Hornbill Unleashed

November 17, 2013

Angry villagers will not surrender land to Baram dam

Dukau Papau

Angry villagers of Kampung Na’ah and Long Kesseh Ulu Baram, who accused Penghulu Ajang Wan and 13 other community leaders of ‘selling’ their ancestral lands against their will to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the owner of the proposed Baram dam, have lodged a police report with a view to initiating legal action against them.

The Kayan and Kenyah communities have three legal options open to them – one under the Kayan/Kenyah Adat and the other two under the Native Court Rules 1993 and the civil court, said Abun Sui Anyit (left), a human rights lawyer.

Under the Kayan/Kenyah Adat it is a crime to tell lies, he said.

The community leaders have been telling the authorities and the general public through the mass media that the proposed dam has the full support of the people.

In their police report lodged yesterday at the Miri Central Police Station, the villagers refuted their statement claiming that the proposed dam has the full support of the people of two villages.

“We want the police to investigate and take necessary action against them for telling lies,” said Anyi Eng, Edward Jok Wan and Malang Liang, after they lodged the report.

“How can they speak on behalf of the people to say that the proposed Baram dam has the full support of the people from the villages?

“Have they sought our views or discussed with us whether we agree or not to the proposed dam?

“As community leaders, they have failed in their duties to seek our views, and yet they dare to tell lies to the general public and the authorities through the mass media,” they said.

“We warn them not to surrender our ancestral land and properties without having any discussion with us, and we will use every means including filing a civil suit against them and the authorities in order to defend our rights.

“Land is our life, our blood and livelihood and we will defend it at all costs,” they said.

“To us they are not only abusing their power as community leaders, but also disrespecting our rights and interests, and what they did was morally wrong and is against our Adat (customs).

“We want Penghulu Ajang and the other community leaders to be punished or sacked for telling lies,” they said.

Blockades and protests

Elsewhere in Baram, there are also blockades and protests to stop workers from SEB from carrying out any initial work including the construction of access road and the testing and sampling of earth to determine the stability of the site earmarked for the main Baram dam wall.

NONEThe native communities comprising the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan are all out against the proposed dam and do not wish to be relocated elsewhere as they have seen the sufferings of those who have been relocated to Sungai Asap as a result of the Bakun hydro-electric dam as well as at Tegulang in Belaga because of the Murum hydro-electric dam, said Peter Kallang, chairperson of Save Rivers Sarawak Network (SAVE Rivers).

On top of that, there are many promises made by the authorities which have not been fulfilled, he said.

The proposed Baram dam, which is the most controversial dam so far, is expected to displace 26 longhouses and villages including Kampung Na’ah and Long Kesseh, and more than 20,000 people need to be relocated elsewhere as the dam would occupy an area of more than 38,000 hectares.

About 90 percent of the land is under NCR land.

The Baram dam will be the fourth to be built after the Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum dams by the Sarawak government, and it is expected to build another 11 more between now and 2030.


  1. The Malaysian govt under BN should stop condemning the injustice done to the Palestinians by the Israeli govt because the BN govt is doing the same injustice to the natives of Sarawak. Can’t we all see the similarities. Seems like the BN is learning a lot from Israel to chase the Dayaks out of their land and exterminate their identity and existence. They tried to control the Dayak’s population by distributing contraceptive pills, it didn’t work fast enough…they will try a thousand other ways. The Dayaks must vote the BN out before the Dayaks are totally wiped out !

    Comment by telang usan — July 28, 2014 @ 12:22 PM | Reply

  2. Cakap banyak saja…but not solid action from all these people la….. these people are doing this for self enrichment saja la…

    Comment by Rod — November 18, 2013 @ 6:34 PM | Reply

    • Who are all these people you are referring too?

      Comment by brian — November 19, 2013 @ 8:09 AM | Reply

  3. Just for the sake stealing timber, Taib, the thief and his cronies are turning Sarawak into a wasteland. We pray they will face watery deaths one day, God is fair. UBAH now

    Comment by Angry Bird — November 17, 2013 @ 6:19 PM | Reply

  4. Some of the penghulu and tuai rumahs are the natives worst enemies. They work in cahoot with the land and timber raiders and the dirty politicians for money. It’s time long house dwellers and native groups insist on electing their own leaders and not accept those who don’t have their interest at heart to be forced down their throats by the Taib regime.

    Comment by apai — November 17, 2013 @ 1:57 PM | Reply

  5. Dam that has damned the rural people!

    Comment by Dennis — November 17, 2013 @ 9:32 AM | Reply

  6. Stand solidly firm despite being threatened with harassment and even police arrest. Do not surrender your land and land rights as we do not also surrender our right to freedom of worship. Fight to the last man standing to protect your rights and ownership of your NCR land.

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — November 17, 2013 @ 9:28 AM | Reply

    • Victims of land grabs from Murum, Melikin and Serian should gather by the thousnads outside the DUN to show sodilarity to protest in the strongest term against state policies which enriched cronies and displacing the natives and for causing destruction to ancestral burial grounds.

      Comment by Mata Kuching — November 18, 2013 @ 11:57 AM | Reply

  7. Nya iya! Anang takut! Agi idup, agi ngelaban!

    Comment by Sharpshooter — November 17, 2013 @ 1:13 AM | Reply

    • That used to be the Brave ibans war cry but it seems like they are just all talk only now. And it looks like other natives has taken the lead from them.

      The joy ride with taib will come to an end and lets hope that their leaders are willing to unite and take the lead again!

      Comment by brian — November 18, 2013 @ 3:11 PM | Reply

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