Hornbill Unleashed

October 22, 2014

Orang Asal erect new Baram blockade

baramJoe Fernandez

Those who wrecked the earlier blockade vow to be back in three days to re-enact their act.

Orang Asal protesters against the proposed Baram Dam erected a new blockade in Long Kesseh village at KM 15 Jalan Samling to replace a year-old one demolished Tuesday morning by police, Forestry Department officers and loggers seeking access to the timber in the area. There’s another blockade within the same vicinity which was left untouched.

Apparently, those who wrecked the earlier blockade vowed to be back in three days to re-enact their act. (more…)

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August 20, 2014

BARAM DAM BLOCKADE DAY 300

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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DAY 300 – “No Consent To Proceed”!Sarawak Report

Grass roots campaigners and International NGOs joined forces in Kuala Lumpur today to ram home the realities about the Baram Dam, pet project of Taib Mahmud.
In summary, they pointed out the plan has no legal right to proceed and flies in the face of a long list of legal obligations that the Sarawak State Government has been doing its level best to ignore.
Baram is just the first of 12 proposed new dams to be built under Taib’s SCORE plan and it would inundate 400 square kilometers of jungle and displace 20,000 people.

(more…)

July 11, 2014

New CM makes no dam difference

KERUAH USIT

The long-reigning former chief minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and his successor, Adenan Satem, have both shrugged off the angry protests of native communal landowners and insisted that there is “no stopping” the construction of giant hydroelectric dams. Baram Dam, the next in line to be built, will dispossess 20,000 people.

Adenan, Taib’s former brother-in-law, has initiated chats over tea with the state opposition – a welcome gesture, after the decades of Taib’s regal conceit. Adenan has also adopted Pakatan Rakyat’s urging for Sarawak to retain 20 percent of her oil royalties, instead of the current 5 percent. (more…)

June 30, 2014

Suhakam hears and sees empty promises made to Murum Penans

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Anna Chidambar

The plight of the suffering Penans who had to make way for the Murum Dam in Sarawak has been reconfirmed by Suhakam commissioner James Nayagam.

Nayagam who visited the displaced community recently managed to witness first-hand the horrendous situation they are in and the “empty promises” made to the Penans by the state government.

For starters, the Suhakam commissioner acknowledged that the access road to the resettlement areas was in deplorable condition. When it rained, it became inaccessible even to 4WD vehicles to ferry the children to school. (more…)

June 25, 2014

Nine thousand have signed against Baram Dam

Dukau Papau

Nine thousand signatures have been collected from the Baram people of Sarawak who are opposing the proposed dam in their locality.

Started by the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC), a coalition set up in 2008, the campaign is now continued by Save Rivers and other volunteers.

The campaign is still going on in order to ensure that all the Baram people who are against the dam have the chance to take part in the campaign.

“With 9,000 signatures collected from those opposing the Baram Dam, there is no doubt that the proposed dam faces strong resistance from the majority of the people,” said a local community leader, TK James Nyurang. (more…)

‘Expose broken promises to Upper Belaga evicted’

Dukau Papau

Save Rivers Network Sarawak (Save Rivers) has asked the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to expose the broken promises made by the Sarawak government to the indigenous people forced out for the Murum Dam in Upper Belaga so that they can get a better life.

“We are happy that a team from Suhakam has visited the resettlement areas at Tegulang and Matalun in Murum and was able to see the problems with their own eyes.

Save Rivers  chairperson Peter Kallang (left) said in a letter to Suhakam yesterday: “Please  tell the world about the people’s miseries and problems as these are tangible pieces of  evidence that all the grand promises made by the government are just rhetoric to hoodwink the people in order to make sure that the dams are built. (more…)

May 12, 2014

Stop Baram, fully utilise Bakun, Murum, Batang Ai

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:59 AM
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Athi Shankar

Sahabat Alam Malaysia wants the Sarawak Government to heed Baram’s protesting natives.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wants the proposed Baram hydroelectric project stopped.

SAM president SM Mohamed Idris urged the state government to listen to the demands of protesting natives.

He said Batang Ai, Bakun, Murum and other dam-affected communities around the world had described and relived the perils of forced relocation on human well-being. (more…)

January 8, 2014

Murum Penan Stranded Without Supplies As Norwegian Boss Calls It A Day

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:40 AM
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Murum Penan Stranded Without Supplies As Norwegian Boss Calls It A Day

Sarawak Report

The indigenous language radio station Radio Free Sarawak broke the news today that the community of Murum Penan, resettled by Sarawak Energy, are making emergency calls to say they are now cut off by the dam’s rising waters and running out of food supplies.It was the same day that it emerged that the Norwegian CEO, who has made much of his role in allegedly transforming and improving the lives of the natives of Sarawak, will leave at the end of his current contract later this year.

