Situation in the Murum HEP Dam Project Site Peaceful
Miri: Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE) wishes to inform the government and the law enforcement authorities that the situation in Murum hydroelectric power (HEP) dam project construction site is peaceful.
The workers’ routine and daily activities at the dam site are going on as usual except that some major works had been interrupted and stopped over the past three weeks due to the Penans erected road blockade against the construction of Murum HEP dam project.
Recently, SCANE’s personnel team has visited the area to monitor and gain first-hand information and insight on the progress of the construction works of the dam. We observed although the scale of works are not as busy and massive as it were used to be, however there were some workers doing their work at the powerhouse site, water intake point and the dam abutment area without any sense of anxieties.
The Penans informed SCANE that Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), contractors and private companies involved in the project are using ferryboats or tugboats (locally known as tungkang) through Bakun Dam Reservoir to transport goods, machines, building materials etc. to the Murum HEP dam site.
The main access road to the Murum hydroelectric power (HEP) dam project site is quiet due to fewer vehicles such as trailers, lorries, trucks and cement premix tankers on the road. As usual there were only logging trucks owned by some timber companies are transporting timber logs along the road to their respective logging camp sites.
With fewer vehicles on the road and nominal work activities being carried out at the Murum HEP dam project site as well as less dam builders encounter the Penans at blockade site, SCANE further observed that the situation is calm.
Therefore Raymond Abin, National Coordinator of SCANE advices the police not to be so alarm and panic with regards to the situation at Murum dam area as the Penans are humble and peaceful people. Actually the Penans does not need any presence of police personnel at their blockade site as they did not cause any disturbances to the public.
If the Sarawak State Commissioner of Police DCP Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah plans to deploy the police personnel at Murum HEP dam project area, SCANE urges the police to ensure that the Penans are given full security and peace whereby their rights shall not be violated.
The Penans complained that every time the police came to the blockade site, the Belaga Police Chief DSP Bakar Sebau acted in bad-manners and arrogant towards them. He provoked and intimidated them as if Penans are not human.
On morning of 22 September, DSP Bakar Sebau was arrogantly and forcefully trying get the personal identity of and make arrest on Raymond Abin. He relates the encounter as “threatening and intimidating” - the arrogant and highhanded conduct of DSP Bakar.
It is such a shameful act of a police personnel having bad faith toward “good Samaritan” who are doing humanitarian act to deliver foods and medicines to the needy and helpless Penans in Murum area.
For the coming days, SCANE shall continue to monitor the situation at Murum HEP dam project site and provide humanitarian aid to the Penans as long as their problems persist and prolong.
SCANE strongly urges the government to immediately resolve the Penans problems and issues on the Murum HEP dam project at its roots.
News Released by:
Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE)