Hornbill Unleashed

February 26, 2014

Brunei eyes equity in Lawas hydro project

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FMT Staff

Several business sectors being explored for enhanced cooperation that would mutually benefit the neighbours

The Sarawak government is in discussions with Brunei on electricity supply, telecommunication, tourism and air connectivity.

Second Resources Planning and Environment Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said the neighbouring country had shown interest in the state’s hydroelectric development and energy sector. (more…)

February 8, 2014

Over 100 days, villagers continue protest to stop Baram Dam

Anna Chidambar

It has not been easy for the Baram villagers but they are determined to continue the protest to halt the construction of the Baram Dam.

(Jan 30) is the 100th day of their protest and they are staying put at the sites where they had mounted two blockades. The blockades were first erected on Oct 23 last year, just as a key meeting was held in Geneva to discuss Malaysia’s human rights record where UN member states had urged Putrajaya to respect the rights of the natives.

Vowing to protect their ancestral lands from the construction of the proposed RM4bil hydroelectric dam in Ulu Baram, hundreds of villagers have, on rotation basis, manned the two blockade sites – KM15 and Long Lama for the past 99 days with only one common objective in mind – stop Baram Dam. (more…)

February 5, 2014

New strategy to building S’wak dams

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sarawak damFMT Staff

Chief Minister Taib Mahmud dismissed skeptism about Score’s appeal to investors saying the state had slowed down the approval process because the current energy supply could not cope with the industrial needs.

Against the backdrop of a growing global campaign to save Sarawak’s rivers, forest and its indigenous community, on-going blockades in Baram and the newest allegation that Bakun is operating at half its capacity, the Sarawak Government has come up with a  new strategy.

No longer will the state be developing dams on a piece meal basis. Dams will be built “simulatenously” to cope with the state’s impending industrial energy needs. (more…)

December 29, 2013

Human rights protest march reaches the interiors of Sarawak

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Anna Chidambar

Human Rights Day on Dec 10 this year has irrevocably changed the landscape for protests in Sarawak, with the Orang Ulu, Kenyah and Kayan communities joining the protesters in the state by conducting their own march in the interiors of Baram.

While the simultaneous rallies organised by the Gerakan Rakyat Sarawak Sabah (Grass) in Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Bintulu saw about 1,200 participants, the Baram villagers joined the protest march for the first time by conducting their own event in the interiors of Baram.

According to Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas) executive director Mark Bujang, the Orang Ulu, Kenyah and Kayan communities that are still manning the blockades in Baram marched to the villages where their headmen live to express their displeasure at some of them who were not listening to their views (more…)

December 3, 2013

Natives in squalid camps, protesting Baram dam

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As Murum natives continue to fight the ongoing impoundment of the hydroelectric dam there, natives in Baram are protesting the construction of another dam in their area.

According to Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, to date, at least 350 natives have camped out in two locations in Baram for 40 nights to protest the proposed dam.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, he said the camps are in “sordid” condition but the natives refuse to budge for fear of the “poor treatment” of the natives of Bakun and Murum will happen to them. (more…)

November 23, 2013

Sarawak tribes take dam project protest to Kuala Lumpur

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  • Indigenous people from Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak have travelled thousands of kilometres from their home in central Borneo to the capital Kuala Lumpur to protest being thrown off their land.
Protesters shouts slogans and hold placards as they attend a rally at the Borneo Convention Centre, during the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) four-day biennial congress in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak state on May 22, 2013. (AFP)


November 22, 2013

Plight of Penans brought to Tasmanian parliament

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FMT Staff

Green Party MP Kim Booth has brought up in the Tasmanian Parliament state-owned Hydro Tasmania’s involvement in the contentious Murum Dam and the human rights violations against the Penans in Sarawak.

The Tasmanian Parliament has called on its government to intervene immediately and compel the Sarawak administration to compensate the Penans affected by the Murum Hydropower Dam project.


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.


Have we lost our souls as a nation?

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Alfian ZM Tahir

The pain and agony suffered by displaced natives in Sarawak in the name of progress must end now.

The photos and videos from the Murum dam blockade site were very revealing.

Little boys running naked around dirty camps. Weathered old men and young brawns with tribal tattoos repairing broken tents. (more…)

November 15, 2013

Who To Believe? Torstein Sjotveit and SEB’s Propagada Or The Penan Pengulu?