The Environment and native rights group, the Bruno Manser Fund, revealed the news of Mr Torstein Dale Sjotveit’s departure in a press release late afternoon: (more…)

December 12, 2013

‘God made this land for us, the devil has taken it’: Sarawak dams its people

JENNY DENTON

There is a sober lesson in the Bakun dam saga for other communities along the Sarawak river and elsewhere in south-east Asia, writes freelance journalist Jenny Denton.

In the hinterland of Borneo an old lady is perched on a couch improvising into a microphone. A chorus of about 50 people, cross-legged on the floor around a small amplifier, chimes in at the end of each line with a harmonic drone.

“God made this land for us to enjoy,” the old woman sings. “But the devil, through Taib Mahmud, has taken it away.” The group erupts into laughter at the characterisation of Sarawak’s Chief Minister as the agent of the Devil and the skilful rhyming it has been phrased with. (more…)

December 10, 2013

See Chee How challenges State to global transparency

See Chee HowBorneo Post

PKR Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How yesterday called on the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to discard the ‘kampung mentality’ if the state wants to pursue its objective of building 12 mega dams.

He said the state must assume a ‘superpower mindset’ by adopting and implementing international standards and principles in the projects undertaken by SEB.

“Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit (of SEB) can only live up to his billing as a top CEO and boast about leading SEB in a dramatic transformation to make Sarawak an energy powerhouse to propel greater investment and employment in the state, if he can convince the state government to do it (adopt and implement international standards and principles), (more…)

December 4, 2013

Penan blockade lifted after additional RM8,000 paid to protesters, says lawyer

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. - The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.

The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.

Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)

November 27, 2013

Baram Dam: Tengah plays with words

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

Senior Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan claims the compensation demanded by the Penans is unreasonable and illogical.

The Sarawak government claims it has “not finalised” the implementation of the Baram project and has urged the communities not to listen to rumours and be unduly worried.

Public Utilities Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said feasibility studies were still underway but no decision have been made. (more…)

November 23, 2013

Sarawak tribes take dam project protest to Kuala Lumpur

Filed under: Dams,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:03 AM
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CNA/ec

  • 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)

(more…)

November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

Penan march to Parliament with ‘fair play’ demand

Ram Anand

Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House today, demanding a stop their eviction from their ancestral land, which has been taken over for a mega-dam in Belaga, Sarawak.

They went to the Opposition Leader’s office to hand over a memorandum that also asks Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure a consultation process between them and the authorities.

Two hours earlier, they had gone to Bukit Aman police headquarters to hand over a memorandum urging the police force to behave in neutral manner over the blockade they have mounted near the Murum Dam. (more…)

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.

(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 14, 2013

Misery in Murum

Alfian ZM Tahir

  • Displaced Penans say they are thirsty, hungry and have no protection from severe weather.

Three hundred Penan families displaced by the ongoing construction of Murum Dam are living in desperate circumstances as they battle for justice.

They have no access to clean water and decent food, and their tents, constructed from tree branches and tarpaulin, are ineffective against heavy rain. (more…)

Villagers block roads to Baram dam site, want heavy machinery removed

1459666_633072160090226_1604829675_nMUZLIZA MUSTAFA

A group of native villagers who have been protesting against the Baram dam today demanded that Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) keep its word and remove the heavy machinery at the dam site now that the three-week grace period has lapsed.

Peter Kallang, chairman of non-governmental organisation Save Sarawak Rivers (SAVE), said six natives from among the hundreds of villagers who blocked the access road leading to the dam site, handed the letter to SEB. (more…)

Protesting Penans claim police were drunk

William Mangor

A Penan lawyer-cum-activist has called on the IGP and the federal government to intervene in the Murum issue.

MURUM: Penan protestors mounting blockades at the Murum Dam site here claimed policemen who intimidated and harassed them were drunk.

Penan activist cum lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said based on ground reports from the blockade site, the police officers stationed in the area were allegedly being provided alcohol by the dam’s main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). (more…)

Sarawak natives deserve social justice

Alyaa Azhar

Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang claims that police had stopped the supply of food, water, medicine from entering Murum.

Social justice must be meted out to the thousands of indigenous community in Sarawak who have reportedly been at the receiving end of the state’s ambitious project to develop 12 dams to support its Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (SCORE) aim.

Alluding to reports of poor and inadequate compensations to native communities who have suffered grave losses as a result of the Batang Ai, Bakun, Baram and Murum dam projects, Sibu-based NGO, Ideal, has called on all Malaysians to back calls for social justice. (more…)

Let’s unite to support dam blockades in Sarawak

Kua Kia Soong

If the income generated by the dams is below what is predicted, we will have to step in and pay back the loans that were provided to Sarawak Energy Berhad.

What have the blockades by the Sarawak indigenous people against the mega dams to do with West Malaysian tax payers?

Aside from solidarity with the indigenous peoples whose native customary lands have been taken over for the construction of the mega dams and the destruction of more of our rainforest heritage, there is plenty for Malaysian tax payers to worry about. (more…)

November 13, 2013

Do You Believe Your Eyes And Ears Or SEB?

Do You Believe Your Eyes And Ears Or SEB?

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Energy made a great presentation to the United Nations in Geneva last month, boasting about their plans to resettle the Penan, after forcing them from their homeland in Murum to make way for the latest controversial dam project.

It seemed they were going to be moved from a deprived existence (true, especially since Taib took their forest) and placed into a modern settlement with schools, clinics, training, lands, comfortable accommodation and a great compensation package!

As SEB’s statement to the UN put it: (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…)

Left to fend for themselves

For empowerm ent: Participants listening to a talk during the workshop in Long Nen, organised by the Baram branch of Sarawak Penan Women Association.STEPHEN THEN

  • For empowerm ent: Participants listening to a talk during the workshop in Long Nen, organised by the Baram branch of Sarawak Penan Women Association.

It has been discovered that many young Penan women in the interior of Sarawak are being left to look after their children on their own without any moral and financial support from their husbands.

The Baram branch of Sarawak Penan Women’s Association said they had unearthed quite a number of cases where these young mothers were abandoned by their spouses for no apparent reason. (more…)

November 9, 2013

Two Penans visiting detained relatives arrested

Peter Sibon & Joanna Yap

Two more Penans have been arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to the Murum dam blockade.

They were arrested when they went to the Belaga police station to visit their relatives who were among the eight Penans arrested the day before, according to Sarawak Conservation Alliance of Natural Environment (SCANE) chairman Raymond Abin who has been keeping in touch with the protestors.

The two individuals have been identified as 16-year-old Philip Bujang and 21-year-old Merit Gadong. (more…)

Lawyer cries foul over remand of eight Penans, including 12-year-olds for “taking pictures”

Murum blockageDESMOND DAVIDSON

The eight Penans, whom police arrested at a blockade on the access road to the Murum hydroelectric dam in Ulu Belaga, Sarawak, Thursday afternoon, have been remanded for three days until Sunday.

Their lawyer, Abun Sui Anyit, said they were being held under Section 341 of the penal code.

Under the section, the arrested Penans, aged between 12 and 60 years old, would be in police custody until a magistrate could hear their case. (more…)

SUARAM condemns Penan Arrests

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 16.07.38Suram

  • PRESS STATEMENT – SUARAM Condemns Crackdown in Murum : Protesters, Including Children, Arrested and Detained

SUARAM condemns ongoing harassment of Penan communities in Murum and Baram. Yesterday (7 November 2013), saw another action from the Royal Malaysian Police which clearly shows the failed role of the police force. Eight Penan who have been blockading against the Murum damsince August were arrested yesterday and brought to the Belaga Police Station. (more…)

Eight Penans arrested at new blockade site at Murum

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:08 AM
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Dukau Papau

Eight Penans including their leader Ngang Buling are now being detained at the Belaga Police station following their arrests yesterday afternoon at a new blockade site which they erected at the Murum dam access road near Sungai Majoh Kecil within the dam site.

They have moved to this new site since Tuesday from the previous one to ensure that no workers or officials from Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) enter the dam site unless their demands are met.

In arresting them, some 80 police personnel, including 40 members of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were involved in the operation against the Penan. (more…)

November 7, 2013

Murum Stand-Off Now “Critical”

Murum Stand-Off Now “Critical”

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Report has received news of a critical development in the Murum Dam blockade, which has now been maintained for several weeks by Penan tribespeople forced from their homes by rising waters

Around a hundred of the men, women and children have broken away from the original site, where they were being penned in by riot police, and have now moved to a new blockade site down on the main Murum highway. (more…)

November 6, 2013

Embolden for change or face isolation, Dennis tells Orang Ulu

The Borneo Post

The Orang Ulu community of an estimated 300,000 in population, compared to 2.5 million Sarawakians, cannot afford to pull away from the mainstream of development and face isolation.

In this context, the community, especially the younger generation, has to work together if the community is not to be left behind and become part of mainstream development and progress in the country, said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau Jok.

Making the appeal here yesterday, Dennis urged them to be positive, rational and be wise in their judgment to embrace development activities, programmes and planning by government that will benefit the state and the people including the Orang Ulu community. (more…)

November 5, 2013

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

theborneopost

  • 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 4, 2013

Baram Malaysia Meets Baerum Norway…And Sjotveit Is Reported To OKOKRIM

Baram Malaysia Meets Baerum Norway…And Sjotveit Is Reported To OKOKRIM

Sarawak Report

When he is not tearing down tropical trees in Sarawak, the chief officer of Sarawak Energy has his home in a very smart, leafy suburb of Oslo in Norway, known as Baerum.

Last week, appalled at the latest round of mega-projectshanded out by this hired Norwegian to companies owned by his boss, the autocratic ruler Taib Mahmud, NGOs decided it was time to inform the residents of Baerum about the corrupt activities of their wealthy neighbour, who spends so much time on the other side of the world.

So, they came to Bearum, Norway to distribute leaflets explaining what Sarawak Energy (SEB) boss Torstein Dale Sjotveit is doing in Baram, Sarawak and how the entire project is linked to Taib Mahmud’s kleptocratic destruction of the world’s oldest rainforest. (more…)

November 2, 2013

Taib-linked firm bags RM600mil Sarawak Energy job

Mkini

As the Penan community continues its battle with state-owned company Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) over the Murum Dam, SEB has awarded two contracts worth more than RM600 million to a company linked to the son of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

According to a Aug 29 filing with Bursa Malaysia, Sarawak Cable Bhd said its subsidiary Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd (Trenergy) won two contracts, worth RM352.8 million and RM265.8 million each.

The contracts are for a 500kV electricity transmission line from Mapai to Lachau and the 500kV Lachau-Tondong transmission line, which will be completed within 23 and 26 months respectively from Nov 15. (more…)

October 28, 2013

Blockades bring work on Baram Dam to standstill

Mkini

Natives have successfully blocked works on the Baram Dam and its access road in Sarawak, says the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund.

In a statement, it said that last Wednesday, indigenous landowners had set up two blockades in the Baram district on the Malaysian part of Borneo. This has prevented workers in the area from pursuing their work on the proposed Baram Dam.

The natives demand the immediate halt to all planning and construction works at the Baram Dam and its access road. (more…)

Fresh blockades, warnings to SEB workers

FMT Staff

  • Heavy police presence in downstream Long lama and fresh blockades by natives in upstream Baram has turned the area into a hotspot of demos.

BARAM: Native protestors who chased out 30 Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) workers doing geological studies at the Baram dam site last Wednesday, have set up fresh blockades on the access road into the construction area.

The indigenous landowners set up two blockades and appeared to have successfully prevented workers in the area from returning and pursuing their work on the proposed dam.

Swiss based Bruno Manser Find (BMF) in a statement today said the native are demanding an immeidate halt to all planning and costruction works at the dam site and its access road. (more…)

October 27, 2013

Sarawak Energy Boss Shuns NGO Dialogue In Geneva

Sarawak Report

  • Wright and the SEB team.  He was invited to engage with NGO dialogue at Geneva – an invitation that was spurned

Nick Wright, Sarawak Energy’s Australian Vice-President in charge of Resettlement, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Consultation, made a surprise appearance in Geneva this week.

It turned out that his mission was to present a highly sanitised report to the United Nations, praising his company’s treatment of the natives affected by the state’s mega-dam plans.

The document summarised the resettlement arrangements, which Sarawak Energy (SEB) claim to have agreed with the Penan and Kenyah of Murum, with the following statement: (more…)

October 24, 2013

Villagers stage blockades to stop Baram dam

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:40 AM
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One of the blockades staged by villagers on the road to the proposed Baram dam site.

Ng Ai Fern
  • One of the blockades staged by villagers on the road to the proposed Baram dam site.

Villagers from Baram in Sarawak’s interior today staged two blockades to stop contractors from carrying out any initial quarrying work on the proposed Baram dam, one of the 12 hydroelectric dams planned by the state.

The blockades – one on the access road to the proposed dam site and the other near the proposed dam site – were manned by some 200 people from over 20 villages affected by the Baram Hydroelectric Project.

“Tomorrow the villagers will go inside the proposed dam site to chase the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) staff and contractors away,” Peter Kallang, chairman of the SAVE River civil society coalition, told fz.com. (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 20, 2013

Voices From Murum

Sarawak Report

Facing the armed police at Murum

Sarawak Energy’s Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit and his bosses in the Sarawak State Government have alleged that the anti-Murum Dam blockaders are being incited by NGOs and have painted a picture of trouble-making locals.

