” said Sjotveit.

Sjotveit  said SEB has a “good relationship” with the affected communities, including the Penan, who it claims to have resettled in programmes “the best of its kind in the world”.

SEB, he added, is open to discussions on the community’s welfare and “transition to a more secure livelihood” but “will not give in to threats”.


According to the newspaper Borneo Post, the dam, one of many in Sarawak’s pipeline, affects 353 Penan families.

Most have resettled to modern houses 40 minutes away from the dam, complete with all modern kitchens and stereo sets.

SEB also claims it provides RM850 to each family every month for subsistence.

However, 100 families have set up a blockade near the dam site office and refuse to budge until their demands are met.

Among their demands are free houses, electricity and water, RM500,000 and 25 hectares of agricultural land per family.

They also want the government to allow each village to forage in 30,000 hectares of forest reserve, but the government has only promised 20,000 hectares.


  1. Rom 13:1-2
    13 Biar semua orang adalah tertakluk kepada pihak berkuasa, tiada kuasa kecuali yang mana Allah telah ditubuhkan. Pihak berkuasa yang wujud telah ditetapkan oleh Allah. 2 Oleh itu, sesiapa yang pemberontak terhadap kuasa tersebut memberontak terhadap apa yang Allah telah dimulakan, dan orang-orang yang berbuat demikian akan membawa penghakiman pada diri mereka sendiri.

    Titus 3:01
    Ingatkan mereka akan tunduk kepada pemerintah dan pihak berkuasa, untuk menjadi taat, untuk bersedia untuk setiap kerja yang baik.

    Ibrani 13:17
    Taat kepada pemimpin dan mengemukakan kepada mereka, kerana mereka adalah menjaga menonton lebih jiwa anda, kerana orang-orang yang perlu memberi akaun. Biarkan mereka melakukan ini dengan kegembiraan dan tidak dengan rintihan, untuk yang akan menjadi tidak ada kelebihan untuk anda.

    1 Petrus 2:13-25
    Tertakluk demi Tuhan kepada setiap institusi manusia, sama ada kepada maharaja sebagai tertinggi, atau gabenor sebagai dihantar oleh beliau untuk menghukum orang-orang yang melakukan kejahatan dan memuji orang-orang yang berbuat baik. Kerana ini adalah kehendak Allah, yang dengan melakukan yang baik anda perlu meletakkan untuk mendiamkan kejahilan orang bodoh. Hidup sebagai orang-orang yang bebas, tidak menggunakan kebebasan anda sebagai penutup-up untuk jahat, tetapi hidup sebagai hamba Allah. Menghormati semua orang. Cinta persaudaraan. Takut kepada Allah. Menghormati maharaja.

    1 Timotius 2:1-2
    Pertama sekali, maka, saya menggesa supaya doa, solat, intercessions, dan Doa dibuat untuk semua orang, untuk raja-raja dan semua orang yang berada dalam kedudukan yang tinggi, supaya kita boleh menjalani kehidupan yang aman dan tenang, suci dan bermaruah dalam setiap cara.

    1 Timotius 6:1-2
    Kristian yang adalah hamba harus memberi penghormatan penuh tuan-tuan mereka supaya nama Tuhan dan ajarannya tidak akan malu. Jika tuan anda adalah seorang Kristian, bahawa tidak ada alasan untuk tidak menghormati. Anda harus bekerja semua sukar kerana anda membantu orang yang beriman yang lain dengan usaha anda. Mengajar kebenaran ini, Timothy, dan menggalakkan semua orang untuk taat kepada mereka.

    Lukas 12:47-48
    Hamba itu akan dihukum, kerana walaupun dia tahu tugasnya, beliau enggan untuk melakukannya. “Tetapi orang-orang yang tidak sedar bahawa mereka sedang melakukan salah akan dihukum hanya ringan. Banyak yang diperlukan dari orang-orang yang kepadanya banyak diberi, dan banyak lagi yang diperlukan dari orang-orang yang kepadanya lebih diberikan.”

    Efesus 6:05
    Hamba, taat kepada tuan duniawi anda dengan hormat dan takut, dan dengan ikhlas, seperti yang anda akan mematuhi Kristus.

    Comment by undilagibn — October 2, 2013 @ 6:26 PM | Reply

  2. Toasted Torstein may think that he can do anything to the Penans but he must remember he is just a foreigner, making his living in Penan land.

    Comment by brian — October 2, 2013 @ 1:44 PM | Reply

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