Removed from his post - no wonder the Pengulu lost his job, yet in their media propaganda SEB still pretend he is their supporter!Sarawak Report

The quite shocking duplicity of Sarawak Energy (SEB)’s full-force propaganda drive has been exposed once again by a simple film.

In this latest documentary from Tegulang, the resettled Penan from Murum have been allowed to speak for themselves, instead of having SEB and Bernama speak for them to tame journalists.

And the very Penan leader, Pengulu Pao Tului, whom SEB portrayed for months as the man who willingly negotiated with them, has gone on camera to slam the way his community has been treated. (more…)

Bakun’s Sg Asap re-settlers sue govt

Winston Way

The natives want the government to pay interest on delayed payment of compensation.

Residents of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan in Belaga, Kapit have filed a suit against the Sarawak government for failing to pay interest on the compensation for the loss of their original longhouses.

They named the Kapit Land and Survey Department superintendent and the Sarawak government as the first and second defendants. (more…)

November 12, 2013

Penans vow to continue blockade until govt agrees to talks

Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.Chen Shaua Fui

  • Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.

The arrest of 10 Penans last week at the blockade site near Murum Dam has not deterred them from continuing their fight to stop the inundation of their land before compensation is paid.

They went back to the site upon their release on Sunday.

The state coordinator of Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas) Raymond Abin said that the Penan will continue to stay at the blockade site until the government promises to talk to them on the compensation. (more…)

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Sarawak Report

On November 7th, the Norwegian head of Sarawak Energy took great care to make his accusations against the Penan tribespeople at the Murum Dam blockade as public as possible, by insisting on broadcasting them in full on our site.

In an email to the Swiss NGO BMF, which he copied into our comments section, he claimed that these families had been extorting money from members of the public, by setting up a toll on the public road. (more…)

November 10, 2013

Murum blockades: Were reporters blind?

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Winston Way

  •  Penan lawyer activist Abun Sui Anyit is baffled at the ignorance of the journalists and the impossible claim that ‘there was no blockades’.

An activist familiar with the ground situation in Murum is baffled as to how journalists visiting the Murun Dam and the Tegulang native resettlement area had not seen  Penan blockades leading into the project site.

Said lawyer-actvist Abun Sui Anyit: “I was shocked to know when they (the journalists) said the Penans were not there (at the blockade site), and that the blockades had disappeared. (more…)

November 5, 2013

SEB to lodge report on destruction of core samples at Long Kahah


  • DESTROYED: One of the activists stands on the ruins of the core samples at the soil investigation site at Baram.

Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) confirmed that it will lodge further police reports

against those responsible for destroying core samples from the soil investigation work and threatening of workers conducting site investigation in preliminary feasibility works on the proposed Baram Dam.

SEB Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden said: “We have provided the police with a detailed file including video and photographic evidence of the destruction of core samples and other valuable property at Long Kahah (downstream of Long Na’ah). In addition, both Sarawak Energy and our contractors have made detailed statements concerning aggressive threats of physical violence made by specific individuals against our workers.” (more…)

November 2, 2013

RM618 mil SEB contracts to Taib’s son irks BMF

Winston Way

Swiss based Bruno Manser Fund claims the Sarawak Energy Berhad CEO has ‘lost his credibility’ and is ruining Norway’s reputation.

Sarawak Energy Berhad’s chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit has made himself a “tool of the Taib Mahmud family’s unrestrained greed and corruption”, claims Swiss NGO,  the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).

Expressing its shock at the latest disclosure that SEB had awarded Sarawak Cable two new contracts worth RM618 million contract, BMF said the “act has passed all levels of decency”.

Sarawak Cable is helmed by Chief Minister Taib’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir. (more…)

November 1, 2013

‘Sarawak Energy trying to mislead the Penan’

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Dukau Papau

Penan families affected by the Murum Dam have accused Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) of trying to mislead them and the general public into believing that they would receive RM213.3 million in compensation for their longhouses and infrastructure facilities

Peliran-Murum Penan Affairs Committee (Pemupa) chairperson Ngang Buling vehemently refuted the claims today and said there was no truth in the SEB statement.

“The Penan are shocked by the claim, which to them is all rubbish,” said Ngang.

He was commenting on a ‘blanket statement’ issued by SEB on the payment of compensation to the Penan communities affected by Murum Dam hydroelectric project (MDHEP) in the Belaga district. (more…)

October 29, 2013

‘Baram Dam site now inaccessible’

Filed under: Dams,Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 1:46 PM
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Winston Way

  • Protesting natives have ‘successfully’ chased away Sarawak Energy Berhad workers at Baram dam construction site and blockaded the area.

Natives, mostly Kayans, from Long Lepaut and Long Kesseh  which is downsteam from the Baram Dam site are staging the third phase of their blockade in Long Lama, making the project area inaccessible to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) workers and officials.

“Baram Dam site is now inaccessible..it is a complete shutdown..,” said local NGO Save Rivers Network chairman Peter Kallang. (more…)

October 24, 2013

Three dead after Cameron Highlands dam gate opened

Hafiz Yatim & Lee Way Loon

Two foreigners and a Malaysian have died while one foreigner is missing after a gate at the Cameron Highlands hydro-electric dam was manually opened early this morning.

Cameron Highlands Fire and Rescue Services Department chief Yusri Abdullah Sani said the department was alerted on the casualties at 1.38am.

“A total of 28 personnel are involved in the search-and-rescue operation. So far we have recovered two bodies – a Bangladeshi male, and an Indonesian female. An Indonesian woman is reported missing,” Yusri said. (more…)

Resettlement Chaos – Outrage Grows Over Murum Natives

Sarawak Report

  • Welcoming site? – why the surprise impoundment of the dam before compensation was agreed or even these homes were built?

It has emerged that many of the families forced from their longhouses at Murum have found there is no replacement housing for them after all, in the half-built resettlement areas they have been bundled into by Sarawak Energy.

Visitors last week spoke to families in Tegulang, all of whom had been given supposed vouchers for a home in the new longhouses, but who found there was not enough room.

Such families are being forced to beg space off relatives, with as many as three families now crowding into the same pintu. (more…)

October 4, 2013

Govt paid US$133mil for Bakun Dam delays

Filed under: Dams,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Two contractors suffered delays of up to four years in civil engineering works, causing their costs to spike.

The government agreed to pay US$133 million (RM430 million) in compensation to two foreign contractors for losses incurred in the problem-plagued Bakun Dam, an audit has revealed.

The compensation, revealed in the Auditor-General’s annual report, is a rare official acknowledgement of problems in a highly controversial project that Transparency International once labelled a “Monument to Corruption”.

The report submitted to parliament yesterday said two contractors suffered delays of up to four years in civil engineering works, causing their costs to spike. (more…)

July 31, 2013

More natives protest in Baram area

Filed under: Dams,Native Customary Rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Mustapha Ibrahim

Another group of villagers in Baram gathered to protest the Federal Court’s decision to uphold a Court of Appeal ruling to overturn a victory for natives over their right to NCR land.

Yet another group of Baram natives have protested against encroachment on their native customary rights lands (NCR). The latest protest comes days after a similar demonstration by another group of affected villagers in Long Panai, Tutoh.

Hundreds of villagers from native communities in Long Teran Kanan, Tinjar gathered last Saturday at an oil palm plantation operated by IOI Pelita Plantation Sdn Bhd. (more…)

May 22, 2013

SAVE RIVERS lodges police report against IHA and Sarawak Energy

save riverBruno Manser Fonds

The International Hydropower Assocation’s World Congress to be held in Kuching, Sarawak/ Malaysia, from 21 to 24 May 2013, is beginnig badly.

Peter Kallang, an important indigenous leader from Baram, Sarawak, has been barred this morning from a pre-congress workshop organized jointly by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Despite having paid the horrendous IHA World Congress’ registration fee of USD 1750, Mr. Kallang was stopped this morning from boarding a bus to the International Hydropower Association’s pre-congress workshop at Sarawak Energy Bhd’s office. The reason given to Mr. Kallang was that he had written critical letters to the International Hydropower Association’s chairman, Richard Taylor, over the IHA’s cooperation with the regime of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and the association’ss policy to exclude affected indigenous people from the congress. (more…)

Malaysia hydropower meeting to open amid controversy

This file photo shows a general view of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam on the Balui River, west of Belaga, in Malaysia's Sarawak state, on September 21, 2011. The world hydroelectric industry's decision to meet in Sarawak where dams have uprooted rainforests and native peoples is drawing bitter fire from environmental and tribal groups.


This file photo shows a general view of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam on the Balui River, west of Belaga, in Malaysia’s Sarawak state, on September 21, 2011. The world hydroelectric industry’s decision to meet in Sarawak where dams have uprooted rainforests and native peoples is drawing bitter fire from environmental and tribal groups.
The world hydroelectric industry’s decision to meet in a Malaysian state where dams have uprooted rainforests and native peoples is drawing bitter fire from environmental and tribal groups.

The International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) four-day biennial meeting to push “sustainable hydropower” opens Tuesday in Kuching, the languid capital of Sarawak state on Borneo island, and a highly contentious choice. (more…)

May 20, 2013

Kuching Conference Threatens Image Of International Hydropower Association

Sarawak Report

Millionaire Tostein Sjotveit poses with the kids he plans to wash out of their homes.

The Chief Executive of Taib’s closely controlled Sarawak Energy Board, the Norwegian Torstein Dale Sjotveit, has been working hard to merit his extraordinary four million dollar a year salary.

His principle job is to push through SCORE, which is the Chief Minister’s monstrous plan to build up to 50 dams in the state.

It is also to make sure that all the plum Sarawak Energy contracts go to Taib’s own family in the process.

Building ‘respectability’ (more…)

May 18, 2013

Sarawak dams will flood 2,300 sq km, warns BMF


VIDEO | 1.32 min The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has warned of possible degradation of the environment and social effects on the Sarawak indigenous people, following the proposed flooding of 11 dams which may cover an area of 2,300 square km of rainforests or one-and-a-half times the area of Greater London.

BMF, which released a map of the possible repercussions, said it is concerned over this fact following Sarawak’s hosting of the International Hydro-power Association’s (IHA) World Congress in Kuching for three days beginning May 21.

It said Sarawak Energy, the state’s power monopoly, is planning to realise the dams by 2020.  (more…)

February 9, 2013

BN’s Baram Crisis !

Sarawak Report

Tamper with our river at your peril Taib! – Demonstrators against the dam during last weeks ‘Baram Wave’

At the last Federal Election Taib did not bother to visit Baram.

To him it was just a source of timber which he could exploit, handing vast logging concessions to his crony companies like Samling and to politicians he needed to control, while leaving the people destitute.

One such politician was Jacob Sagan, the local MP and Federal Deputy Trade & Industry Minister.

Jacob has been Taib’s obedient henchman representing the Baram seat for three elections under SPDP and he has proved willing to betray his people to serve his master on every occasion. (more…)

Sarawak revises plan to build dams, says Masing


The plans for the dams in Sarawak state have sparked widespread criticism they would further destroy remote jungle and wildlife and displace locals. The Bakun dam is already finished and work on at least one other dam has begun.A Sarawak minister said the state will not push ahead with building 12 controversial dams amid anger among local tribes and environmentalists over the plans.

James Masing (left), state minister of land development in Sarawak, said the resource-rich, poorly developed state would only need four, and not 12, dams to cater to its energy demands, even though it aimed to attract more industries.

“It is not a firm plan to build 12 dams. I don’t think we will need that. We will only need four of them,” Masing told AFP in an interview. (more…)

January 19, 2013

BMF wants hydropower association to cancel dam conference in Sarawak

About me

Bruno Manser Fund

International Hydropower Association urged to cancel Sarawak conference over greenwashing concerns

Industry group warned over reputational risks due to Malaysian dam scheme’s corruption, lack of sustainability

(LONDON, UK) The International Hydropower Association (IHA), an industry group that claims to advocate the sustainable use of hydropower, has been urged to cancel its annual conference planned to be held in Kuching, Malaysia, in May 2013. The conference is hosted by Sarawak Energy, a public company controlled by Abdul Taib Mahmud („Taib“), the controversial Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. (more…)

December 16, 2012

Plan for more dams generates dismay in Sarawak

Siva Sithraputhran

The wave of dam-building in Sarawak has created ripples of fear among environmentalists and groups representing indigenous tribes.

The trucks that ply the rough road to the Murum dam under construction in Sarawak kick up clouds of dust that obscure the trail and make driving treacherous. Within an hour, at least 40 of them go by, laden with freshly cut timber.

