Showing posts from August, 2012

Open Discussion cum Brainstorming concerning dam projects in Baram

This is an invitation to a meeting which is extended to all those who are from Baram and are concerned about the welfare and the right of the people there. The meeting will be held as follows: Time: 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm Date: 3rd September 2012 Venue: Telang Usan, Miri The objective of the meeting is for an open discussion cum brainstorming concerning projects in Baram. It is called by the Organisation - Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) which is currently chaired by Mr. Philip Jau. Your participation would be much appreciated. If for any reason you cannot attend personally, we would still appreciate your cooperation and support for this cause. Most importantly, please forward this invitation to all your Baram friends. For queries please contact Mr. Philip Jau on 016 859 7738 Best Regards, Peter Kallang (Chairman Save Rivers on behalf of mr. Philip Jau)

Malaysia’s Murum Dam Sets Poor Precedents for Best Practice

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 4:46pm By: Simone Adler A view of the Murum River, where the Murum Dam is located Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today Sarawak is a Malaysian state located in the northern part of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, home of one of the world’s oldest rainforests and the world’s highest rate of deforestation. Deep within the forest, home to 40 indigenous communities, sits the nearly completed 944 MW Murum Dam . The dam is expected to be portrayed as best practice by the Sarawak government and the dam builders involved. In May of next year, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will hold its biennial conference in Sarawak and is expected to further praise the Murum Dam. Read more:

Hydro Tasmania admits lack of anti-corruption audits in "100 billion dollar" Sarawak dam scheme

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL, SWITZERLAND 23rd August 2012 – for immediate release Roy Adair, CEO of Hydro Tasmania, confirms company's involvement in controversial Malaysian rainforest dam constructions – Hydro Tasmania downplays compliance deficits of Sarawak Energy, its Malaysian business partner (HOBART, TASMANIA) Roy Adair, the CEO of Australian state-owned energy provider Hydro Tasmania, said yesterday his company had no audits in place to prevent Hydro Tasmania’s participation in projects that involve corruption. In an interview with the Australian ABC Radio, Adair admitted that only general “pre-bid checks” were done on Sarawak Energy, a Malaysian dam builder and business partner, prior to Hydro Tasmania’s engagement in a “100 billion dollar” energy project in Sarawak. He said that “not so much auditing” on potential corrupt practices of Sarawak Energy had been done. Sarawak Energy is owned by the Malaysian state of Sarawak and chaired by Hamed Sepawi, a cousin and clos

HYDRO’S SHADY SARAWAK VENTURE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Greens Call for Minister to Recall All Hydro Staff

Kim Booth MP Greens Energy Spokesperson The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Minister for Energy to direct Hydro Tasmania to recall all of its employees currently involved in environmentally and socially destructive dam building practices in Malaysia. Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP said Tasmania’s involvement in the environmental destruction and displacement of indigenous people in Sarawak and is to be exposed tonight on the SBS Dateline program. “The Tasmanian Greens are seriously concerned about the work that Hydro’s consulting arm Entura has been undertaking in Sarawak,’ Mr Booth said. “We know that the Bakun dam has displaced thousands of families in Sarawak and flooded thousands of square kilometres of land, much of which is critical rainforest.” “Tasmania has no place getting involved in such shady ventures, and unfortunately we are now in the national and international spotlight for all the wrong reasons.” “Our office recently received a copy of a letter sent by th

The Last Frontier


Sarawak Makes A Date On Australian TV

Posted Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 This post is also available in: Iban , Malay Australia’s longest-running and highly prestigious TV current affairs programme, Dateline , has just devoted a full half hour show to the problems of logging in Sarawak and to Taib Mahmud’s crazy plan to build 12 more dams in the state Their veteran reporter, David O’Shea, spent days filming in Sarawak and interviewing people who had been flooded from their homes by Bakun, He also visited some of the villages which have been suffering from gangster attacks on behalf of logging companies. These are, of course, daily issues for the poor people of Sarawak and they are heard about daily on the show Radio Free Sarawak. However, for many Australians what is happening to the people of Sarawak and to their beautiful forest will come as a shock and surprise. Read more:

Bleak future for Baram if dam plans goes ahead

For Immediate Release 21 August 2012 MIRI: Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) together with Baram Protection Committee (BPAC) totally disagree with the statement made by Sarawak’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud which was published in the Borneo Post today (21 August) saying that the “Dam is vital for Baram’s future”. “The Chief Minister is right in saying that the Baram Dam is vital for the future of Baram, but the future he is painting looks very bleak as far as the people of Baram is concerned”, said Philip Jau, Chairman of BPAC. “I can safely say that the reality on the ground is most of the people in Baram do not want the dam as they have seen and heard about the hardships and the unresolved problems that the people of Batang Ai and Bakun faced”, added Philip. “Even in Murum, the Penans affected by the Murum Dam are not happy with the way the government is treating them. How can Taib say that the people of Murum are okay?” questions Philip. Chairman of SAVE Rivers,

