Dam vital for Baram’s future, says Taib
by Johnson K Saai, email@example.com. Posted on August 21, 2012, Tuesday
KUCHING: The Baram hydroelectric dam holds the key to development in the whole area.
Speaking to reporters during his second day Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said without the dam there would be no focal point to implement infrastructure development plans and attract investments.
He said the development of the Baram dam was to attract those who had migrated to bigger towns to come back.
The only way to get them to return was by creating opportunities for them, he said.
He added that the Baram was half empty with a population that was about the same as some 30 years ago and the situation could worsen in the years to come if nothing was done.
“We don’t want any part of our country to be too empty and that is why I give higher priority to the hydroelectric dam in Baram,” he said.
Taib disclosed that a feasibility study had been done on the dam project and a more detailed study which included resettlement issues would be carried out.
He pointed out that as long as the project was planned properly it should be feasible as shown in the development of the Murum dam.
“Actually, Murum is okay. The natives there have been resettled peacefully and they are quite happy with it,” he said.
“Now everything is quite alright because people understand and I hope nobody will try to instigate them. If they do then we will have to fight them.
“These people who instigated are not looking after the people’s interest.
“They come from outside for a cause that they want to champion but has no relevance to the people’s welfare and development,” he said.