Baram Dam Reports/News



Although I have been stayed in town since my childhood, as Orang Ulu, I understand exactly, how these OU people feel toward their river and their forest. It is their home, environment, part of their life and culture. Remove these elements, they are lost, feel displaced and confused. Urban people do not understand the heart and feeling of people, who are deeply connected to land, rivers and forest as part of their existence all these years. They have been living in the area, long before any white man came to this land. Now, they shall lost their history, their present, their culture, their identity and perhaps, face an uncertain future. What a great pity

Let come together and lend them our fullest support. THE DAMNED DAM HAS TO BE STOPPED.


Why the hurry for more dams?

 | February 3, 2014
Despite Bakun reportedly running at half its optimum, Murum in the impoundment process and slow take-up by industries, the state government is pushing ahead wth its plans for Baram and other dams.
MIRI: Something is wrong about Sarawak’s hydro-electricity plans. For one, Bakun power plant is running at just half its capacity, according to protestors at manning the anti-Baram dam blockades.
And there is also Batang Ai and Murum, the later currently being impounded.
Against this there continues to be a concerted push by the state government for 12 more dams, to be reportedly sited at Ulu Air, Metjawah, Belaga, Baleh, Belepeh, Lawas, Tutoh, Limbang, Baram, Murum and Linau rivers.  The plan includes an extension to the Batang Ai dam.
The construction of the world’s second tallest dam at Bakun was itself left questionable after earlier justifications for it were linked to the prospect of running undersea cables to Peninsular Malaysia and powering the rest of Borneo as well.   Both fell apart.
Questions continue to swirl around Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s massive projects when there is still no use for the power.
The Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (Score) the reason for these dams, itself has failed to draw in the much speculated industrial giants.,
According to the news portal, Sarawak Report, Taib is “scouring the world for power-guzzling industries to relocate near Bakun, a prospect which many of the more reputation conscious companies, like Rio Tinto Alcan, have notably decided against”.
The Sarawak Electricity Board has nevertheless been saying that there is and will  be demand and further dams are needed as a point of urgency.
In which case why has teh capacity of the eight turbines at Bakun been down-graded? The total electricity generated now is just over half of the 2400MW capacity.
So what is the hurry for new dams?
Bakun is supposed to have eight turbines, each able to generate 300 MW of power and all the turbines were scheduled to have been installed by the end of last year.
Seven units are “already commissioned” but only six are reportedly in operation todate.
“But all six units are now running half load, powering 150MW each,”  said a source.
Inviting ‘dirty’ industries
The Sarawak government’s plan is to use up the huge quantities of power it will generate by inviting potentially “dirty” industries to relocate to the state.
Environmentalists however point out that Sarawak’s already mauled rivers will be destroyed once and for all.
But sources here said the planners at Score are determined to push ahead with their mega-project without doing an in-depth study on the possible consequences.
It has also been frequently pointed out by environmentalist that smaller scale hydropower plants to help local rural communities would be far more effective in providing an immediate improvement in people’s lives.
Sarawak, they said does not need more dams, and certainly not 12, which threaten the forest its people and the environment.
They said currently, Sarawak’s energy output is 933MW and it does not need any more energy.
However, there are plans to expand the aluminium-smelting industry in the state which will need the planned output.
Meanwhile those manning the blockade at Baram are determined that the dam project there will not go ahead.
Some members of the community were in Miri last week to celebrate 100 days of their successful blockade of the dam site.
The blockades have so far prevented SEB’s construction teams from starting work at two of the construction sites.
Local politicians aligned to the Sarawak government have also urged SEB to step back from the Baram project, because feelings are running high, for the time being.


Into its 100th day, villagers continue protest to stop Baram Dam

Anna Chidambar
KUCHING: 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.

Today (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.

While the determination and spirit of the villagers remain strong, the same cannot be said of their make-shift camp at the sites. After exposure to the weather for more than three months, the tents housing the blockaders have started to leak badly.

The villagers are in the process of improving their camps with materials which are more durable, a tell-tale sign that they are not going to stop until their grievances are heard and some form of agreement reached.

According to Peter Kallang, chairman of the Save Rivers civil society coalition, no heavy machineries to carry out any work on the dam had been spotted during this period as the villagers had kept careful vigil in the vicinity of the blockades.

The Baram Dam project that has been approved by the state government and undertaken by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) is located between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200km inland from Miri.

Some 20,000 indigenous people from 26 villages will be displaced by the proposed dam.

"No representatives from the BN government or the relevant authorities have attempted to engage the villagers to listen to their plight. The only time SEB personnel entered the area was before Christmas last year to deliver 'bribe money' of some RM3,000 to selected leaders of affected villages. The group made a stop-over at the blockades," Kallang said.

As they have to harvest crops as well, the villagers took turns with about 20 people each day to man the blockades. The gatherings swelled to more than 100 people during occasions when they decided to hold protest marches.

"The government doesn't want to listen to us at all. All the bargaining is useless and pointless. Because only one man - the chief minister (Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) controls everything. We hope the local leaders will not be fooled and try to spilt us," Kallang said.

According to him, a Penghulu had called for a meeting last Saturday for six villages located at the downstream of the proposed Baram Dam. Part of their land was earmarked to be used to construct an access road to the proposed dam site.

"Penghulu Mering Ibau from Uma Bang asked three representatives from each village to attend the meeting, to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of the proposed dam. He also asked the villagers to state their demand should the Baram Dam be built or not.

"I was not invited but I went to the meeting. Majority of the people made it very clear that they do not want the dam as they do not want to lose their lands. The villages are left out from the development of the main roads also as there is no road connections to the villages," he added.

Speaking from prior experience from Bakun Dam and Murum Dam, Kallang pointed out that people living below the dams do not enjoy electricity supply although the hydro dam is located nearby.

"There is no point in bargaining as the chief minister seems to have decided. He is also the Finance Minister, Planning and Resource Management Minister so he can approve any plan and the villagers have no bargaining power.

"Just like in the Bakun incident, the Bakun Development Committee was set up with locals involved but only three acres of land was approved per family at the end despite the demands of the committee. The voice of the people in the Baram area, living downstream of the dam, although not displaced by the project, should also be taken into consideration by the state government," Kallang added.

However, he cautioned that trying to bargain was indirectly supporting the idea of the dam and hoped the local leaders would listen to the people and not try to split the villagers into factions," he added.


Baram dam already dividing ethnic communities
FEBRUARY 02, 2014
The irony of the anti-dam protest in the Sarawak interior of Baram is that even as the indigenous people chalked up 100 days of their quest to stop the proposed RM4 billion hydroelectric dam, their centuries-old way of life, which they claim to want protect, is already being torn down.
There are signs that the proposed hydroelectric dam, which is still in the feasibility study stage, is slowly tearing up the social fabric of the ethnic communities living in the area of the dam site – even those least affected by the state's grand project to harness Sungai Baram to power its industrialisation plan.
It has now pitted government-appointed community leaders, who are tasked with winning support for the dam against their sceptical “anak biaks” (longhouse folk).
“Once, it was unheard of and taboo to go against your elders. Now there are signs of people rebelling against those they had revered,” one longhouse representative said as he related a recent meeting in Miri among “below the dam” village representatives to discuss their collective demands for benefits and compensation they would present to the government if the dam was built.
It reportedly turned out to be an accusation and counter-accusation session between those who were apprehensive and sceptical about the benefits of the dam and the government-appointed committee chairing the meeting.
The committee comprised Temenggong Pahang Ding, the paramount chief of the Orang Ulu, Pemanca Elizabeth Ding and its adviser, former Baram district officer Richard Pahang Lah.
One outspoken representative at the meeting was Uma Bawang village headman Pius Lihan Ding, who reportedly questioned their role in the meeting when he told them they “sounded like they are the mouthpiece of the government when talking about the dam”.
He reportedly said: “We look up to you people as our leaders but you are not leading us and looking after our interest.”
Peter Kallang, an anti-dam activist who gatecrashed the meeting, said the representatives of the affected villages – Long Kesseh, Long Pilah, Long Miri, Uma Bawang, Sungai Dua and Long Laput – are also sceptical about the committee members’ impartiality and ability to protect their interest.
Kallang, who is president of the environmental NGO Save Rivers Network Sarawak, said the one incident that still rankled was the refusal of the Temenggong to hand over the 7,000 signatures of opponents of the dam they had collected last year to Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
The dam, reportedly designed to generate 1,200Mw of electricity, could, when built, submerge 400 sq km of land and displace 20,000 indigenous people from the Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Penan and even Iban groups.
The meeting at the Miri youth centre in Brighton was only attended by representatives from six villages out of about 13 scattered downriver from the dam and would indirectly be affected by it.
These villages would not have to be relocated unlike those upriver of the dam but river communication in that part of Baram would be affected as the water level could drop dramatically during the expected year-long impoundment.
Kallang said some of the village elders present dismissed the claim that they would benefit from the 60km or so access road that had been planned from Long Lama to the dam site.
“They are sceptical because the road does not run through their land. It only runs through land on the upriver side of the dam,” Kallang from Uma Bawang said.
“The dam is dividing the people. While the appointed-community leaders are encouraging the people to support the project, the sceptics are questioning why and if there is a need for it.”
The more radical opponents of the dam have mounted three blockades to deny workers and contractors of Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) access to the dam site.
They mounted one blockade to stop the construction of the access road near Long Lama, one to halt survey work on a potential quarry site and one to stop geological surveyors collecting core samples at the dam site.
The Baram hydroelectric project is located between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200km from Miri, and will displace 26 villages. – February 2,