The gift of light

IDYLLIC: The remote yet scenic 19-household village of Long Kerabangan. SARAWAK may be rich with natural resources like petroleum and LNG, not to mention the cheapest electricity in the region, but 33 per cent of rural Sarawak remains without electricity coverage. Until July this year, the 19 and 40 household villages of Long Kerabangan and Long Tanid in the Lawas Highlands were part of that statistic, depending solely on diesel gen-sets, kerosene lamps and candles to get by. Thanks to the efforts of Barefoot Mercy, however, these villages now enjoy 24-hour electricity from modest yet effective 10kW micro-hydro systems provided by the local NGO. Read more:

SAVE Rivers wants Mawan to clarify issues on shortcomings of Bakun and Batang Ai Dams

For Immediate Release August 18, 2012 Miri: Save Sarawak’s Rivers (SAVE Rivers) commends a statement made by the Senior Minister and Minister of Social Development, Tan Sri William Mawan published in the Borneo Post on the 18th August, 2012, admitting to the shortcomings in Sg Asap resettlement scheme. It is hoped that Tan Sri Mawan would also further clarify that these issues, including similar issues affecting the Batang Ai resettlement, have not been resolved many years after the initial resettlement. Today, promises are also made to the people of Baram that the government will look after them and will not abandon them. The promise made to them today is the same as was made to them when the exploitation of timber first started in the district in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Those promises were on better standard of living, good roads and infrastructure. They were told that the government always has the interest of the people at heart. It was just like those made to the people of Bakun/

Dam vital for Baram's future, says Taib


Open Letter by Baram Youth to Sarawak's Chief Minister

YAB Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud - Sarawak Chief Minister 22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia Tel: 082 440801 Fax: 082 444566 Dear Sir, Because your roots and ancestors are not from the Baram, I know that you can identify with us and can relate to what we are about to write in this letter. Not too long ago, we were unable to stop the destruction and flooding of the people along the Balui River despite of it took every bit of our determination, stamina, and courage to topple that disastrous project. We failed..! Now, while we are still healing from the battle scars from our encounter with Bakun and the Murum dams, we are yet again facing another enemy the Baram dam that want to wipe us out from our ancestral and relocate us to some places unknown. Mr Chief Minister, if Baram Dam materializes, we might as well say goodbye to our peaceful, healthy existence, our clean air, our beautiful beaches, our birds and fishes, our lands,

‘Proposed Baram dam to benefit people in the area’

Posted on August 3, 2012, Friday USE IT WISELY: Jacob (right) hands over a letter of approval for the minor rural project to one of the project recipients. MIRI: The government’s ultimate goal, if it ever builds the proposed Baram Dam in 2018, is to bring integrated development to greatly improve the living standard of the people in the area. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan said the project too is to ensure that Sarawak has enough power for its development programme so that it could become part of the nation’s high-income nation. “The bottom line is their life (the affected people) would be much better than what it is now. That is what we want – to eradicate poverty, have better facilities, new towns flourishing, new schools being built, water and electricity supplies, clinics and I think this is what the government is thinking,” stressed Jacob to reporters here yesterday after presenting government grants totalling RM251,000 for 17 proj

Sagan unhappy over media speculation on his candidacy

Posted on August 3, 2012, Friday  MIRI: Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Jacob Sagan has expressed his displeasure over constant media speculation that he will likely be replaced at the last minute in the coming 13th general election. Sagan, who is Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) senior vice-president, said the media reports would confuse voters in the Baram parliamentary constituency as the party had made the decision to retain him as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Baram seat. “It (speculation) will demoralise people in the constituency,” he said after presenting government grants worth RM251,000 to 17 recipients at the Miri Resident Office, here, yesterday. Media reports recently said that at least five candidates were vying for the predominantly rural Baram seat which might replace Sagan if the leadership deemed him not a winnable candidate. On another issue, Sagan who is the Baram hydroelectric project community consultative

Uma Jawe residents ready to swap ‘jelatongs’ for longhouse

Posted on July 30, 2012, Monday FLOATING CHURCH: The floating SIB church at Uma Jawe in a dilapidated state.  BAKUN: The 30 odd families of Uma Jawe, who are currently living in jelatongs (floating houses), have identified a site to build a new longhouse, revealed its village chief Janting Ibau. He claimed they had obtained permission from the relevant authorities to do so. “We would like to settle down for good as jelatongs are a temporary measure after our longhouses were submerged when the Bakun hydroelectric power (HEP) dam was impounded on October 13, 2010,” Janting told The Borneo Post at Uma Jawe, about four hours’ boat ride from here, on Friday. He revealed that although most of the people from his village were relocated to Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme, some villagers preferred to stay behind. “As they cannot be forced to leave their ancestral homes, they instead built jelatongs and stayed put.” However, he said after almost two years of staying afloat, they wanted to hav

