Police reports against SEB for trespassing and unlawfully doing works for Baram Dam

18 June 2012 

Press Statement
For Immediate Release
MIRI – Two police reports were lodged against Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) by a villager from Long Kesseh, Upper Baram and by Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) for illegal trespassing on Long Kesseh’s Native Customary Land and unlawfully starting works on the proposed Baram Dam.

The first report was lodged by Mr. Ding Ngau at the Miri Central Police Station on the 24th May 2012, who complained about an intrusion into the family’s land by a group of workers who were drilling the ground.

“I questioned the workers but I was totally ignored. That is why I made this police report and request the police and relevant authority to take action,” said Ding.

The second report was made by Mr. Peter Kallang, Chairman of SAVE Rivers on 8th June 2012 also at the Miri Central Police Station.

Peter who also hails from Baram, stated in his report that on the 7th June 2012 at about 3.30pm, while on his way back to Miri from Upper Baram, he saw a tent erected at KM8 on Samling’s logging road, not far from Samling’s logging camp at KM10.

Peter together with representatives from Long Na’ah, Long Anap, Long Liam, Long Laput, Long Kesseh, Long San, Long Tungan and other villagers from Baram decided to investigate the tent.

“We were driving down from Ulu Baram to Miri on the Samling Road when we saw a tent.

“We decided to stop and asked the people at the tent, and they said that they were employees of SEB doing geological studies for the proposed Baram Dam,” explained Peter.

In view of so much opposition to the dam, Peter said that the action of SEB starting to conduct geological studies is unlawful and done with complete disregard for the people of Baram.

In the report he stated that the works done by SEB goes against laws like The Sarawak Natural Resources and Environmental (Prescribed Activities) Order 1994 which requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be done and approved before any work is carried out.

The report added that the people of Baram are not aware that any EIA has been done for this project yet.

On 10th June 2012, Mr. Dorus Katan Juman from Long Tap, Upper Baram and on behalf of a group of Baram villagers who called themselves Lepo Telang Usan, made another police report against the Baram Community Chief, Temenggong Pahang Ding Anyi for lying and misleading the public.

In his report, Dorus made the reference to a newspaper article published in the Borneo Post dated 18th May 2012 which were made by the a group of community leaders lead by Temenggong Pahang, complained that Temenggong Pahang told the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang, that the people of Baram have changed their mind and now welcomed the proposed Baram Dam.

Dorus said the statement by Temenggong Pahang as reported in the article is false and reiterated that the people of Baram still oppose the proposed dam. He gave Temenggong Pahang 14 days (starting from the 10th of June 2012) to withdraw his statement and apologise publicly to the people of Baram for making a false statement about them.

The three police reports made within 3 weeks marked a new twist to the controversies surrounding the proposed Baram dam. Before this, the Baram villagers have been campaigning against the dams with various public demonstrations, signature campaigns, erecting banners along the banks of the Baram River, sending post cards, sending petitions to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Minister and the Chief Executive Officer of SEB.

Workshops and seminars for the people affected by the dams organised by SAVE Rivers have been very well attended. Just last week SAVE Rivers collaborated in organising a prayer event at the dam site and a dialogue session at Long Na’ah. Both the dialogue and prayer session received an overwhelming support.

The Chairman of the Baram People Action Committee (BPAC), Mr. Philip Jau, said “We together with the villagers, NGOs and concerned individuals in the team will continue to campaign so that our plea for stopping the construction of the mega dam is heard by the relevant authorities.”

BPAC is one of the NGOs within the SAVE Rivers coalition.

- END -

Press Statement released by:
Mark Bujang
Secretary, SAVE Rivers


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