Villagers successfully uphold Baram dam blockade, 100 days and counting

KUCHING (Jan 30): The proposed RM4 billion Baram hydroelectric dam has hit a persistent stumbling block as villagers vow to continue manning existing blockades until the plan is totally called off.
Hundreds of villagers, on rotation basis, had manned two blockade sites – KM15 and Long Lama for the past 99 days.
Villagers claimed that they had successfully prevented heavy machineries from entering into their area and stop any initial work.
According to anti-dam group SAVE River network chairman Peter Kallang, villagers would have a small lunch gathering to mark their 100th day celebration.
“We would like to thank members of the public and many organisations who had provided food and other resources to support the blockade. It is not an easy fight but we will not give up,” he said in a press statement.
He said in the past three months, the only "help" from the authorities was the RM3,000 alleged "bribe money" from Sarawak Energy Berhad personnel given to selected leaders of affected villages. The group made a stopover and visited the blockade.
“The government doesn’t seem to want to listen to us at all. All bargaining is useless and pointless. Because only one man – Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud controls everything. We hope the local leaders will not be fooled and do not try to spilt us.”
Peter also urged the local leaders not to hoodwink and spilt the villagers into accepting the project.
He referred to a meeting called by a Penghulu last week for six villages located at the downstream of the proposed Baram dam, where part of their land will be used to build an access road to the dam.
Mering Ibau, Penghulu from Uma Bang, asked three representatives from each village to attend the meeting, to discuss about the disadvantages and advantages of the proposed dam. He also asked the villagers to state their demand should the Baram Dam be built.
“I was not invited but I went to the meeting. Majority of the people made it very clear that they do not want the dam as they do not want to lose their land," said Peter.
“From the experience of Bakun and Murum dam, even the people living below the dam never enjoyed electricity supply.
“There is no point bargaining. Taib as the chief minister will decide everything. He as the chief minister, Finance minister, Planning and Resource Management minister, can approve any plan. The people have no bargaining power.
“Trying to bargain is indirectly supporting the project. I hope the local leaders will listen to the people and not try to spilt them.”
Using Bakun and Murum dam as reference, Peter said the government would not listen to the people and fulfill the demands of affected indigenous people.
The Baram Dam project that has been approved by the state government. It is located between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200km inland from Miri.

Read more:


Press Statement from Concerned Baram Citizens
26th November, 2013

We refer to the statements made by certain individuals from Baram which was published in the front page column of one of the local dailies, The Borneo Post, dated 26th Nov. 2013 pertaining to the proposed construction of Baram HEP Dam.
We wish to respond and exercise our rights as citizens of this country and of Baram to express our stand, views and comments:-

We the people of Baram, as members of affected communities, have actually voiced our strong concerns and stand against the proposed Baram HEP dam project right from the time we heard and obtained information about the project. We have made our position and stand clear that we don’t want the dam project. We have also written petitions and letters to state our firm objection against the project and submitted them to the government leaders, relevant authorities and project proponents and stated the reasons for such objection. We have taken many initiatives and actions through collective discussion among us as affected and concerned members of communities to highlight our position and objection against the project at the village, district, state and national and even at international level. 

As a matter of fact, NGOs, CSOs, concerned groups and individuals only echoed those concerns and expressed their support to our cause because we have sent out appeals for support to as many as we can. Those that respond and support our voices and appeals shared those concerns and grounds for our objection against the project. We are happy and thankful that many groups and civil society organisations at the local, state, national and international levels have expressed their solidarity with us in our ongoing effort to convince the government and project proponent to cancel the dam project. We will do our utmost and exhaust every appropriate channels to assert and defend our rights to our homeland, our source of livelihood, our rights and our future. We also welcome every form of support from all concerned individuals, NGOs, governments, political parties and agencies.

We have our own intelligence and capacity to think and decide for ourselves and our future. We are also fully aware that we have rights to our customary lands, territories and resources. We have rights to determine the kind of development that we regard as appropriate and that which meaningfully benefit us. We need development to improve and to uplift our standard of living, that diversify our present socio-economic activities but not a project that forcibly displace and uproot us from our homelands, gardens, farmlands, resources. That is not development. That is destruction and elimination.
We act with our clear conscience and we do not allow ourselves to be used as tools. Instead, we question the rationale for the employment of the CEO of SEB and the extremely huge amount of salaries and perks that are paid to him. Is he a local? Why he seems to be the person who always represents the government and the SEB in promoting the mega HEP dams? Who actually listens to outsiders? Our concerns and actions are genuine, legitimate and consistent. We have said NO to the Baram HEP dam and that is our position. STOP the Baram Dam!

We deplore the statement made by the newly-appointed Temenggong which claimed that majority of the Baram people support the dam project. This is a lie and misleading statement. He only spoke from his nose because he did not visit all the village communities to have proper and open consultations with the whole villagers that are to be affected by the dam project. We regret to say that this is an irresponsible statement. It does not sound that it comes from a capable, responsible and caring leader. We are also surprised to hear of his appointment as a Temenggong or Kenyah Community Leader. Such appointment is made without consultation and the consensus of the Kenyah or Orang Ulu community in Baram. If his appointment is done from the top or political leaders, it is certain that his statement is made to please those who appointed him and not for the rights, interests and inspirations of the Kenyah and or Orang Ulu community in Baram. 

We are also aware that those so-called leaders who are brought to Kuching to pledge their support to Taib and for the proposed Baram HEP dam are selectively appointed by the present ruling party who are so desperate to build the dam. They have gone to Kuching without consulting or informing their village people and have not discussed about the people’s concerns about the dam project. As such, their statements are not reliable and not credible and therefore not binding on us. 

As far as the rakyat of Baram are concerned, we firmly and categorically state herein that any dealings, negotiations or representation made purportedly on behalf of the residents of Baram are not binding and are void. If the so-called Temenggong and the other so-called community leaders are really caring and willing to listen to the views and stand of the people, we urge and invite them to come and hold an open meeting with us in Long San on a date and time convenient to the rakyat and concerned parties. Leaders Must be Sincere and Speak UP for the Rights and Interests of their Rakyats, NOT used as Tools. Speak the TRUTH!


Home - News - Sarawak

Walk a mile in their shoes

by Reporters: Jacob Achoi Suim, Lim How Pim, Wilfred Pilo, Marilyn Ten, Antonia Chiam and Saiful Bahari. Photographers: Jeffery Mostapa, Chimon Upon and Kong Jun Liong. Posted on November 23, 2013, Saturday

Dennis Ngau
BN rep challenges opposition leaders to leave city life, stay with natives in the jungle before championing their cause
KUCHING: A government backbencher has challenged opposition leaders to stay with the Penans or other natives in the jungle since they believe life in the interior is like the Garden of Eden.
Dennis Ngau (BN-Telang Usan) said they should stay in the jungle for at least a month before asking the natives to resist development projects, particularly the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam project.
In his State Budget 2014 debate speech, Ngau said he was upset that some opposition leaders even told the whole world that the government should not built the dam as it would submerge the jungles that are `supermarkets’ to the natives – where food and daily supplies are easily available.
“I hope the Member for Kidurong (Chiew Chiu Sing) could enlighten this assembly which `Supermarket’ will be having Christmas sale soon because I want to invite him to go for shopping!”
Ngau said the reality is that life in the rural areas was tough and a lot of development was still needed.
He added that the opposition’s portrayal of the life in the interior being good were all lies as attested by the number of calls for help from the natives wherever he went in his constituency.
Recently, for instance, he said he received a short messaging service (SMS) about some Penans wanting to pull out of UiTM Kota Samarahan due to financial problems.
“Isn’t that happening due to poor living conditions and no steady income at home in the jungle?”
Ngau said he believed most people in Baram were ready for the dam project as they knew it is a great opportunity for a much better tomorrow.
On the recent appearance of several Penans demonstrating in Kuala Lumpur against the dam project, Ngau said they were made to look sad, dejected and victimised just to attract sympathy to achieve the opposition’s agendas.
“But sooner or later, these poor Penans will return to Sarawak and travel back to their settlement again to the same empty kitchen, poor living conditions and nothing new in their life.
“My biggest worry is that these people might just be used as tools to gain sympathy and, to a certain extent, asking the people to donate to their so-called struggle. To me this is unfair as the good intention of the government to bring development and a better life will not be experienced by some in their life time due to instigation by certain individuals or groups who care nothing for this poor people.”
Ngau said he was glad to note that the state government was not giving up and was going ahead with its plan to develop Baram.
“Whatever the level of protest being carried out against development projects, we are very sure that the people will soon realise that these projects will only bring benefits to the local and the state as a whole. Time will tell.

Read more:


Baram natives lodge police report against Penghulu for misrepresentation.

Statement by representatives of Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh:

Baram natives lodge police report against leader for false representation.

 Baram natives lodge police report against leader for false representation.

We are surprised to hear statements in the Borneo Post newspaper entitled “People actually support the Baram Dam “ 

Community leaders in our area and village -level leaders were not carrying out their responsibilities and roles to discuss with all members of the village or to listen to the opinions or views of where we all stand .

By doing so , they do not respect the rights and interests of the population and are not concerned about our welfare . In addition, they have failed to carry our voice or deliberately not carried our voice , demands and take the people under their care to the attention of the authorities .

We also strongly objected and said that the fact that we support the Baram dam is not true or correct. It is a lie that may seek to confuse the general public .

Actions and intentions with respect to community leaders to support the Baram dam while selling the names of all the people in these villages without permission in transparent and open manner is not fair, it is an abuse of power for personal gain.

An act to support the dam indicates they are ready or willing to surrender all rights and interest in the lands, territories and resources in and around the village. This act shall affect the rights and interests of the residents of the two villages on customary land and territory, resource requirements and our lives . Such acts are wrong in terms of culture, morality and law.
Thus we have made a report and a complaint to the police for appropriate action.
Police report lodged against  Penghulu Ajeng Wan of Long Liam, Baram.
Police report lodged against Penghulu Ajeng Wan of Long Liam, Baram.
We also regret the actions and intentions of the community leaders to continue without giving us an opportunity to defend our reason to act through the civil court according to law. They play a role as an enforcer, prosecutor and judge at the same time. Is it wise and sensible that the parties wish to assign the rights and interests of the residents of the village mendendakan working to defend and protect the rights and interests of the village?

By rights, interests and well-being of our people in the village as the village, we are and will strive hard to use due process to defend and protect us along with the other residents .

We would like to clarify that when we filed a case in court, we are using our name and address . We are members of the village population or Long Na , ah and Long Kesseh . We still live and wish to live and settle in our village . 

For this reason we also take the initiative to take legal action because they want to defend and protect the rights to the land and customs territories and resources available in the village . For us , land and customs territory is our life , our blood and our lives .