‘Govt follows requirements on dam construction’

by Mohamad Abdullah, Posted on July 26, 2012, Thursday MIRI: Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan advised the people in upper Baram not to support the group opposing the Baram Dam. He said the government followed all requirements stipulated by the United Nations in relation to dam construction. “If the government does not follow any single requirement as stipulated, then no international investor will come to invest here as a kind of protest,” Jacob said at the closing of a seminar at Pustaka Miri organised by Persatuan Berawan Sarawak recently. He said there was no need for the group that went against this project to go around telling people the dam would endanger the lives of Baram folks as the government would not flood its own people. “As a local from the area, I am as concerned as they are. But I can assure the affected people their lives will change for the better if they support the Baram Dam.” Sagan, who

Jacob Misleads Baram Folks on Dam

Joint Statement of SAVE Rivers and BPAC 26 July 2012 MIRI - With reference to the statement by YB Dato’ Jacob Dungau Sagan that appeared in The Borneo Post today (26 July 2012) headlined ‘Govt follows requirements on dam construction’, we in Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) together with the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) would like to make the following statement. We find Dato’ Jacob’s statement to be preposterous and it is irresponsible of him as an elected representative for the people of Baram to say that the Government would not flood its own people. By going forward with the Baram Dam project, the reservoir created would flood 412 square kilometers of the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan heartland in Baram which will force about 20,000 people to be displaced from their ancestral lands. The affected people would have no choice but to start new lives in a totally new area. As we have seen in the case of the Batang Ai and Bakun Dam, the people affected there face nu

Penans in Baram instigated by particular group — Jabu

by Anthony Joseph, Posted on July 23, 2012, Monday LONG LAPUT: There remains one so-called human rights organisation still actively instigating the Penan to go against the government in the Tutoh Apoh and Ulu Selongoh areas in Baram. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who did not name them, said the government was aware of their presence, but preferred to let the Penans chase them out of the state. “We don’t want to have a quarrel with them. Let the Penans give them the boot when they (Penan) see the successes in Long Beruang, Long Lamai and Long Jekitan due to the government’s efforts,” he said at a thanksgiving ceremony for the appointment of Elizabeth Deng as a Pemancha for the Kayan community on Saturday. He told the people at Uma Eda Beran in Long Laput, Baram, that the Penan community could be easily manipulated because most of them were not educated and still living in poverty. “They (so-called human rights organisations) thus

Press Metal denies polluting Balingian River

by Conny Banji, Posted on July 16, 2012, Monday CAREFUL: Two workers check on the cooled billets during casting operation.  MUKAH: Press Metal Sarawak (PMS) Sdn Bhd has reiterated that its aluminium smelting plant in Mukah-Balingian Road here did not pollute the Balingian River as alleged by individuals on YouTube. Its Metal Technical and Development manager Dr Siew Eng Fui said the company used advanced technology and dry processes to smelt raw aluminium to turn it into ingots and billets. “We are committed in safeguarding and sustaining environmental responsibilities in accordance to the Environmental Management Plan approved by Environment Department (DOE). “The plant is also subjected to a third party audit at every quarter of the year and the measurement results obtained are reported to the department,” he told reporters during the four-day 1Malaysia Media Trip 2012 to Mukah recently. The trip was organised by the Information Department, and it

Pent-up anger explodes

by Yunus Yussop, Posted on July 17, 2012, Tuesday I’M LISTENING: The presence of Tiong at the workers camp soon after the incident attracted thousands of workers who took the chance to express their unhappiness on various issues. BINTULU: Simmering discontent among local and Indonesian workers over poor working and living conditions and preferential treatment given to workers from China exploded into violence at a Samalaju Industrial Estate (SIE) workers camp here on Sunday evening. The brawl started around 5pm at the main entrance of the workers camp which could accommodate more than 4,000 workers when the angry workers set upon Chinese workers leaving 11 of them and one local worker injured. The attacks quickly spread to other parts of the camp and by the time the police arrived around 7pm all the attackers had fled the scene. Five of the wounded were rushed to the hospital here with one suffering serious internal injuries. When contacted the police

Sarawak Energy’s RM30b loan stumps DAP

Joseph Tawie | July 18, 2012 Who approved RM30 billion loan for Sarawak Energy Bhd which recorded an annual after tax profit of only RM330 million? KUCHING: How did Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) manage to secure a RM30 billion loan when its annual after tax profits amounted to only RM330 million? Is it because SEB or Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation (Sesco) is a state government- owned company? Read more at:

Building indigenous resilience in the face of land-grabbing, deforestation in Malaysian Borneo

Rhett A. Butler, July 10, 2012 Indigenous protest in Sarawak. Image courtesy of The Borneo Project.  Read More at: