Wednesday, 29 February 2012

SAVE Rivers doubts that all the Iban communities in Baleh are aware about the Baleh Dam Project

MIRI – Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) doubts that the Iban communities in Baleh are aware what more be receptive to the proposed Baleh Hydro-electric Power (HEP) Dam as claimed by the Iban community leader, Temenggong Datuk Kenneth Kanyan as reported in the Borneo Post dated 29 February 2012.

From the mega-dams conference organised two weeks ago by SAVE Rivers, four participants from Baleh clearly stated that they were not fully aware about the proposed dam project and have registered their objection to it.

From SAVE Rivers’ research, the residents of Nanga Antawau, Baleh are only aware that the Baleh Dam Access road is going to be build through their village and not much information was given by the authorities about the pros and cons of the proposed dam.

Furthermore, the feasibility studies are still ongoing and the State Government has yet to approve its construction.
SAVE Rivers would like to ask Temenggong Datuk Kenneth Kanyan whether:
  1. there is any Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) studies have been carried out and that this document have been made available for public scrutiny;
  2. the resettlement and compensation plans are already made public; and
  3. the people affected have been properly informed and consulted without any coercion from the authorities
According to Peter Kallang, Chairman of SAVE Rivers, “The community chiefs have no right to give consent to accept the proposed dam on behalf of all his community.”

“The construction of mega-dams is not the only means to develop the state. Sarawak needs development and I believe that the people all want to have better living standard but building mega-dams will destroy the rivers and submerge the very land which the people need for development”, said Peter.

Once again SAVE Rivers would like to state our demands that:
  1. All proposed mega-dams to be built in Sarawak shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  2. All outstanding issues with regard to compensation or matters concerning any human rights for peoples affected by dams already constructed or under construction shall be solved immediately.
  3. The people’s decision and their right to disagree for the dams to be built shall be respected and taken into account.
  4. The government shall promote viable alternative energy generations which are environmentally friendly and renewable such as micro-hydro power system, solar energy, wind energy or biomass
  5. All destructive activities within the water catchment areas of all the river systems in Sarawak shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  6. All dirty industries, like those under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  7. After full and free consultation, referendum on the construction of the different dams’ constructions shall be conducted.

Press statement release by:
Mark Bujang,
Secretary, SAVE Rivers
Tel:             +60148776685      
Email: markbujang@gmail.com

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

More evidence on Malaysian deputy trade minister's corruption surfaces

(KUCHING, SARAWAK / MALAYSIA) Dema Tega Sdn Bhd, a construction company owned by the family of the Malaysian Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Jacob Dungau Sagan, has received public contracts worth over 63 million Malaysian Ringgits (USD 20 million) over the last five years. This has been disclosed by the Bruno Manser Fund today. According to the Swiss NGO, more than half of the projects are connected to a rural water supply system funded by Malaysia's Federal Government and commissioned by the Public Works Department of Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state on the island of Borneo.

Jacob Dungau Sagan, a native Kenyah MP from Sarawak's interior, is a staunch supporter of the 1,000 MW Baram dam, one of twelve major dam projects in Sarawak. It is believed that corruption is the main motive behind Jacob's support for the controversial project that would drown 26 villages in his constituency and force 20,000 indigenous people to give up their native lands and move to resettlement sites.

Dema Tega Sdn Bhd is jointly owned by Jacob's wife, Winnie Jolly, his brother, Peter Usang Sagan, and his sister-in-law, Roseline binti Andrew Gayu. Public contracts are the main source of revenue of this company, which has a share capital of MYR 750,100 MYR (USD 250'000).

Last week, Jacob Dungau Sagan came under fire for his secret involvement in trading Belian timber, an endangered tropical hardwood species. Jacob, his wife Winnie and his daughter Sharon are the owners of Milisha Holdings Sdn Bhd and Winjac Sdn Bhd, which have been granted Belian-harvesting licences by Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Sarawak Chief Minister and main promoter of the Sarawak dam folly.

The Bruno Manser Fund calls on the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to open an investigation into Jacob's controversial businesses and his unhealthy relationship with the Sarawak Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud.

- Ends -

+++BREAKING NEWS+++ Malaysian trade minister caught red-handed


Reward for a compliant politician: Milisha Holdings' Belian concessions in Sarawak's Middle Baram region

(KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA) Jacob Dungau Sagan, Malaysian Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament for Baram (Sarawak), has been caught red-handed in a timber corruption scandal that is likely to become a major embarrassment for the Malaysian government under Prime Minster Najib Razak

According to confidential documents published today by the whistleblower website, Sarawak Report, Jacob Dungau Sagan and his wife and daughter are the secret holders of three timber concessions in Sagan’s parliamentary constituency of Baram in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo. Sagan’s concessions, with an estimated worth of several million dollars, are specifically licensed to harvest Belian (Borneo ironwood), a particularly rare and sought-after South-East Asian tree species. Belian has been classified by IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, as a vulnerable species and is banned for export from Sarawak and from Indonesia.

Baram MP Jacob Dungau Sagan has recently come under fire for supporting the Barisan Nasional government’s controversial plans to construct a 1000 MW dam on the Baram river that would drown 26 villages in his constituency, including Jacob’s birthplace, Long Anap. It is estimated that the construction Baram dam would force the displacement of 20’000 indigenous people in Upper Baram but Malaysian officials are extremely secretive about the details of the dam plans. It is believed that the three Belian concessioins have been given to Jacob by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in order to buy his political support for the controversial Baram dam project.

The corruption scandal hits the Malaysian government at an inconvenient moment, with a General Election expected to come up within months. Jacob Sagan is already the second Malaysian minister involved in a corruption scandal. For weeks, cabinet minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who heads the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, has been in the headlines for mismanagement and the abuse of funds in Malaysia’s National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).

- Ends -

(25 February 2012)