"Mangkang Menua,Mangkang Dunya,Ngetan Ke Bansa!!"

September 21, 2010

The Damn Dam is a gift from God?

Lihan insists Baram dam a gift for Orang Ulu

September 10, 2010, Friday

MIRI: Telang Usan assemblyman Lihan Jok reiterated that the Baram hydroelectric dam project is a gift from God for the minority Orang Ulu.

Lihan Jok
Lihan Jok

“I am not ashamed to say that the mega project is a gift from God because as a result of the project the government will build a 60-km road from Long Lama to the dam site at Long Keseh, benefitting about 12,000 Kayans from nine longhouses along the river,” he said.

He said he had proposed to have a road to link all the longhouses along Baram River before the dam was even conceptualised, more as a wish for a better  life for the people.

The road came into the picture when the government proposed the Baram dam, he added.

“What I am saying is that if there is no Baram dam, there won’t be any road being built. It does not make any economic sense just building a road like that. The proposed dam justifies the building of the RM500-million road,” explained Lihan.

Urging his critics to look at the bigger picture, he said the stretch of road from Long Lama made up Package B of the overall road project under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. He said the package cost the government a massive RM500 million.

Package A is the stretch of road from Beluru to Sungai Tinjar encompassing Lapok road.

The upgrading of 35.73-km Lapok road at a cost of about RM101 million commenced three days ago and is expected to be completed in three years, Lihan revealed.

“Our people who are already poor have had to buy 4WD vehicles to travel through this road, having to bear high maintenance cost due to wear and tear their vehicles were subject to. But this will be behind us three years from now,” said Lihan.Read more here

Pengayau comment

Perhaps,we should send a copy of this You Tube Video to YB Lihan Jok who said that the Damn Dam is a gift from God.Im just wondering,who is God that he refer to.But as far as we are concern,Taib is his one and only god!!

Sorrowful tale of Bakun evictees

“West Malaysians are being fed “spoonfuls of sugar” but the people of Sarawak, particularly those affected by the Bakun Hydroelectric Project, are having to “chow down chillies” after having been evicted from their ancestral homes”

Documentary Series On Bakun Dam

Bakun Update: Operation Exodus

This report is compiled through field visits to the Bakun areas & interviews with the affected residents in different communities. These include those who have moved to the Sg Asap resettlement scheme, those who have moved to alternative communities of their own choice, and those who are still remaining in their respective communities along the Rejang/ Balui rivers. The visits were conducted from November 29-December 4 1998.

The Controversial Bakun Dam Ordeal:

The Bakun dam project has been a controversial issue for the 10,000 over natives from 15 communities living along the Rejang and Balui river for the past 5 years since its revival by the Malaysian government in September 1993. The project was scrapped in 1990 when the Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed explained that it was Malaysia’s contribution to global conservation.

Since then, the residents and government agencies have been engaged in a spate of tussle over the issue, which has been shrouded by controversial reports and information. This was especially so in terms of the relocation of the people and the compensation accorded to them. The Malaysian government has been very tight-lipped about the entire project, which it claimed to be the biggest Hydroelectric dam in the SEA region.

Many related issues were raised from the source of the funds needed to build the dam to the safety standards, and the almost non-existent process of dialogue & consultation with the different tribal groups involved mainly the Kayans, Kenyah, Ukits, and Penans, who are the majority among those affected.

In September this year (1998), the government finally implemented their plans to relocate the people after 3 years of postponement. This move came at an untimely period when the entire country and also the SEA region are facing a serious economic crisis. And in early 1998, the government announced that the Dam project would be scaled down and for the moment it had been shelved due to the economic downturn experienced by the country.

But nevertheless, the resettlement exercises, codenamed “Operation Exodus” was carried with the first victims being Long Ayak (Ukits) and Bato Keling (Kayans) in September this year. Then 2 months later in November, Uma Daro (Kayan), Uma Belor (Kayan) and Long Gang (Kenyah) were moved from the Bakun area.

All 5 communities have been moved to the Government-planned resettlement scheme located at Sg.Asap-Sg.Koyan area, an area located in the Northeast direction and about 3 hours (by rough logging roads) from Belaga town.

Resettlement Scheme is a Scam! Read more here

Welcome To Sarawak.Land of The Damn Dams,Hidden Paradise of Logging Activities and A Place Like No Other!!!

Here we have it, 52 dam sites identified covering a large part of Sarawak. How many natives will these dams displace? Irrelevant. Where will they be resettled and under what allternative conditions will they have to live and obtain a livelihood? Irrelevant. How much forest and wildlife will disappear and become extinct? Irrelevant. How will these dams affect the eco-systems and the environment? Irrelevant. How much money will Taib, his family, henchmen and cronies and their children for generations make at the expense of all other Sarawakians? Now that is relevant!

