Showing posts from June, 2012

More people from Baram voiced opposition to the proposed Baram Dam

25 June 2012 For Immediate Release MIRI – More than 200 people from Baram District as well as supporters from outside the district thronged into Telang Usan Hotel, Miri yesterday afternoon to participate in an open dialogue opposing the proposed Baram Hydro-electric Project. The dialogue, which was jointly organised by Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) and the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC), is by far the biggest gathering of people from Baram who are living in and around Miri either for employment or studying. “We did not expect the crowd to be this big, and I am truly flattered by the overwhelming support the participants of the dialogue gave us.” said Peter Kallang, Chairman of SAVE Rivers. Equally grateful and encouraged by the support given by the participants, Philip Jau, Chairman of BPAC said, “BPAC together with SAVE Rivers and other NGOs and concerned individuals will work harder to get the government to scrap the Baram Dam project.”

Have licence will log in Sarawak

Ucuk Tugau | June 21, 2012   As long as you are a BN crony and have access to a timber licence, Sarawak is yours to log at will, it appears. KUCHING: Sarawak forests, gazetted or not, are free to be logged. At least that was the impression Second Resources, Planning and Environment Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan left listeners with yesterday. According to Awang Tengah, who many here consider to be Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s key “henchman”, permanent forest estates, water catchment areas, alienated lands, native communal reserves or native customary lands “can be harvested” for timber. All one needs is a licence or permit, which is not difficult to come by if you’re a Sarawak Barisan Nasional crony. It puts into perspective the massive deforestation that has and is taking place in Sarawak, in the name of development, which Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has been fiercely opposing. BMF has put the blame squarely on Tai

Sham ‘consultations’ with Baram Dam natives

Joseph Tawie | June 21, 2012   Sarawak NGO, Save Rivers claims that Baram hydro-electric owners, Sarawak Energy Berhad, is lying about having engaged local natives' views on the project. MIRI: Local Baram natives attending a three-day community ‘consultation’ programme organised by the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the owners of the Baram hydro-electric dam, were told to “shut-up” and not voice their discontent. A shocked Philip Jau, chairman of Baram People Action Committee, said people were not given a ‘right’ to speak. “It was very shocking to see that the people were not given the right to be heard. “We also heard Temenggong Pahang Ding telling the people to be quiet when people shouted their discontent,” said Jau referring to Ding who’s had two police reports lodged against him under native law for misleading his community and making false statement. Ding had reportedly declared to deputy chief minister Alfred Jabu

Sarawak Energy CEO Torstein Dale Siøtveit ridicules indigenous opposition against planned mega dam in Malaysian Borneo

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL, SWITZERLAND 20th June 2012 – for immediate release   (KUCHING/MALAYSIA) Torstein Dale Siøtveit, the Norwegian CEO of Sarawak Energy, a state-owned electricity supplier in Malaysian Borneo, is feeling the heat over growing opposition against the planned 1,200 MW Baram dam, a hydro power project that would displace 20,000 Borneo natives from their traditional lands in the Borneo rainforest. In a statement published today by The Borneo Post, Torstein defended the planned mega dam against criticism by Sarawak’s Save Rivers Network, a coalition of eight indigenous organizations. Earlier this week, Save Rivers lodged a police report against Sarawak Energy over illegal activities by company geologists on native lands. Save Rivers also criticized Sarawak Energy for failing to inform transparently on the dam plans and for exerting pressure against dissidents. During a so-called “dialogue session” with affected locals, Sarawak Energy had p

Sarawak’s natives demand the pull out of German Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG from controversial dam project in Malaysia

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL, SWITZERLAND 19th June 2012 – for immediate release (BARAM, MALAYSIA / STUTTGART, GERMANY) The consultancy company Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG from Stuttgart has come under international pressure due to their involvement in a controversial dam project in the rainforest of Borneo. In a letter addressed to the company’s founder and chairperson Georg Fichtner, natives from the rainforest of Sarawak are demanding the immediate halt of all activities of Fichtner related to Baram dam. The Swiss Bruno Manser Fund as well as five other environmental and human rights organizations from Germany and Switzerland support the demand and criticize Fichtner for its close cooperation with power supplier Sarawak Energy, in charge of the implementation of the dam. Sarawak Energy is known for its non-compliance with international social and environmental standards and indigenous rights in the context of the dam project. Copies of the letter have also