In fact, there has been very little genuine news or information from the distant and isolated dam site, which has been steadily flooding over the past month.

Now a new video has been recorded by travellers to the region, which paints a picture of desperate determination in a tiny community set on making their mark for justice. (more…)

October 17, 2013

Norway’s Ethical Stance Shames Its Citizens In Sarawak

Sarawak Report

Logging disaster – Norway blacklists the culprits WTK

Once again Norway’s massive public pension fund has reviewed its investments in Sarawak and blacklisted two more unethical companies, both closely linked to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

Having vetoed Samling Global because of its destructive and illegal practices back in 2010, the so-called ‘Oil Fund’, which is the world’s largest institutional investor, has now produced detailed reports outlining why it has decided to also reject Ta Ann Holding Bhd, and WTK Holdings Bhd.

Ta Ann is controlled by Taib’s close cousin and effective nominee, Hamed Sepawi, whereas WTK is a well-known crony company that has been convincingly identified as being responsible for the shocking 30 mile log jam along the Rajang River in 2010. (more…)

October 10, 2013

State asked to run cost-benefit analysis on dams

ECOLOGICAL IMPACT: See Chee How

A view of the Murum Dam.

The state has been called on to run a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on the proposal to implement large dam projects.

This is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project to determine if it is a sound investment and to provide a basis for comparing projects.

“It involves comparing the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much,” explained Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How in a press statement. (more…)

October 7, 2013

Spotlight On Murum……

Sarawak Report

At the weekend Taib Mahmud bemoaned that the recent ‘spotlight of publicity’ on Sarawak has created negative perceptions of his government of the state.

So, clearly he wants no further light shone on the disgraceful treatment of the Penan at the Murum Dam site.

The tribe are still holding out in protest against his authoritarian command to start filling the dam before compensation has been agreed or even the government’s own promises fulfilled.

However, one team of observers has just made the tortuous 9 hour journey to see the beleaguered community, who are maintaining their blockade at the site, despite a heavy and menacing armed police presence and the arrest of one of their leaders last week. (more…)

Police to arrest 40 more Penans

Dukau Papau

The government has dispatched more police personnel including 43 members of the Public Order Riot Unit (PORU) to the Murum dam site in Belaga in an effort to arrest 40 Penans said to be involved in putting up blockades to protect against the impoundment of the dam.

Last Wednesday, their leader Ngang Buling, was arrested and detained, but was released on Friday on police bail.

He is to be charged under Section 448 of the Penal Code for trespassing and is expected to appear in court on Nov 4, 2013. (more…)

October 4, 2013

Cops should protect Penans, not arrest them

 Suaram

Human rights NGO Suaram has condemned police action against Penan protesters fighting against the impoundment of the Murum dam, urging the police to instead protect the indigenous people.

Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan said that by arresting a protester and breaking up the blockade the community had put up to halt progress on the dam, the police are siding with the exploiters instead of the rakyat.

“We urge the Royal Malaysian Police to safeguard law and justice and to protect the interests of the Penan people instead of taking the side of the exploiters. (more…)

‘Lives threatened, long-house torched, villages drowned’

Aidila Razak

Penans from Ulu Murum, where the hyroelectric dam has been built, are terrified for their lives now that police have broken up their blockade, where about 300 have been demanding ample compensation for land and livelihood lost.

According to protester Gareng Jalung, 30-40 police officers armed with “loaded pistols and machine guns”came to break the blockade and bar protesters from stopping the dam impoundment.

Gareng, who was at Belaga police station when contacted, said that one long-house has also been torched, prior to the impoundment which has left seven Penan villages under water, all without notice.

“It is like the government is trying to kill us off. The Long Wat long house was torched last week, and we started our blockade on Sep 18. (more…)

Govt paid US$133mil for Bakun Dam delays

Filed under: Dams,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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– AFP

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…)

October 3, 2013

Murum Dam blockade: Penan protestor arrested

FMT Staff

A tense situation prevailed at the Murum Dam blockade when 30 police officers confronted 300 Penan protestors who offered themselves for arrest.

MURUM: Police moving in to stop the ongoing blockade by Penans on the road to the Murum Dam construction site arrested a protestor and fired a shot in the air to “stop” the people.

Ngang Buling, a Penan from the Murum region, was arrested this morning for reasons as yet unknown. Police are holding him at the Belaga station for questioning.

Quoting Ngang Buling, Save Rivers Network, a coalition of NGOs said the police are likely to hold him for four days. (more…)

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