The dam on a tributary of the Rajang river is just the start of a staggeringly ambitious plan to block many of the state’s major waterways by 2020 to tap cheap energy and turn one of Malaysia’s poorest states into a Southeast Asian industrial and energy hub. (more…)

December 14, 2012

Plan to dam Sarawak frontier for energy generates dismay


File photo of Taib in his Rolls Royce in Kuching. His chauffeured Rolls Royce is a common sight in the Sarawak capital. — Reuters pic

The trucks that ply the rough road to the Murum dam under construction in Sarawak kick up clouds of dust that obscure the trail and make driving treacherous. Within an hour, at least 40 of them go by, laden with freshly-cut timber.

The dam on a tributary of the Rajang River is just the start of a staggeringly ambitious plan to block many of the state’s major waterways by 2020 to tap cheap energy and turn one of Malaysia’s poorest states into a Southeast Asian industrial and energy hub. (more…)

December 5, 2012

Living Like “Tarzan”, “Poachers” And “Cavemen”! – SEB Man’s Outburst Against Sarawak Natives

Sarawak Report

Idris Buang – foot-in-mouth spokesperson for SEB

Freedom of information requests in Australia have recently brought to light the full, unedited interview of SEB Board Member and spokesman, Idris Buang, by the TV programme Dateline, about Sarawak’s mega-dam plans.

And his arrogant and incautious remarks, which disparage the native way of life of many of Sarawak’s indigenous tribes, have brought gasps of amazement and outrage.

Among a series of slurs, he says on behalf of SEB: (more…)

December 2, 2012

Sarawak NGO wants Australian firm out of dam projects

Save Rivers

In the last leg of its Australian anti-dam campaign tour, NGO Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (Save Rivers) is set to meet with energy company Hydro Tasmania tomorrow to seek full disclosure of the latter’s involvement in Sarawak mega-dam projects.

Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang and Baram village head James Nyurang are among the group who will meet with Hydro Tasmania chief executive officer Roy Adair, in Launceston, Tasmania in a scheduled hour-long meeting, where the group is expected to seek a commitment from Hydro Tasmania to withdraw its staff currently in Sarawak. (more…)

November 27, 2012

Clean Energy? Sarawak’s Dirty Dam Projects Set Up A Stink!

Sarawak Report

Putrid and dangerous – there is nothing clean about the waters of the Bakun Dam or the corruption that swills round Sarawak’s dam projects.

The people advising Sarawak Energy (SEB), in particular Australia’s Hydro Tasmania, have taken every opportunity to portray the dams planned for Sarawak as a ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ energy source.

Hydro Tasmania in fact frequently implies that dams are “carbon neutral” and has declared that the company itself will become a “carbon neutral company” by the end of this year, after decommissioning gas powered electricity plants.

However, representatives of the growing anti-dam movement in Sarawak are touring Australia with a very different story. (more…)

November 14, 2012

James Masing tells clean energy activists to ‘stop breathing’

Bakun dam during construction. Photo by: Mohamad Shoox.mongabay

Bakun dam during construction. Photo by: Mohamad Shoox.

A top minister in the Malaysian state of Sarawak has told activists campaigning for cleaner energy to ‘stop breathing’, reportsThe Borneo Post.

“I would like to throw a challenge at them (critics) on two fronts,” Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing told the newspaper. “Firstly, please provide us with the best source of alternative power besides fossil fuel, and secondly, they have to stop breathing if they criticize just for the sake of criticizing.” (more…)

October 25, 2012

IGP must stop his boys from provoking Penans

FMT Staff

The Royal Malaysian Police force needs to be educated on human rights and perspective of the people’s struggle, claims Suaram.

Human rights NGO, Suaram, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ismail Omar to warn his men not to interfere in the Penan tribe’s rights struggle in the Murum dam issue in Sarawak.

“In order to bring the credibility to the force, they should be seen as a neutral party and not to take the side of the oppressor. (more…)

October 12, 2012

Feedback on plight of Penans affected by Murum dam sought

Sulok Tawie

Liwan says the two sites were identified by the Penans themselves

The Sarawak State Planning Unit (SPU) is calling on the public and interested parties to submit written comments and suggestions on the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) Report on the proposed Metalun Resettlement and Tegulang Resettlement sites for the Penans affected by the Murum dam.

SPU is also asking for comments and suggestions on the Murum Service Centre.

The construction of the RM3 billion dam, about 75km upstream from the RM7.5 blllion Bakun dam, has attracted much international attention, especially from non-governmental organisations, as it will displace about 1,500 Penans from eight villages and Kenyahs from another village, in Belaga district. (more…)

October 10, 2012

Sarawak PKR: Unfriendly policies don’t help Murum Penan

Dukau Papau

The problems of Penans affected by construction of the Murum dam will not be resolved as long as state government policies remain unfriendly to them, said Sarawak PKR head Baru Bain.

He said that creating a special ministry to look into the Penans’ problems and demands is of secondary importance.

“You can have a few ministers to look after their problems. But if the ministers are ineffective, there would be no point,” he said.

Bian, a lawyer and the Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson, was commenting on the failure of negotiations between Penan representatives and the state government on pre-conditions for construction of the dam. (more…)

October 5, 2012

Baru Bian SOS to Suhakam on behalf of Penans

Dukau Papau

Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat today urged Suhakam to probe human rights abuses against the Penan community in Murum committed by the state headed by the nation’s reportedly richest man.

“The latest exposes carried in the alternative media and in some mainstream press in the past few days bring home to us the heights of heartlessness and hypocrisy this government has reached.

“The revelations tell of the unimaginable suffering of the Penans in Murum who have been treated in the most callous and contemptible manner by the dam-building bullies and the uncaring government headed by the man reputed to be the richest man in Malaysia,” said Baru Bian,chairman of Sarawak PKR. (more…)

September 20, 2012

BN ‘will lose Baram seat’ if mega-dam is built

Filed under: Dams,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

The BN risks losing a stronghold – the Baram parliamentary seat in Sarawak – in the next general election if the state government persists with building a mega-dam there.

This is because more than 80 percent of the 21,716 voters and their families are claimed to be against the project.

“If the anger of the people can be translated to votes, the BN is certain to face defeat,” said Thomas Jalong (left), the president of Jaringan Orang Asli Semalaysia.

BN’s Baram MP Jacob Sagan Dunggau, a senior vice-president of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, has been re-nominated by his party to defend the seat for the fifth time. (more…)

March 16, 2012

6,000 Swiss sign anti-dam petition

Filed under: Dams,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:09 PM
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Joseph Tawie

Malaysia and Swiss activists protested outside the UN office in Geneva against Sarawak’s plan to build 12 hydro-electric dams.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has thrown his support behind a global effort by environmental activists from Switzerland and Malaysia to protest to the United Nations against the Sarawak government’s plans to construct 12 hydro-electric dams.

Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, was responding to the efforts of activists to handover a petition bearing 6,000 signatures to the Malaysian representative to the United Nations. The petition called for a halt to the dam plans.

Thanking the Swiss people for their support, Bian said: “We give 100% support to the efforts of both the international environmental activists and their Malaysian counter-parts to pressure the state government of Sarawak and Malaysia to halt the dam construction. (more…)

February 28, 2012

Govt health facilities for rural communities in Sarawak

Filed under: Dams,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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What the authorities are doing to meet healthcare needs in remote areas.

HEALTH Ministry director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman explains in an e-mail reply to our questions that there are 10 government clinics serving rural communities along Sarawak’s main river transport artery, Sungai Baram, and a further eight serving the more remote Baram tributaries. These are part of a network of 30 government clinics throughout the Marudi district in which Baram is located; the district has a population of 60,000.

On the map, government health facilities appear well distributed along Sungai Baram to cater to rural communities. Additionally, the Health Ministry operates a mobile health service programme from these clinics, sending teams out to villages that are situated in extended operational areas (that is, in areas that require more than an hour of travel to reach). (more…)

February 23, 2012

Progress and Development?

Sarawak Report

Floating homes – Is this what Taib means by progress and development for the poor people of Sarawak?

These are the scenes they have been trying to hide, by setting up an exclusion zone to prevent NGOs and journalists from entering the region behind the Bakun Dam.

