Hornbill Unleashed

August 16, 2014

Villagers won’t move out from dam area

Bengoh damWinston Way

Bidayuh villagers affected by the Bengoh dam project will not move out from their customary land and will not accept any compensation from the Sarawak government.

Residents of three Bidayuh villages affected by the Bengoh dam project said the government has no right to evict them because it is customary land and belonged to the natives.

The villagers from Kampung Rejoi Nyegol, Kampung Bojong Siting and Kampung Sait-Muk Ayun said the land could not be used for business.

Villagers’ representative Tawet Anak Sanyok said the affected villagers had the right to live on their own customary land.

“We are not under the influence of opposition political parties,” he said in a press statement today.

Tawet said the villagers had never accepted the Sarawak government’s compensation to move out.

“When the construction of the dam started in 2009, we built our villages outside the dam’s perimeters.

“Kampung Sait-Muk Ayun villagers agreed to move out in 2012 but were unable to do so because the Bengoh Resettlement Scheme was not completed,” he said.

Tawet said the clearing work for the dam would only be completed in 2015.

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