Sarawak tribe calls on German company to walk away from controversial dam

Jeremy Hance June 19, 2012 Indigenous people from the Malaysian state of Sarawak have sent a letter to the German company, Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG, demanding that the consulting group halt all activities related to the hugely-controversial Baram dam, reports the NGO Bruno Manser Fund. Critics of the dam and it parent project known as the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, say the hydroelectric dam will displace 20,000 people and flood 40,000 hectares of primary rainforest. Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG has been working as a consulting firm for Sarawak Energy, which is building the controversial dams, including Baram. Fichtner has been completing feasibility studies on the dam, however Bruno Manser Fund says local communities have not been allowed to see the studies. The slate of dam building has brought international attention to Sarawak's indigenous people and government, including a recent petition by Avaaz specifically focus

Suara Wanita Baram

Suara Wanita Baram membantah pembinaan empangan BARAM. Kerajaan kata, Rakyat Baram setuju Baram Dam dibina malah Senator Lihan meminta pembinaannya dipercepatkan. "Itu kerajaan yang kata" Tetapi bila kita tanya rakyat Baram yang akan terjejas oleh Baram DAM, mereka meminta BARAM DAM DIBATALKAN!!

Slow death by aluminum smelters?

As If Earth Matters by Gan Pei Ling | 18 June 2012 WHILE green activists in Peninsular Malaysia are protesting the rare earth refinery that has yet to begin operations in Gebeng, Pahang, villagers living near an aluminium smelting plant in Balingian, Mukah, Sarawak, have been suffering in silence. Documentary filmmaker and former TV2 producer Chou Z Nam has highlighted the Iban villagers’ plight in four short videos, all available on YouTube, and a report after a field visit in February 2012. Chou is well-known for his documentaries on the Bakun Dam and its impact on local communities. His Bakun Dam documentaries were axed by RTM and he was sacked after disclosing the self-censorship. How is the aluminium smelting plant affecting the lives of local communities in Balingian? Should we be alarmed at plans for new plants? The aluminium smelting plant in Mukah (Source: Declining health and dying crops In Chou’s first short video released on 22 M

Bakun Dam rock solid

Aerial view of the spillways at Bakun dam. KUCHING: Based on world standards, Bakun hydroelectric dam is safe. That is the finding of four members of the International Independent Review Panel from Brazil, the United States and Malaysia who visited the dam on May 20 this year. Sarawak Hidro managing director-cum-chief executive officer Zulkifle Osman saidthe finding effectively put to rest all rumours concerning the dam. “What the report (by the four members) means is that there is no truth about the rumours that the Bakun Dam’s spillways are cracking. “We have closed the two spillways from Sunday to today (Friday) as requested by Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) to give way for blasting work to be carried out at Pelagus Rapids,” Zulkifli told The Borneo Post yesterday. Zulkifle disclosed that many people had called him regarding the low water level at the upper Rajang, especially above Kapit town, and he had told them the reason. “I would like to thank members

Unresolved after 14 years

COMING BACK: Eling looking out at the doorway of Luhat’s jelatong. Luhat has cleared the land on the hill behind his jelatong for farming. SUNGAI ASAP: After almost 14 years, the people of Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme are still clamouring for the fulfillment of promises made to them in return for relocating from their ancestral homes to make way for the Bakun dam. According to Luhat Tugau, an entrepreneur from Uma Belor, his people had been shortchanged in land allocation, cash compensation, housing materials and awarding of scholarship under the Bakun Trust Fund. He said if these broken promises were not rectified, Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme could not be considered a model resettlement scheme for other dam projects in future. Uma said the biggest issue yet to be resolved in the resettlement of his people to Sg Asap was land compensation for each family. He disclosed that in 1992 before the dam was constructed they were promised 15 hectares per family but bef

Forestry Dept brought to task


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 M

Dam threathens Turkey's past and future


48-hour ultimatum to stop encroachment

KUCHING: Villagers affected by the Bengoh Dam are giving 48 hours to the relevant authorities to s to p the encroachment by a logging company in to the land alienated to them near Kampung Semadang. Bengoh Resettlement Scheme Liaison Committee comprising representatives from the four affected villages; namely Kampung Taba Sait, Pain Bojong, Semban and Rejoi said if the authorities failed to do so they would not move from their villages. “We want the loggers out and s to p the encroachment within 48 hours, or forget about resettling us. “Whether the company is licensed or not, that is not the issue. The fact is that the government had promised to give the land to the families affected by the dam for us to carry out our agricultural activities. “But what is happening now is when we visited the site on Monday we discovered several heavy machinery brought in by a local company to harvest the timber in the area,” committee chairman I to dio Peu Rayu to ld reporters he

Rep says dam project has support of silent majority

By Diana Rose MIRI: About 150 people in 17 longboats from the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan communities in Baram gathered at the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam project site at Nahah Itun Uvek, just below the village of Long Naah, recently for a prayer session in their bid to stop the project. During the hour-long event, the villagers asked for strength and courage to continue their struggle to get the state government to stop the project. Save Sarawaks Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) chairman Peter Kallang said the fact that the session drew so many of the local community leaders and members showed that the call to scrap the project would not easily subside until the government relented.   “I am touched by the support given by the people of Baram. The people that came for the prayer session far outnumbered those who came for the ‘Mayau Daleh’ ritual last April,” said Kallang. Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) together with several state government off

Baram folk gather to seek divine intervention to stop dam project

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Prayer session to stop Baram Dam attract large crowd from all over Baram

Press Release 13 June 2012 LONG NA’AH, BARAM – About 150 people in 17 longboats from the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan community in Baram gathered at the proposed Baram Hydro-electric Dam project at Nahah Itun Uvek, just below the village of Long Na’ah last Thursday (7 June 2012) to hold a prayer session to seek divine intervention to stop the said project. During the hour long prayer session, hymns were sung and prayers were said by community members to ask for strength and courage for the people in Baram to continue their struggle to demand from the government to stop the said project as well as to ask the Almighty to change the hearts and minds of those people who are for the dam. According to Peter Kallang, Chairman of Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers), the prayer session went very well and he was happy to see the overwhelming support given by the communities in Baram demanding that the controversial Baram Dam be scrapped. “I am touched by the support gi

Build what people need, not what govt wants

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Interesting information

According to one of our readers the Baram dam fails at least 6 out of 7 of World Commission on Dam's strategic priorities: 1) Gaining public acceptance 2) Comprehensive options assessment 3) Addressing existing dams 4) Sustaining rivers and livelihoods   5) Recognizing entitlements and sharing benefits 6) Ensuring compliance   7) Sharing rivers for peace, development and security

New twist in controversy surrounding proposed Baram Dam - The Star

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Malaysian government criticized for unlawfully protecting Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud from criminal prosecution

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND MEDIA RELEASE                                                  Basel/Vienna, 4th June 2012 In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 21 NGOs from nine countries are calling on the United Nations to impose sanctions against Malaysia for the country's systematic breach of its obligations under international anti-corruption and anti-money-laundering treaties. The NGO coalition, led by the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund, criticizes the Malaysian government's non-implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) in the case of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud ("Taib"). In particular, the Malaysian authorities are criticized for granting unlimited legal and political protection to Taib, one of the wealthiest, most powerful and longest-serving politicians in South East Asia, who is the chief culprit when it comes to th

International Rivers set up website on dam issues in Malaysia

International Rivers have put up in their website our issues on mega-dams in Sarawak. Here is the link