~Sarawak Head Hunter~

September 7, 2010

Sarawak Penan Association statement: One Year After: Penan Communities Re-Blockaded to Protest over Government’s Broken Promises

Taken from Borneo Independent News Service

On September 2, 2010, around 150 Penan villagers from Long Nen in Sungai Layun, Long Belok and Long Sayan in Sungai Apoh, Tutoh, Long Bangan in Sungai Terawen, Tutoh and Ba’ Marong in ulu Sungai Si’ang, Tutoh gathered to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the simultaneous blockades held by the same communities in the area between August and September last year.

The gathering in fact was held not only to commemorate the anniversary of the protests but also to honour the three-decade struggles of the Penan communities in Sarawak against the continued violations of their Native Customary Rights (NCR). It was held as a reminder to our people to appreciate their rights, livelihoods, traditions and culture that are closely tied to the forests, which have now been largely destroyed by logging companies.

Indeed, the blockades organised last year were not easily forgotten by the protestors. During the protests, the state response included the appearance of the Telang Usan state assemblyperson, YB Lihan Jok at the blockade site, who then urged us to dismantle the barricades as well as to sign a particular memorandum of understanding (MOU) with him as a co-signatory.

The content of the MOU included the following pledges on the part of the Sarawak State Government:

1. To make an effort at bringing Penan community leaders to meet with higher authorities in order to discuss on matters concerning their land and traditional territories;

2. To make an effort at bringing the Penan communities’ application for the construction of kindergartens and primary schools at each Penan longhouse (to the appropriate authorities).

3. To increase the number of community leaders for the Penan community.

4. To make an effort at introducing agricultural activities that are suitable for the Penan communities.

5. To make an effort at obtaining financial allocations for the housing and healthcare needs of Penan communities

To set the record straight, the demands above were not even the original demands that we had made during the blockades. The blockades last year were erected firstly, to demand that the Sarawak State Government must recognise that we have the right to make our own decisions in relation to our NCR land, and secondly, to ask that logging activities and the encroachments into our NCR land to be immediately halted in order to prevent starvation incidences. In essence, it was a protest to demand that both the government and logging companies to recognise our rights on our land.

However unfortunately, we were pressured by YB Lihan Jok to change these demands to the ones above.

Now a year later, we have yet to hear how even these very simple demands will be fulfilled by the state. Where are the materials and help for us to have better longhouses? Where are the kindergartens and clinics? Where are the meetings promised? Where are the agricultural assistance and resources to help us help ourselves in producing more and better foods for our families?

Our community views that it is very unworthy of YB Lihan Jok to not live up to the promises made last year. If the state continues to ignore its obligations to the community, we will not hesitate to set up blockades for a longer period of time. Many of us have gone to prison for defending our rights to this land. Thus, we will continue defending our rights for the rest of our lives.

Equally important, our community have also been increasingly alarmed by various newspaper reports which revealed the state government’s plans in respect of our communities, which would be announced without any prior consultations with us or further attempts at proper follow-up activities.

For instance, in December 2009, the state government announced of a plan to move the Penan communities to a resettlement site similar to that of the Sungai Asap resettlement scheme for the Bakun-affected communities. The newspaper report in fact quoted YB Lihan Jok as stating that our demands will only be fulfilled when we agree to move to the resettlement site. Then, there was also the supposed government housing allocation of RM 2.7 million for the Penan communities, announced by the Miri Resident Dr. Ngenang Janggu in Borneo Post on Sept 18, 2009.

How can the government continue to act and function in this way to this very day, treating its indigenous communities with much apathy? Especially since Malaysia has ratified the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People in 2007?

Our people will not move to any other location just because the government says so. Our home lies within our ancestral land. The government cannot continue to threaten us in this way and move us around at will. Further, once a pledge, whether financial or otherwise is made, it must be fulfilled. We would like to know, how has the RM 2.7 million been spent thus far? How come our communities are still living in poorly built longhouses, with not even the most basic water, electricity and sanitation facilities?

The government just simply cannot continue to govern in this way – making ‘announcements’ without any sense of obligation to first consult our communities and ‘pledging’ without taking any follow-up steps and fulfilling the promises. We reiterate that failure to meet our demands will certainly result in long-term blockades in the state.

Promises have to be kept. Our people have to be informed. We are citizens with rights.

Panai Ayat

Sarawak Penan Association Secretary

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