However, Bruno Manser Fund workers have managed to breech that barrier in order to get exclusive pictures of the devastation behind the dam, which has now filled a lake the size of Singapore in the heart of Sarawak. (more…)

February 22, 2012

Malaysian indigenous leaders launch campaign against plans for a 12 dam mega-complex





Malaysian indigenous leaders launch campaign against plans for a 12 dam mega-complex

Representatives from affected communities in Sarawak, Malaysia gathered to kick off their campaign against 12 planned dams in Sarawak with a demand for consultation and a public referendum. (more…)

February 17, 2012

NGO: Map shows extent of Baram dam’s devastation

BMF – Malaysiakini

“According to the map based on intelligence and calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), the 162 meter high Baram dam would flood a rainforest area of 412 square km (41,200 hectares) and at least 26 indigenous villages, causing the displacement of up to 20,000 Sarawak natives…A Swiss based NGO has released what they call a “secret map” that paints the picture of the environmental devastation that the proposed Baram dam in Sarawak will cause.

“While the Sarawak government has started legal procedures to extinguish native rights for an access road to the dam site, the affected communities are deliberately being kept in the dark over the extent of the dam plans,” read BMF’s statement yesterday. (more…)

February 16, 2012

New coalition, Save Sarawak’s Rivers, to battle dams

Filed under: Corruption,Dams — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Joseph Tawie

With the impending construction of multiple dams in Sarawak, there is an urgent need to coordinate efforts by natives and NGOs opposing these structures.

MIRI: Concerned individuals and a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are gathering in Miri next week to discuss the formation of a ‘Save Sarawak’s Rivers’ network.

The network aims to coordinate a campaign at state, national and international levels against the construction of mega dams in Sarawak.

The idea to form the network, simply called ‘Save Rivers’, was made in October last year. (more…)

November 2, 2011

‘Ask the natives if they want to move’

Joseph Tawie

Why is the Sarawak government forcing Bengoh Dam natives to shift to a resettlement scheme which the Auditor General’s Report 2010 has described as ‘unsuitable’?

The Sarawak government has been urged to immediately carry out a census poll on the 394 families from four villages affected by the construction of the multi-million ringgit Bengoh Dam.

State opposition PKR said a completed census would show how many families and villagers from Kampung Taba Sait, Rejoi, Bojong-Pain and Semban would be willing to shift to the resettlement scheme between Kampung Semadang and Skio.

“This census is necessary because the resettlement scheme risks being an expensive flop as the affected villagers appear not in favour of moving into the resettlement scheme,” said See Chee How, Sarawak PKR vice-chairman. (more…)

October 31, 2011

Sarawak Bengoh Dam: RM 58mil cost overflow


Aidila Razak

Ill-conceived plans over the resettlement of natives living around the Bengoh Dam in Sarawak are causing massive delays to the RM310.65 million project.Although the cabinet is still deliberating its options, the Auditor General in his 2010 report estimated that the delays could cost up to RM58.37 million.According to the report, the delay is because some of the 1595 natives affected do not accept the compensation offered by the government.

The dam, which is 97.3 percent ready and is due for completion in May 2011, cannot be impounded on schedule until the natives have been resettled. (more…)

October 28, 2011

Acquisition, resettlement send Bengoh cost spiralling

Stephanie Sta Maria

Sarawak’s yet-to-be completed Bengoh Dam could cost an additional RM60.57 million, according to the 2010 Auditor General’s Report.

Severe delays in the construction of Sarawak’s Bengoh Dam could send costs skyrocketing by an additional RM60.57 million, warned the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report.

The dam, located about 40km from Kuching, will supply untreated water to the Kuching Water Board’s treatment plant until 2030.

The initial construction cost stands at RM310.65 million. The amount was a secured loan from the federal government. (more…)

October 27, 2011

‘Monument of Corruption’ still gets flak

M Jegathesan

Bakun dam turbines are spinning but it is billed as the graft-plagued human and ecological disaster.

The first turbine is spinning, electricity is pulsing out, and the water level is climbing in the Borneo jungle behind Malaysia’s huge US$2.2 billion Bakun hydroelectric dam.

But questions continue to swirl around the viability of a project described by critics as a graft-plagued human and ecological disaster – and as opposition mounts against a dozen other planned dams in Sarawak.

The first turbine from French giant Alstom began producing electricity in August and the dam’s reservoir has swelled to the size of Singapore since impoundment began a year ago.

After years of warnings about the impact on Sarawak’s pristine jungles and the forced removal of thousands of local tribespeople, the dam’s head Zulkifle Osman sees light at the end of the tunnel. (more…)

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