Any individual , including village leaders or community leaders who are willing to give up the rights of customary land and villages , should be a reprimand or prosecuted or fired for breach of trust and responsibility . 

If following the Kayan – Kenyah custom , the so-called leader or chief or Maren who lied should be fined from the people.

We, with this statement , would like to emphasize that all negotiations and decisions made by any person from our village without the consent and permission of all residents is not valid and does not apply .

Yours faithfully,

Representatives of Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh


Another idiot just woke up...

Hentikan bantah Empangan Baram

Posted on November 12, 2013, Tuesday
MIRI: Penduduk di Baram harus menerima projek mega seperti cadangan pembinaan Empangan Hidroelektrik Baram sekiranya mahu melihat lebih banyak pembangunan di situ.
Ahli Parti Demokratik Progesif Sarawak (SPDP) Jaya Ramba berkata, mustahil untuk melaksanakan pembangunan di kawasan tersebut sekiranya penduduk di kawasan itu menentang dan tidak bekerjasama dengan kerajaan.
“Pembangunan susah dilaksanakan seandainya ada pihak menghalang kerja bagi membantu rakyat di kawasan pedalaman.
“Masih ada pihak yang membantah projek hidro Baram setelah didesak dan dihasut oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab,” katanya.
Jaya dalam kenyataannya memberitahu, terdapat pihak yang menganggap diri mereka pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang mempertahankan Baram untuk dibangun dan dimajukan.
Tambahnya, kerajaan mempunyai perancangan tentang cara untuk membangunkan kawasan Baram termasuk mewujudkan Bandar Baharu Telang Usan.
Katanya ini sekali gus menjana pertumbuhan ekonomi bagi rakyat di Baram justeru mereka harus menerima projek mega seperti projek hidro dan projek Bandar Baharu Telang Usan.
“Saya berasa kecewa juga membaca bila tidak putus-putus pihak tidak bertanggungjawab menghasut orang kampung membantah projek kerajaan.
“Ada pihak NGO yang menggelarkan diri mereka pencinta alam dan menyarankan agar sesiapa yang bakal menjadi calon pilihan raya menghantar surat kepada mereka. Mereka mahukan rangka pembangunan hidro Baram dan apa pula agenda mereka ini?” soalnya.
Beliau menasihati pihak yang diwakili parti pembangkang agar jangan terlalu kuno dan menentang pembangunan kerajaan.
“Ddalam dunia ini, belum ada projek hidro mengancam penduduk dan mencemarkan alam sekitar yang menjadikan ribuan manusia terkorban.
“Kita melihat projek Bakun, sekarang projek berkenaan dalam proses siap dibina. Begitu ramai anak Sarawak bekerja di situ.
“Saya berharap masyarakat Baram tidak mudah dihasut, tidak mudah ditipu dengan agenda jahat sesetengah individu yang cetek pemikiran.
“Sampai bila kita miskin fikiran, idea dan kematangan. Orang lain menerima pembangunan dan kemajuan, kita pula menolak kerana kita mudah dihasut oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab,” katanya.
Jelasnya, semakin ramai generasi muda berhijrah ke bandar, justeru dengan adanya empangan itu nanti ia akan membuka lebih banyak peluang pekerjaan sekali gus mengurangkan penghijrahan ke kawasan lain.



The real saga of Baram Dam has just BEGIN...........

Penduduk sebenarnya sokong Empangan Baram

by Clare Cinderella. Posted on November 12, 2013, Tuesday

BERSIHKAN NAMA: Penghulu Ajang Wan (duduk, tiga kanan), bekas Penghulu Tama Paya Ding (duduk, tengah) kedua-dua ketua kaum, Albert Wan Deng (duduk,tiga kiri), Luhat Jok (duduk, dua kanan) dan ahli JKKK, hadir pada sidang media bagi membersihkan nama Kampung Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh, daripada dipergunakan oleh individu tertentu untuk kepentingan diri mereka.
Kecam pihak jual nama Long Na’ah, Long Kesseh dalam isu saman terhadap KM, kerajaan 
MIRI: Penduduk kaum Kayan di Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh di Ulu Baram, semalam mengecam tindakan pihak yang menjual nama kedua-dua rumah panjang tersebut dalam isu saman terhadap Ketua Menteri dan Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak baru-baru ini.
Ketua Masyarakat Kawasan Akah-Patah (yang menjaga Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh), Penghulu Ajang Wan dan bekas Penghulunya Tama Paya Ding berkata kumpulan yang mengemukakan saman berkenaan bukan penduduk kedua-dua kampung itu sahaja sebaliknya turut melibatkan penduduk dari rumah-rumah panjang lain termasuk pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang bukan ditubuh atau berasal sama ada dari Long Na’ah atau Long Kesseh.
“Hanya dua tiga orang sahaja penduduk dari kedua-dua rumah panjang ini yang tidak bersetuju dan terbabit dalam kumpulan tersebut manakala sebahagian besar yang lain bukan penduduk kawasan kami, justeru ia tidak boleh membabitkan nama Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh.
“Jika mereka mahu membantah atau menyaman, mereka boleh lakukannya dengan menggunakan nama mereka sendiri tetapi jangan membawa seluruh penduduk dari kedua-dua kampung ini yang tidak terbabit sama sekali dalam kumpulan mereka,” ujarnya.
Beliau turut kesal kerana individu terbabit yang menentang dan mengemukakan saman berkenaan dengan mudah diperalatkan untuk menggunakan nama rumah panjang mereka tanpa meminta nasihat, pandangan dan kebenaran daripada ketua kaum kedua-dua rumah panjang tersebut.
Ajang berkata tindakan itu amat memalukan kerana ia seperti menjual nama kedua-dua rumah panjang tersebut untuk ‘menentang’ Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak dan Ketua Menterinya.
Sehubungan itu katanya, beliau sebagai ketua masyarakat dan telah berbincang dengan pemimpin peringkat kampung termasuk ketua kaum kedua-dua rumah panjang tersebut, sebulat suara bersetuju untuk mengambil tindakan ‘denda’ mengikut adat kaum Kayan dan Kenyah.
“Apabila anda menggunakan nama rumah panjang di mana ketua kaumnya dan hampir seluruh penduduknya tidak terlibat sama sekali tetapi demi kepentingan diri, itu bermakna anda menjual ‘rumah panjang’ dan kami kaum Kayan-Kenyah ada adat tersendiri untuk dikenakan ke atas seseorang itu,” katanya.
Bergantung kepada besarnya kesalahan seseorang itu, maka adat akan ditentukan oleh ketua masyarakat dan paling kurang menurut Ajang, pesalah boleh dikenakan ‘denda’ sebuah gong dan sebilah parang ilang bagi mengisi adat berkenaan untuk setiap rumah panjang.
Beliau memberitahu demikian pada sidang media yang diadakan di sini semalam, yang turut dipengerusikan bersama Tama Paya Ding dan dihadiri oleh Ketua Kaum Long Na’ah Albert Wan Deng, Ketua Kaum Long Kesseh Luhat Jok bersama ahli Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK) daripada kedua-dua rumah panjang itu.
“Pada sidang media ini juga kami ingin memaklumkan kepada umum bahawa Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh tidak pernah membantah atau menolak projek cadangan untuk membina Empangan Baram ini, sebaliknya menerima ia sebulat suara dan dengan hati terbuka kerana kami tahu akan manfaat dan kesannya kepada pembangunan dan masa depan kami,” ujar Ajang lagi.
Dalam pada itu, Albert Wan memberitahu beliau bersama ketua kaum Long Kesseh, ketua-ketua masyarakat dan JKKK kedua-dua buah kampung berkenaan kelak akan mengadakan pertemuan dengan Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, bagi membersihkan nama kedua-dua buah kampung tersebut.
“Kami akan bertemu dengan Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Taib untuk memperjelaskan bahawa nama Long Na’ah dan Long Kesseh telah dipergunakan dalam saman berkenaan dan kami mahu membersihkan nama rumah panjang kami,” katanya sambil menambah kata, kunjungan hormat itu akan diadakan dalam masa terdekat ini.
Sementara itu, pada 6 November lalu, enam individu yang mendakwa diri sebagai wakil kepada kedua-dua rumah panjang tersebut, telah memfailkan saman terhadap Ketua Menteri dan Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak bagi menuntut hak mereka ke atas dua plot tanah di kawasan terbabit yang dicadangkan untuk pembinaan Empangan Baram.
Saman itu yang difailkan menerusi peguam bela Harrison Ngau dan telah diserahkan ke pejabat pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi Miri pada petang 6 November lalu.
Enam individu terbabit selaku plaintif, terdiri daripada Anyi Eng, Edward Jok Wan serta Engan Eng dari Long Na’ah manakala Anyi Ajang, Malang Laing dan Wan Jok dari Long Kesseh.
Dalam saman itu, mereka telah menamakan Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud selaku Menteri Perancangan Sumber dan Alam Sekitar sebagai defendan pertama dan Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak selaku defendan kedua.
Menurut Harrison, perkara asas yang dibangkitkan dalam saman itu adalah untuk mencabar peruntukan Seksyen 5 (3) dan (4) Kanun Tanah Sarawak yang menyatakan penduduk peribumi merupakan sebahagian daripada tanah pusaka dan hak mereka ke atas tanah tersebut tidak boleh diganggu gugat.
Dalam pada itu, lebih 70 penduduk dari kawasan Baram termasuk pemimpin parti politik pembangkang di sini, telah mengiringi keenam-enam mereka hadir ke Mahkamah Tinggi ketika itu.

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

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

This post is also available in: IbanMalay

Leaflets were distributed around Baerum
Leaflets were distributed around Baerum

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.

The team began by handing out leaflets to commuters at the local station at Bekkestua and then went into the neighbourhood to spread the message about Sjotveit and drop in a copy at his smart hill top residence.

Angry interchange
Within the hour Datuk Sjotveit was sending a volley of emails in protest from Kuching denouncing what he described as a “hostile demonstration outside my home”, which he claimed had “scared” his family.
“I deny categorically that I have ever been involved in corruption or corrupt practice, neither before I came to Sarawak nor while I have been in Sarawak and I can promise you I will never in the future. You keep on making these lies about me personally and now going one step further by threatening my family and coming to my house with banners and hostile foreign demonstrators, I am totally shocked”
“I now understand that BMF [Bruno Manser Fund] has staged this treating and hostile demonstration in an attempt to frighten my family in peaceful Oslo.” [Torstein Sjotveit]
The NGO responded that they considered the CEO should reserve his concerns for the indigenous people who have more genuinely suffered from his actions as head of SEB:
“We exercised our legitimate right to politely inform your neighbours on what you are up to in Sarawak and take some photographs of your humble home which took a couple of minutes only. We were neither threatening nor hostile. However, it is of course threatening and hostile of SEB to close the floodgates on a riverside community before an agreement has been reached on their resettlement. It is even more threatening and hostile to confront their peaceful protest by armed riot police shooting in the air above their heads. Maybe, instead of complaining, you should rather be thinking about what you are doing to these people and their children who will lose their native lands without having a comfortable home to retreat to?” [BMF response]
The NGO delegation was also in Norway at the invitation of the country’s official crime fighting agency Okokrim, who invited them to a meeting at their Oslo headquarters to present a dossier on Sjotveit’s activities in Sarawak.

The NGOs met with Okokrim, Noway’s anti-corruption body
Arnt Angell, Chief Public Prosecutor and Head of Okokrim’s Department II, confirmed that Norway’s stringent corruption laws means that nationals are subject to prosecution for crimes committed abroad as well as in Norway itself.
Following discussions, the organisation took receipt of the dossier drawn up by the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund, supported by its Norwegian partner, the NGO FIVAS, and indicated the matter will be looked into.
After all, it last week emerged that Sjotveit has authorised the handing of yet another US$200million in power cable contracts to Taib family companies, including Sarawak Cable Bhd, the company set up by Taib’s son in order to scoop up the profits from the so-called SCORE ‘Corridor of Energy’ project.
This latest handout takes the SEB contracts alone which Torstein has awarded to the Taibs to US$400million.

Me and my boss – SCORE deals have provided multi-million handshakes for Taib companies
On top, the Taibs are further benefiting from road building contracts, construction contracts and of course the key monopoly they hold over cement to build these dams, all of which are being handed to them by “negotiated” as opposed to public open tenders.
As this website has already exposed, Sjotveit took out a huge RM30billion (US$10billion) loan for state owned Sarawak Energy to cover such projects in 2011.
However, since the newly elevated Datuk has avoided publishing any Annual Reports since 2010, the world is none the wiser about the details of this dam building spree that he and Taib are spear-heading in Sarawak.
Not just constructing SCORE but benefitting from the cheap energy contracts
As NGOs also pointed out to Okokirm, it is notable that nearly all the cheap energy contracts from Bakun and now Murum, have involved further enriching deals for the Taib family (see SEB’s UN presentation photographs below).
For example, OM Holdings, a China-linked off-shore company, based in Bermuda, which is investing in a manganese smelter, has offered a raft of deals and contracts to the Taib business interests, including building contracts and a 20% share in their Sarawak subsidiary company.

Me and my boss – signing up with OM Holdings (from Sarawak’s submission to the UN)
Likewise, Rio Tinto Alcan pulled out of its planned aluminium smelter after Sarawak Report exposed how a similar deal had been forged with the Taibs.
The Sarawak state submission to the UN is plastered with pictures of Torstein Sjotveit and Taib Mahmud (above and below) signing deals with heavy electricity consuming smelting industries, all of which have seen major contracts going to the Chief Minister’s own companies.
These include the Press Metal Aluminium smelters:

Me and my boss – the RM8.2million SEB cable transmission contract for Press Metal went to Taib family’s Sarawak Cable (photos from the SEB presentation to the UN)
The deals with Tokuyama silicon factory and Asia Minerals’ Manganese Smelter also reward Sarawak Cable with both the transmission line contracts awarded by SEB:

Me and my boss – no sign of Chairman Hamed Sepawi as Chief Minister Taib Mahmud presides over the self-enriching deals sealed by SEB’s Torstein Sjotveit.
Yet there are growing concerns over the introduction of such industries with a record of lethal pollution in China and elsewhere.
This is particularly since there have been several reports and complaints about health problems and the death of vegetation surround the existing Press Metal plant in Mukah.

Me and my boss – yet another big transmission line project for the Taib family’s Sarawak Cable (photo, SEB presentation to the UN)
NGOs are concerned there has been no independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessments that would reassure objective observers that the interests of the local population and of this incredibly sensitive rainforest environment are being protected.
After all, the man in charge of Sarawak’s National Resources and Environmental Board (NREB) is the Planning & Resources Minister, none other than Taib Mahmud himself!
It is therefore plain to see that what is being trumpeted in the name of ‘public interest’, is in fact generating fantastic private profits for Taib himself, thanks to the compliance of SEB’s US$1.2million a year energy boss, Torstein Sjotveit.
United Nations

Objective on the matter of SCORE or a well-rewarded insider – former State Attorney J C Fong
Sjotveit performed a further favour for Taib by sending his Australian Vice-President Nick Wright to Geneva last week to present a paperclaiming that the State of Sarawak and Sarawak Energy have not violated a single aspect of human or indigenous rights in the state.
At the time, no less than six native blockades were in progress protesting the callous implementation of the Murum Dam forced resettlement and also the starting of works on the Baram Dam, which Sjotveit told the UN was not yet even decided.
Giving Sarawak’s verbal presentation in favour of the dams to the  UN was Taib Mahmud’s favourite trouble-shooter, the former State Attorney, J C Fong.
But, how appropriate and subjective could this spokesman be, given that Fong is also one of the key Directors of Sarawak Cable, the company that has been receiving the lion’s share of the contracts, working alongside the Chief Minister’s son Abu Bekir Taib?

Disinterest voice on behalf of the Sarawak people or a businessman on the make?
The fact that J C Fong also has acquired a hefty 1 million shares in the company making him one of the largest individual shareholders is yet another example of how the SCORE programme represents private interests and not the public interest in Sarawak.


Sarawak Energy Retreats From Baram! (For Now)

Sarawak Energy Retreats From Baram! (For Now)

This post is also available in: IbanMalay

Protest works for now….
Over the past few days news has come through from both of the main Baram Dam construction sites that Sarawak Energy (SEB) has beaten a retreat.
However, the local blockades, which are being manned by surrounding communities, remain in place to ward off further moves by the state owned company to re-start the dam building project.
The development represents a solid victory for the local people, who are adamantly opposed to the planned mega-dam, which will drive thousands from their homes and flood vast areas of rainforest.
And it is understood that the local Assemblyman Denis Ngau had urged Sarawak Energy to step back from its aggressive implementation of the project in the face of the swelling anger amongst his constituents.

Two sites were being developed in Long Lama and up river at Na’h
On the other hand, Ngau has sparked fury for suggesting that local rejection of the plans was owing to “ignorant” villagers being “hoodwinked and swayed by so-called human rights organisations and NGOs”.
One Tua Kampung copied to Sarawak Report a lengthy letter he wrote to Ngau in response to such claims, which expresses fury at the highest level of the community towards its YB:
“I do not know whether you are serious about giving out these comments or you are purely joking, or perhaps bluntly repeating what other BN politician (Lake’ Ja’au Taib) often says?
“I do not know whether to laugh or to cry, but I am very sure the souls of our ancestor whose graves are going to be drowned by the Baram dam will cry out loud and CURSES those who are strongly supporting the dam.” [Tua Kampung, Long Kavuk]
There is also clear concern that this attempt at a so-called “cooling off period” is merely a tactical retreat, while politicians do the Chief Minister’s bidding in trying to buy off certain members of the communities and undermine the leading figures in the protest.
Turning tail

Take your machinery away
The first reported retreat by SEB workers came on Thursday 25th October, when a team of some 30 geologists arrived at the main dam site in Na’h in the Upper Baram region to conduct a rock study on the area.
Locals confronted the team and told them to leave immediately.
The geologists, who had set up camp, at first requested to negotiate and then time to remove their equipment, but the local people said they wanted no negotiation since they had received no satisfaction from SEB and do not want the dam.
The team therefore left immediately without their equipment and the local people have reportedly let down the tents and covered the abandoned equipment, such as chainsaws and TV sets, with the canvass, secured by rocks to protect it from the rain and wind.

No decision made? Stop the hoodwinking attempts, since natives are not fooled.
This withdrawal was matched a few days later by the abandonment of works by some 30 Land & Survey Department staff, accompanied by 14 armed police, who had moved into the lower access road site in Middle Baram, near Long Lama.
Despite threats of arrest by the police, the locals of Long Lama immediately responded with a determined blockade, manned by up to 100 local people at all times.
As Ngau put it, the situation grew “very hot” and he was becoming fearful of confrontation (and doubtless the effects on his own popularity for supporting the dam).
Ngau asked SEB to withdraw their workers and equipment and by this weekend the company had removed 4 excavators and 3 bulldozers, which had been moved into the area.  The threats by their police escorts were therefore proven empty in a face of a united and determined population:
According to the police chief [Mohamed Osman] the protesting natives can be charged with preventing civil servants carrying out their duties where they can be held at any time, charged in court and jailed. [Bintulu Weekly]
All the personnel and police protection have now also left. Only one remaining item of heavy machinery reportedly remains, owing to suspected engine problems.
It should be noted that this team of workers in Long Lama had represented only an advance contingent for the site.  Accommodation has already been partly constructed for an army of further workers, who are due to work on building the access road to the dam.

Workers’ accommodation already under construction, meanwhile the UN is told “no decision has been made”
These works (another contract that appears to have been handed to one of the Chief Minister’s many interested companies PPES) have also now apparently been suspended.
One other positive victory for the locals came when a group of loggers was detained last week, who at first denied they were linked to Sarawak Energy.  They claimed they were merely operating a timber licence.

Solidarity – the blockaders cook fish for the community (caught from the threatened river)
However, when challenged to show their maps and licence the workers produced a map with a large SEB logo on it and details of the planned access road to the dam.
It emerged that the loggers had indeed been contracted by SEB to extract the marketable timber from the road site in advance of the construction work.
Lies and hypocrisy
It should be noted that these events were all taking place in Sarawak at the exact same time that representatives from the State Government and Sarawak Energy were claiming at the United Nations in Geneva that they were fully respecting indigenous rights and international dam building protocols and had not yet started on any such projects.
Just as they were rolling in heavy machinery to construct the workers’ quarters and felling timber for the access road, SEB representatives were standing up in Geneva to say that “has been no decision made” about whether to go ahead with the Baram Dam or any of the other proposed 12 Dam projects:
“The decision to proceed with any particular project will depend on an assessment of its sustainability in the light of the [International Hydropower Association] Protocol, customer demand and feasibility studies, comprehensive Social and Environmental Impact Assessment reports…..the State will need to endorse a Resettlement Action Plan before SEB makes it final investment decision”[Statement to the UN Oct 2013]
Sarawak Energy released press statements to back up these claims, again alleging the whole project is merely under consideration.  And the newly promoted Datuk Norwegian, SEB CEO Torstein Sjotveit, claimed in Malaysia’s leading business paper that no go ahead would be given for the Baram dam before it was ‘approved’ in late 2014!

Pending investment decision? So what has SEB borrowed 15 billion ringgit for?
The Chief Executive Officer, who has been handing hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of investments to his boss Taib Mahmud’s various family firms (including construction work to PPES already on the preparations underway for the Baram Dam) is also on record for denying that SEB has in fact already raised an enormous loan of RM15Billion for such projects.
Proof of the loan is in Malaysia’s official Register of Company Records, available to the public to see, despite the fact that Sarawak Energy has not issued its own Financial Statement/Annual Report to the public since 2010.
So much for the ‘best practices’ introduced by its Norwegian CEO!

SEB’s enormous off-shore “Islamic” loan was raised through a shadowy wealth management company rather than a major bank. Equity Trust also manages much of the Taib family investment interests in the British Virgin Islands.
Double standards make for standard tactics
Experienced observers recognise SEB’s deceptive claims to the UN as typical tactics. One former member of the NGO International Rivers, Kirk Herbertson, commented this weekend:
“A common trick of dam developers is to claim that “work has not started on the dam” and then label all of the activities at the dam site as merely “preparatory activities” that are somehow distinct from “actual construction on the dam.” This is a clever approach that allows the developers to keep working on the project for years sometimes and then later announce officially that construction has started, after the project is already mostly built. In Laos on the Mekong River, dam developers have used this approach successfully to confuse the media and have even claimed that the project is delayed when in fact construction is rapidly moving forward.”[Kirk Herbertson, International Rivers]
It is perhaps no coincidence therefore that Sarawak Energy announced at the UN that it had drawn lessons from a recent trip to Laos, where a highly destructive and controversial dam project is also currently underway.
Sarawak natives are unlikely to be reassured that the state’s Norwegian energy boss is taking lessons from Laos on the management Human Rights.
They have also made clear they are not in a mood to be ‘hoodwinked’ after all. However, in this case it is SEB and Taib’s political side-kicks who are doing the hoodwinking, not NGOs.

Signs in place, include construction company PPES, owned by the Taib family’s CMS


NationHome > News > Nation

Published: Saturday November 2, 2013 MYT 5:30:00 PM

Updated: Saturday November 2, 2013 MYT 6:31:22 PM

Sarawak seeking quick solution to Baram dam protests


Protestors have been manning the blockades since Oct 23.

MIRI: The Sarawak Government wants a quick solution to end the blockades staged by natives protesting the Baram hydro-electric dam project, which is causing the state significant losses in contractual payments.

Protests have brought work vital groundwork to prepare the site for the project to a standstill.

"The unrelenting blockades and protests are causing financial losses to the state because it had inked deals with private contractors to build the access road into the dam location at Long Kesse.

"Every day that the groundwork is halted means that the state will have to fork out compensation for the delays. It is proving to be costly because all groundwork at the dam site has shut down since Oct 23," said a source.

Sources told The Star on Saturday that state authorities are speaking to local community leaders in Ulu Baram to get them to stop the protests.

On Friday evening, a meeting was convened in Miri by senior officials from the state secretariat, with representatives from the Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), local BN politicians and more than a dozen community leaders and elders from Ulu Baram.

The Star learnt that deputy state secretary Datuk Ose Murang and Baram BN Youth chief Dennis Ngau, who is also Telang Usan assemblyman, were present.

Ngau, when contacted, declined to reveal details of the meeting, saying that he was not in a position to reveal any information.

He said that the meeting was fruitful.

"I cannot reveal exact details, but we are hopeful that the blockades will be resolved by next week and groundwork at the access road to the dam site will resume," he said.

In the meantime, the two main non-government environmental and human rights bodies that are supervising the blockades and protests - Save Sarawak Rivers and Baram People's Action Committee (BPAC) - continue to make their presence felt.

Save Sarawak Rivers chairman Peter Kallang and Baram People's Action Committee (BPAC) chairman Philip Jau said the protesting natives are still blocking the entrance to the proposed dam site as well as access roads.

"The protestors at the blockades had successfully chased out every worker at the site. The protesters are staying put," he said.

Large-scale simultaneous protests by natives from the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan ethnic groups in ulu Baram flared up suddenly on the morning of Oct 23.

More than 300 protestors are still manning the blockades day and night in an attempt to ensure no more construction works can be carried out by SEB or its contractors.

The 1,000-MW Baram Dam project is one of the 11 new dam projects that have been planned in Sarawak.

It will displace at least 20,000 natives from 25 longhouses and will drown an area half the size of Singapore.


Today @ 6th Nov, BARAM DAM issue went to court. Let wish them all the best, come and support them in our prayers.

Baram Dam: Long Na’ah, Long Kesseh folk sue CM, state govt

Posted on November 7, 2013, Thursday

MIRI: The people of Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh in Baram yesterday filed a suit against the chief minister and the state government over two plots of land affected by the proposed Baram Dam.

Filing the suit on behalf of plaintiffs Anyi Eng, Edward Jok Wan and Engan Engan, for the people of Long Na’ah, and Anyi Ajang, Malang Laeng and Wan Jok, from Long Kesseh, was activist Harrison Ngau.

They named Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, in his capacity as Minister of Resource Planning and Environment, as the first defendant and the state government of Sarawak as the second defendant.

“This is the first case we are filing, but there will be at least two cases. In this case, our ground is that we are challenging the constitutionality of Section 5(3) and 5(4) of the Sarawak Land Code,” Harrison told the reporters after filing the suit here.

“We are saying that the natives are part and parcel of the ancestral land and their rights over the land cannot be extinguished, and that Section 5(3) and 5(4) violated their right to the land.

“They will reply on the fact that the land, being their source of life, cannot be taken away or be extinguished by such law.”
Both lands (4,000 hectares) were said to be affected by the mammoth project in a directive said to be issued on Aug 6, 2013.

“The land within these two plots (Plot A and Plot B) is part of native customary land of the people of the two longhouses as they are within communal boundary of the two longhouses,” said Harrison.

He added that the same points were challenged in the Federal Court two years ago in a case against Bakun Dam.

“That case went up to the Federal Court, but somehow it was not answered. In fact, the judges did say there might be such cases in the future where the same points could be articulated again before the court.”

About 70 people from Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh gathered at the court to show their protest against the proposed Baram Dam. They chanted and shouted ‘Stop Baram Dam’, among others, but in a mild manner.

Present to show their support were Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling and Pujut assemblyman Fung Pau Teck.

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Embolden for change or face isolation, Dennis tells Orang Ulu

Borneo Post - Posted on November 3, 2013, Sunday

MIRI: 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.

Dennis said it is regretful that the proposed Baram Dam has been “prematurely rejected” by the people by staging protests and erecting blockades at the proposed site recently.

“The protest and blockade could be seen as an indication and lead some people to think that they are rejecting the project (wholesale) which will be a catalyst for socio-economic development and progress in Baram and its people,” he said.

Reminding the people to be calm and rational over the issue and not to be overruled by their emotion, anger and ‘just following the beat’, Dennis assured that the mammoth project – which could be the main transformation programme for Baram – is still in its proposal stage with investigation underway on whether it is suitable to be a dam site.

“It is too premature for them to protest or reject (outright) the proposed project when we or they too don’t know whether it (Baram Dam) is going to take off. The current study is not only confined to the taking of soil and stone samples and other matters but investigates its impact on both people and environment. I don’t know why they protest something that we or they don’t know if it is going to take off or not,” he added.

In this context, Dennis urged the community to look at the proposed Baram Dam from every angle and perspective and not to be clouded by anger leading them to protest and erect blockades.
As such, he added that it is important for the Orang Ulu community to have an open mind and be more receptive to development programmes and activities which by the end of the day, will benefit them and the whole area of Baram, he added.
“It is important for the community to be united with other communities, working hand-in-hand and co-operate with others. They cannot be on their own and stay away from others,” Dennis said.

“The most important (thing) for the people, especially the younger generation, is to be willing to accept and adopt changes. Get yourself ready with education and necessary skills to meet future needs and demand in knowledgeable and skilful manpower. All these are achievable through education and their willingness to accept development and changes,” he said.

Baram will definitely need growth and development. All that is needed is for the people, especially the younger generation, to be ready in every aspect, Dennis surmised.

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Hentikan sekatan sebelum tindakan diambil, kata Sabtu

Posted on November 2, 2013, Saturday

KUCHING: Masyarakat yang terlibat dalam membuat sekatan di Ulu Baram, Miri dinasihatkan agar menghentikan tindakan itu serta-merta sebelum tindakan undang-undang diambil terhadap mereka.

Pesuruhjaya Polis Sarawak Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman berkata, pihaknya boleh mengambil tindakan pada bila-bila masa terhadap mereka yang terlibat jika keadaan tersebut berlarutan.

Justeru, beliau meminta kerjasama pihak berkaitan serta badan-badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) agar me­nasihati masyarakat yang terlibat serta mencari jalan terbaik untuk menyelesaikan perkara tersebut.

“Saya mohon agar hentikan sekatan-sekatan tersebut serta-merta kerana mereka boleh didakwa menghalang penjawat awam di mana mereka boleh ditahan pada bila-bila masa sahaja dan didakwa di mahkamah serta dipenjarakan,” ujarnya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang media selepas Perhimpunan Bulanan Pesuruhjaya Polis Kon­tinjen Sarawak di Padang Kawat Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen (IPK) Sarawak semalam.

Sabtu berkata, masyarakat yang terlibat sepatutnya berbincang den­gan kerajaan negeri untuk menye­lesaikan kemelut terbabit.

“Kepada pihak-pihak tertentu, hentikan daripada terus menye­barkan serta memberi kesan-kesan negatif sehingga boleh mencetuskan keadaan di luar batasan.

“Datanglah ke meja rundingan kerana saya percaya kerajaan negeri sentiasa berbincang untuk mencari jalan yang terbaik, jangan jadikan keadaan bertambah huru-hara,” katanya.

Sabtu semasa perhimpunan bu­lanan tersebut turut menyampaikan Sijil Anugerah Pencapaian Cemer­lang 2012 dan Sijil Perhargaan kepada 66 pegawai serta anggota polis.


Sarawak Police Chief Told Baram Dam Protests To Stop Or Risk Arrest

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A log block the road leading to the proposed Baram hydrolectric dam site at Long Lama. (photo: Facebook / Caroline Nyurang)
A log block the road leading to the proposed Baram hydrolectric dam site at Long Lama. (photo: Facebook / Caroline Nyurang)
The week-long blockades against the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam by the natives at Ulu Baram begin to show sign of agitating the authorities.

Sarawak police Police Commissioner Datuk Muhammad Osman Sabtu speaking at a press conference after the Monthly Assembly of Sarawak police contingent in Kuching said communities involved in the blockades should stop immediately before legal action being taken against them.
According to the police chief the protesting natives can be charged with preventing civil servants carrying out their duties where they can be held at any time, charged in court and jailed.
Sabtu said the Ulu Baram natives – predominantly Kayan and Kenyah – should discuss with the state government to resolve the issues amicably.
“Come to the negotiating table because I believe the state government willing to discuss and find the best solutions to resolve the issue and do not make it into a chaotic situation ,” he said.
Several areas – including the access road at Long Lama, Long Naah and Long Kesseh the proposed Baram dam site have been blocked, surveyors and Sarawak Energy workers collecting rock samples in the areas have all move out.
The state police chief said police could stop the protest at any time, if it continues, without specifically mentioning when such operation will be mounted.
As of Friday, the protesting natives said there were no sign of the authorities will reign-in to stop their blockades.
“As per today there is none police or armed forces around but there is an army plane on last Friday passing by KM15 ( the protest site) which we believe to come and monitor us,” the group said when contacted yesterday.

Baram Hydroelectric Dam Protests 2013 In Pictures

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Baram dam protest group preparing to go up the Baram river 2013. (Facebook/Caroline Nyurang)
The protests involving 20-longhouses described by Telang Usan state assemblyman Dennis Ngau as having reached “serious levels” against Baram hydroelectric dam had gone on for nearly a week contrary to news report it was spontaneous, one-off protest.
The group said the protest have always been peaceful, far from being ‘threatening’ as described in the local press. It is an on-going effort to delay, if not altogether stop the State Government plan to build the Baram dam, they said.
The group also confirmed they had persuaded (not chasing) teams of surveyors from Miri, Sarikei, Sibu and Limbang; workers carrying out rock-testing and drillings at the proposed dam site at Long Kesseh to leave their respective camps as indicated by Caroline Nyurang posts on her Facebook wall.
The Baram Dam project that has been approved by the state government is located between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200km inland from Miri.
Natives continue to protest against Baram Dam

 | October 24, 2013

Hundreds of indigenous people in Sarawak in protest against a proposed mega-dam have set up blockades in a bid to stop construction work.

PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of indigenous people reportedly erected two roadblocks in the Baram district of Sarawak yesterday to halt the proposed mega-dam planned by state-owned energy provider Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

According to a Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) press statement, the natives have set up camps near the blockades for as long as necessary.

“According to the community information received today, one blockade has been erected near Long Lama, a small town on the banks of the Baram river. A second blockade has been set up near the proposed dam site,” BMF said.

“The blockade sites have been chosen strategically to prevent (SEB) from transporting machinaries and construction equipment to the planned dam site.”

Natives from the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan district were also reportedly calling on all SEB employees and its contractors to stop work on the dam and leave the district.

The native landowners claimed that the dam, which would be built along the Baram river, would encroach on their ancestral lands and rights.

The planned dam would displace up to 20,000 people and submerge over 400km² of the rainforest, according to BMF.

The NGO said yesterday the construction of the access road was ongoing and workers in the area had begun preparing to work on the dam.

“It is unacceptable that any works should commence before the Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) has been carried out,” Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network chairperson Peter Kallang was quoted as saying.

The setting up of the blockades came a day ahead of a key United Nations meeting in Geneva today on Malaysia’s human rights record, further pressuring the government here.

This was not the first time that Malaysia and SEB were facing protest from indignant natives. Since Sept 17, about 200 Penans had ben rallying against their resettlement due to SEB’s construction of the RM4 billion Murum dam


Published: Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 7:58:00 PM
Updated: Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 9:35:40 PM
Natives protesting proposed Baram Dam erect blockades, chase out workers

Villagers manning a blockade on the road leading to Long Kesseh.

MIRI: The protests in Ulu Baram in central Sarawak staged by the natives from more than 20 longhouses against the proposed Baram Dam project has heated up, with Telang Usan state assemblyman Dennis Ngau describing the controversies there as having reached "serious levels".
Ngau, who is Baram BN Youth chief, told The Star Saturday that latest information indicated that protestors have chased out workers carrying out rock-testing and drillings at the proposed dam site at Long Kesseh, and erected several blockades on the road leading into the site.
He expressed worry at the recent situation at the site of the dam.
"I wanted to go into Ulu Baram to meet the protestors at the site, but I have been warned not to enter the area yet.
"The situation there is at serious levels. The protestors are very aggressive. They are chasing out all the workers there.
"I was told that the protestors have torn down the workers' camps, the temporary office and also disrupted works at the site in Long Kesseh. "They have also dismantled some equipment at the site.
"At this stage, it is not safe for me or any government officials to enter the area as yet. I leave it to the relevant enforcement authorities to take the necessary actions," he said.
The Baram Dam project that has been approved by the state government is located between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200km inland from Miri.
Ngau said Sarawak Energy Bhd workers are carrying out drilling and rock-testing in Long Naah and Long Kesseh to check the stability of the site where the main 174m-high dam wall will be built.
Environmental group Save Sarawak Rivers's chairman Peter Kallang told The Star that protestors came from more than 20 longhouses.
"The protests started on Oct 23 and then built up momentum, with more villages coming and taking part in the protests and manning the blockades day and night.
"About 30 workers who were carrying out drilling and testing on the rock surface there were chased out.
"The protestors also chased out several dozen Land and Survey Department officials who were at the site carrying out surveys for the dam project.
"There is a series of simultaneous protests and blockades along strategic points and work on the dam site had been halted," he said.
Ngau said that he spoke Baram MP Anyi Ngau, and they were planning to enter ulu Baram to try to sort out the situation before things got worse.
"I don't know how long the protests will last, but I don't want the situation to get worse or (escalate) into physical confrontation because that would not benefit anyone," he said.

Sarawak natives blockade entry road to site of Baram dam
OCTOBER 24, 2013
Map of Murum dam blockaded last month.Hundreds of Sarawak natives yesterday began a blockade against the construction of a new dam set to force them from their homes, activists said.
The Baram dam is the latest in a series of controversial hydroelectric mega-dams planned by the Sarawak government as it pushes economic development in one of Malaysia's poorest states.
Indigenous Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people began blocking the main entry road to the dam's location and the site where the dam's developer, state-owned Sarawak Energy (SEB), had stored its heavy machinery yesterday afternoon, according to NGO, Save Sarawak's Rivers Network.
Save Rivers chairman Peter Kallang said in a Facebook posting late yesterday they were "camping at the blockade to show their determination against the construction of this bloody dam" after being inspired by a blockade that began last month against the filling of the nearby Murum Dam.
The group's vice-chairman Raymond Abin told AFP Thursday the blockade was still going on.
"The call is to stop the project and all activities related to the construction of the dam because SEB is starting soil investigation," he said.
The building spree of hydroelectric dams has been dogged by controversy as activists allege corruption while indigenous people complain it has flooded rainforests and uprooted tens of thousands of people.
While the Baram dam is expected to generate 1,200 megawatts of power, activists claim it will flood 400 square kilometres of rainforest and displace 20,000 tribespeople.
The government of resource-rich Sarawak says it hopes a plentiful supply of hydropower from the state's powerful jungle rivers will attract new industries.
Sarawak Energy has insisted that displaced villagers are being compensated fairly. It could not be reached for immediate comment on the Baram blockade.
Swiss-based activists at the Bruno Manser Fund, which has repeatedly accused Sarawak's longtime chief minister Taib Mahmud of corruption, said that the protests would add to scrutiny on Malaysia's human rights record.
"The latest blockades add pressure on the Malaysian government ahead of a key UN meeting in Geneva. Malaysia's human rights records will be discussed tomorrow by the Human Rights Council on the occasion of a country review," they said in a statement yesterday.
Sarawak is home to the already-operating 2,400-megawatt Bakun dam, which Transparency International has condemned as a graft-plagued ecological catastrophe. - AFP, October 24, 2013.

MIRI - About 450 villagers made up of different ethnic groups from all over Baram in Sarawak gathered at a normally sleepy town of Long Lama on Monday to demonstrate peacefully and show their displeasure towards some of their community leaders for supporting the proposed RM4 billion Baram hydro-electric dam.

Banners and placards stating "Stop Baram Dam" and "Stop Mega Dams" were unfurled during the demonstration followed by cries from the villagers to call on the government and the relevant authorities to listen to their pleas.

The demonstration started at around 10am, outside the Long Lama Sub-District Office and then the villagers proceeded to march around town shouting slogans "Stop Baram Dam" in the different ethnic Orang Ulu dialects.

Police presence in Long Lama was heavy including a police helicopter flying overhead scanning the situation on the ground.

It was learnt that there were about 100 police personnel assigned with also a few riot police being mobilised.

However, no untoward incident happened and the demonstration proceeded smoothly with the crowd only dispersing about an hour later.

Philip Jau, Chairman of Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) addressed the crowd saying that the majority of the people in Baram rejected the proposed Baram dam and the community leaders should not be made used by certain politicians in the government with vested interest.

"Our community leaders should stand strong and listen to the people's concerns instead of being easily manipulated by politicians with vested interest in this project," Jau said.

Meanwhile, the Baram Native Court has struck out a case against a community leader, Temenggong Pahang Deng, for allegedly violating the Kayan-Kenyah Adet (customs) by claiming that the Kayan-Kenyah community supported the construction of the dam project.

The case was dismissed by the court, presided over by Penghulu Lenjau Kuleh, on technical grounds, said Save Sarawak's Rivers Network secretary Mark Bujang today.

The case against Pahang was brought by a Kenyah farmer Darus Katan from Lonh Tap, Akah, in Long Lama district of Baram.

Katan is now considering appealing to the Native Court of Appeal against the decision, said Bujang.

Katan took the court action after failing to get Pahang to retract his statement in a local newspaper on May 18, 2012 that the Kayan-Kenyah community gave its support for the construction of the Baram Dam.

Pahang was quoted saying: "After initial misgivings, the people who will be affected by the Baram Hydro Electric Project (HEP) have collectively agreed to give their support to its implementation."

Katan claimed that Pahang's statement was wrong, false and misleading and had created a lot of confusion and anger among the majority of the Kayan-Kenyah community in Baram.

Supporters of Pahang numbering about 90 people had organised a "counter demonstration" inside the Long Lama Sub-District Office on Monday. They comprised mostly headmen and community leaders including Senator Lihan Jok and the state assemblyman for Telang Usan, Dennis Ngau.

Full article:
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Wakil gagal menyerahkan memorandum bantah projek Empangan Baram

Posted on February 4, 2013, Monday

MIRI: Wakil penduduk di Baram mendakwa gagal dalam usaha mereka menyerahkan memorandum protes terhadap pembinaan projek Empangan Hidroelektrik Baram (Empangan Baram).

Memorandum tersebut sepatutnya diserahkan kepada Ketua Masyarakat Orang Ulu di Baram Temenggung Pahang Ding pada 29 Januari lalu, bagaimanapun tidak kesampaian setelah ketua masyarakat itu enggan menerimanya.

Wakil penduduk yang juga Timbalan Pengerusi PKR Cawangan Baram Roland Engan berkata beliau kecewa kerana gagal menyerahkan memorandum tersebut yang mengandungi tandatangan penduduk.

Menurut Roland, beliau datang sendiri ke pejabat ketua masyarakat terbabit di sini, pada jam 4 petang untuk menyerahkan memorandum tersebut, bagaimanapun enggan diterima oleh Temenggung Pahang Ding.

Memorandum tersebut dakwanya, mengandungi senarai nama dan tandatangan seramai 7,418 orang yang memprotes cadangan dan pembinaan projek tersebut, sebagai membuktikan bahawa mereka tidak pernah bersetuju dengan projek Empangan Baram sebagaimana yang diuar-uarkan sebelum ini.

“Nama dan tandatangan penduduk telah diperolehi kami semasa program ‘Baram Waves’ di Long Lama pada 20 Januari lalu,” dakwa Roland lagi sambil menambah, acara tersebut merupakan program kerjasama PKR Baram dengan Jawatankuasa Perlindungan Baram yang diketuai oleh Philip Jau.

“Kami melawat semua kampung di sepanjang Sungai Baram terutama yang terjejas secara langsung dengan cadangan projek pembinaan empangan tersebut,” tambahnya.

Menurut Roland, walaupun memorandum itu tidak diterima oleh Temenggung Pahang, namun ia merupakan kata putus rakyat yang sudah disuarakan bagi menafikan dakwaan kononnya penduduk menerima cadangan projek tersebut.

“Kami amat menghormati Temenggung (Pahang Ding) sebagai seorang ketua yang cukup disegani, justeru kami merayu beliau prihatin dan bertanggungjawab terhadap penjagaan ke atas masyarakat Orang Ulu di Baram,” katanya.


Stop the Dams!

Massive hydroelectric dams in Sarawak are destroying the remaining forests of the region while violating the rights of the indigenous people who have called that land home for generations. And it gets worse… the Malaysian government is planning on building 12 additional dams. 
The people of Sarawak know what happens when dams are built in remote areas of the province. The government may promise that people will be relocated to prime locations and will be given new homes and good schools, yet the reality never lives up to the promises. According to International Rivers, the Bakun dam, which was finished in 2010, put 700 square kilometers of virgin rainforest and prime farmland under water. An estimated 9,000 native residents, mainly from the Kayan/Kenyah indigenous group, were relocated and were forced to pay close to US$15,000 for homes, despite being subsistence farmers with no previous participation in the Sarawakian economy. Read more about the Bakun Dam.
Indigenous leaders in affected areas — especially on the Baram River– have stood up against dam expansion. As they state: “Flood from the dam and the infrastructure associated with the construction will definitely bring irreparable damage to the whole environment. It will destroy a heritage for which all Malaysian or human race should respect and harness.” Read more from the President of the Orang Ulu Association in Miri. Recently, it was announced that the Baram Dam would be put on hold, and that the Baleh Dam would go ahead first (read more). 
Now is the time to take action against dam expansion. The Borneo Project’s allies and partners — particularly theBorneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples, and Communities’ Information and Communication Center (CICOM) — are leading the charge against dam expansion. The Borneo Project is supporting their work through helping  with funding for educational projects, bringing international awareness to the issue, and  campaigning against those are pushing these dams through, like Taib and his cronies.
For the latest information on the fight against dam expansion in Malaysia, be sure to follow our website,


Natives refuse to join Baram dam assessment study

·                     Jenny Denton

·                     5:32PM Aug 31, 2013

The native community who faces displacement by the massive hydroelectric dam project proposed for Sarawak's second-longest river have been protesting against the plan by refusing to provide information for a Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) of the project.

Community leaders at Tanjung Tepalit, Long San, Long Tap and Ba Abang in the upper reaches of the Baram river toldMalaysiakini last month that the majority of people in their kampungs had refused to give information to visiting consultants, saying they did not agree with the government's plans to flood their villages.

State energy company Sarawak Energy has contracted consultants Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd to carry out the SEIA study, which, under state law and international project development guidelines, needs to be completed before approval can be given and work on the dam can begin.

Staff from Chemsain are attempting to interview people in the 32 affected longhouses to collect detailed information about their households and income, including the extent and value of land, crops and houses, for the "contemporary ethnography" component of the study.

But a large majority of affected residents are opposed to the dam, which would submerge an area of 388 square kilometres encompassing the homes and ancestral lands of around 20,000 Dayak people.

Village headman James Nyurang Usan (left) said his kampung, Tanjung Tepalit, had agreed at a meeting not to cooperate with the survey process and he had told the visiting Chemsain workers it was not needed.

"I told them on behalf of the kampung people that so far we don't accept the project, so this SEIA is not necessary to be conducted at our kampung at the moment," he said.

He also objected to a lack of openness about the survey and the fact that those who completed forms were not given copies of them.

"Though I tried to obtain the form from one of the consultants, they refused to give it to me. They said this thing is secret and only those who fill in the form know what is in it."
Lack of openness in survey

Meanwhile, Anthony Lawai, from Long San, said that around 80 percent of people in his kampung had refused to fill out the forms.

People in the Baram area did not want the dam, the former Baran district councillor said, and there had been a lack of open information and discussion about the government's plans.

He also said the consultants' process of going from house to house to interview people was inappropriate.

"The most important thing in our culture is we must gather for dialogue. You must talk publicly. Why go room by room to interview people? The bright people, of course they refused."

The chairperson of anti-dam group Save Sarawak's Rivers Network (Save Rivers), Peter Kallang (left), claimed that Baram residents were being asked to indicate in the survey whether or not they agreed with the dam when details of their proposed resettlement and compensation have not yet been provided to them.

He also pointed to a lack of openness and clarity about the survey process, saying that interviewers were telling people if they didn't provide the information, they would get no compensation when the dam was built.

It appears that trust, as well as clear information is lacking in relation to the proposed dam and its SEIA process, with many people saying they are not being represented by their government-appointed headmen.

"They use our leaders to betray their own people, their family, their relatives," alleged Long San shopkeeper Jane Lusang (topmost photo). "Money controls their mentality."

Lusing said she sent away the two Chemsain staff who came to interview her.

"I told them, ‘I only have one answer for you: frankly speaking I don't want that Baram dam'. I didn't entertain them to come in to interview me. I just said I don't want that Baram dam."

Peter said the anti-dam campaign had been advising people not to cooperate with the Chemsain consultants, and that many people from affected longhouses who now live in towns had also refused to take part in the surveys at meetings held in Miri in July and August.
Survey to provide clearer picture

In an emailed response to questions, Chemsain said that information sessions on the proposed dam had been conducted in the villages and that headmen and community leaders had agreed to take part in the survey.

The company cited logistical issues as the reason people had been refused copies of their questionnaires and said these were now being delivered on request and that completed forms would be kept in its office in Kuching, where anybody could view them.

The company further said the purpose of the survey was to collect information that would "paint a clear picture of the current way of life of the affected communities", and not to assess compensation entitlements.

But it is unclear whether this show of opposition will be quantified and considered in the results of the study.

"We can only take note and report that some villagers refuse to participate in the survey.

"As they don't want to disclose their details such as names, and number of family members, it will be a challenge later on to verify their refusal as we could not capture accurate data of those who have refused," the Chemsain's statement said.

Both Chemsain and Sarawak Energy have emphasised that the survey was not a referendum and that no decision had yet been made about the dam.

But early in August the Sarawak's Resource Planning and Environment Ministry published notice of its intention to gazette over 4,000 hectares of land for the Baram dam project, and Sarawak's Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud recently told a gathering in Sarawak he was "waiting for the dams at Baram and Baleh to be built".

JENNY DENTON is a freelance journalist from Australia who has been following developments in the Baram dam for a year, and travelled to Sarawak this year on research. She is completing post-graduate journalism at Monash University in Melbourne this year.
~ Malaysiakini


Anti-Baram dam demonstration in Miri

 | April 17, 2012

A Sarawak-based NGO alleged that the government has been very secretive in dealing with the people in Baram to get them to agree to the dam project.

MIRI: Some 30 members of Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) and concerned local citizens held a peaceful demonstration yesterday in front of a leading hotel here where Senator Lihan Jok was meeting with community leaders over the Baram Hydro-electric dam project.
The demonstrators holding banners and placards even under heavy police presence clearly stated their displeasure at the Sarawak State Government’s insistence to go forward with the controversial dam project.
The demonstration started at 2 pm and lasted for half an hour before the police told them to disperse.
Earlier on, church leaders were also invited to attend the meeting with the Senator.
Said SAVE Rivers chairman, Peter Kallang: “We in the SAVE Rivers Network have just come back from our visit to various longhouses in Baram.
“At our meetings with them and during private interviews which are electronically recorded (on audio and video), practically all of the villagers do not want the dam to be built.”
Kallang stressed that he does not want to see their community and church leaders being used and abused by the government to force the people to accept the dam project.
“If the government is sincere in bringing development and power supply to the rural areas why don’t they develop micro-hydro projects?
“We do not want this sort of destructive project which permanently destroys the environment and deprives our people of their land and properties.
“This is not the so called ‘development’ we want.” added Kallang.

Secret deals
Philip Jau from Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) which is also one of the community based organisation in SAVE Rivers Network said that the government has been very secretive in dealing with the people in Baram to get them to agree to the dam project.
“The people of Baram really oppose this dam project. We don’t oppose development per se, but the dam project is not the development we want and any development projects being put forward by the government should be done in a transparent and just manner.” said Jau.
Meanwhile Mark Bujang from Borneo Resources Institute, Malaysia (BRIMAS) questioned the state government on the status of the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment studies.

“Why does the government want the Baram Dam to be built urgently, when these studies are yet to be carried out?” questioned Bujang.


Bruno Manser Fund publishes secret Baram dam map

(BASEL, SWITZERLAND) The Bruno Manser Fund has today disclosed an exclusive map showing the extent of the proposed Baram mega dam whose realization is bound to cause a social and environmental disaster in Malaysian Borneo. The proposed 1000 MW Baram dam is one of twelve dams authorities in the Malaysian state of Sarawak are planning to build following the completion of the 2400 MW Bakun dam.

View the exclusive map here (623kB):

According to the map based on intelligence and calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund, the 162 meter high Baram dam would flood a rainforest area of 412 km2 (41'200 hectares) and at least 26 indigenous villages, causing the displacement of up to 20,000 Sarawak natives. The dam is being planned by the Sarawak state government and Sarawak Energy, the implementing agency, in violation of international transparency standards. 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.

The proposed dam would cause havoc for the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan culture in the upper reaches of the Baram river, one of Borneo's great rainforest streams. Many of their villages would be submerged and would literally cease to exist. Traditional longhouse communities in the dam's downstream areas would also have to face drastic changes and pollution of the riverine ecosystem, affecting river transport, fishery, irrigation and access to drinking water.

According to information obtained by the Bruno Manser Fund, the following villages and longhouse communities would cease to exist upon construction of the dam:

Village / Longhouse
1   Long Na'ah -Kayan
2   Long Liam - Kayan
3   Long Tebangan - Kayan
4   Long Anyat - Kayan
5   Ba Keluan - Western Penan
6   Long Beku - Western Penan
7   Long Luding - Western Penan
8   Long Item - Eastern Penan
9   Long Dilo - Eastern Penan
10 Long Lutin - Eastern Penan
11 Long Kawi - Eastern Penan
12 Long Segayang - Eastern Penan
13 Ba Abang / Long Sepatai - Eastern Penan
14 Long San - Regional Centre (mainly Kenyah)
15 Long Tap - Kenyah
16 Long Selatong Dikan - Kenyah
17 Long Selatong Tanjung Tepalit - Kenyah
18 Long Apu - Kenyah
19 Long Julan - Kenyah
20 Long Julan Pelutan - Kenyah
21 Long Anap - Kenyah
22 Long Palai - Kenyah
23 Long Silat - Kenyah
24 Long Selawan - Kenyah
25 Long Je'eh - Kenyah
26 Long Makabar - Kenyah

Downstream villages and longhouses that are to be negatively affected by the dam plans include the regional centers of Marudi and Long Lama as well as the villages and longhouse of Long Keseh, Long Pila, Long Laput, Kejaman, Long Pelutan, Uma Bawang and others.

The Bruno Manser Fund calls on the Sarawak state government and on Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) as implementing agency to halt all further works on the controversial project and immediately release all official studies on the planned Baram dam.


Orang Asal Baram: Jangan tenggelamkan rumah kami
10:37AM Sep 19 2012

 Sekumpulan kira-kira 50 Orang Asal dari Baram mengadakan protes di hadapan bangunan sekretariat negeri Sarawak di Kuching semalam, membantah projek mega empangan yang akan menenggelamkan rumah panjang mereka.

Mereka daripada 18 rumah panjang di Baram Hulu dan Tengah juga menyerahkan petisyen yang mengandungi lebih 1,000 tandatangan kepada Pejabat Ketua Menteri Sarawak.

Petisyen itu menyuarakan tentangan mereka terhadap rancangan membina empangan mega di Baram yang akan membanjiri kawasan tersebut seluas separuh saiz Singapura, serta menenggelamkan tanah nenek moyang mereka, rumah dan ladang-ladang di situ.Dalam satu kenyataan semalam, Preiden Jaringan Orang Asal seMalaysia (Joas), Thomas Jalong, yang berasal dari Long Anap, Baram, berkata empangan itu akan menjejaskan kehidupan penduduk asal tempatan.

"Empangan akan pasti menenggelamkan tanah nenek moyang
dengan lebih 20,000 penduduk dan dalam proses itu, ia akan mengakibatkan kami kehilangan rumah kita," katanya.

Dengan itu, katanya, mereka secara tidak adil akan kehilangan tanah mereka, sumber mata pencarian dan rezeki, dan menghadapi masa depan yang tidak menentu,

Menurutnya, tanah itu bukan semata-mata sahaja menjadi sumber ekonomi bagi komuniti Orang Asal tetapi penting kepada identiti sosial, kebudayaan, kerohanian dan politik mereka.
12 empangan mega dirancang

Sementara itu, Rangkaian Selamatkan Sungai Sarawak (Save Rivers), sebuah gabungan yang dibentuk untuk menentang pembinaan 12 empangan mega yang dirancang bagi Sarawak, berkata bantahan itu diadakan untuk mendesak kerajaan mematuhi Deklarasi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu mengenai Hak Orang Asal.
Presidennya, Peter Kallang berkata kerajaan negeri Sarawak
perlu menghentikan semua kerja di atas jalan akses ke empangan kerana ia sudah pun menjejaskan masyarakat Orang Asal.

Malah, wakil Jawatankuasa Bertindak Lindungi Baram, Philip Jau berkata perancangan untuk pembinaan empangan Baram tidak pernah telus.

"Mereka tidak bertanya rakyat pandangan mereka mengenai rancangan membina empangan tetapi sebaliknya telah memulakan kerja mengukur jalan masuk ke projek itu," kata Philip.


Orang Ulu sokong projek empangan Baram

 | May 19, 2012

Malah mereka yang menetap di 24 buah rumah panjang di sekitar projek pembangunan itu mahu pelaksanaannya dipercepatkan, kata Alfred Jabu.

KUCHING: Kira-kira 10,000 masyarakat Orang Ulu yang terjejas dengan pembangunan Empangan Hidroeletrik Baram, Miri sebulat suara hari ini menyokong penuh cadangan pembinaan projek yang mampu menghasilkan lebih 1,000 megawatt (MW) berkenaan.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang berkata malah mereka yang menetap di 24 buah rumah panjang di sekitar projek pembangunan itu mahu pelaksanaannya dipercepatkan.

Menurutnya, Persekutuan Orang Ulu Malaysia (Forum) yang mewakili sembilan kumpulan etnik Orang Ulu di situ juga merestui pembangunan yang bakal memberi limpahan ekonomi selain meningkatkan taraf hidup penduduk di kawasan itu.

“Dengan kemampuan hidroelektrik berkenaan menghasilkan lebih 1,000 mw tenaga elektrik, ia akan menjadikan Baram terus berpotensi untuk dimajukan sejajar dengan pembangunan yang sedang rancak dilaksanakan di negeri ini sekarang.

“Saya percaya, dengan adanya hidroelektrik itu nanti, Baram tidak lagi digelar sebagai sebuah kawasan yang ketinggalan daripada arus pembangunan,” katanya.

Mengulas lanjut, Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar itu memberitahu penduduk yang terjejas dengan projek tersebut akan mendapat pembelaan daripada kerajaan.

Katanya, kerajaan telah pun merancang pembangunan Perkampungan Baru Abad Ke-21 sebagai kawasan penempatan semula bagi mereka yang terjejas.

“Pada masa sama kerajaan juga akan melaksanakan kerja menaik taraf jalan balak termasuk jalan menuju ke projek empangan itu bagi mempermudahkan perhubungan orang ramai khususnya penduduk di kawasan berkenaan,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Presiden Forum, Gerawat Gala memberitahu mereka telah pun mencapai kata sepakat antara kerajaan negeri serta agensi pelaksana selain pemimpin akar umbi bagi tujuan pembinaan projek berkenaan.

“Kami yakin, suara kami yang mewakili penduduk di 850 buah pintu rumah panjang terbabit di sini akan menjadi suara majoriti,” katanya.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Good reports. Here you can see how much the evil of money can influance ppl till they forget they own ppl & origin.