Moratorium on Baram dam not enough for Baram folk

The local people express their wish to Adenan during his visit to Long Lama on July 30, 2015.

The local people express their wish to Adenan during his visit to Long Lama on July 30, 2015.

KUCHING: It has been the wish of the Baram people for the Baram HEP dam project to be scrapped.

Chairman of SAVE Rivers Peter Kallang said a moratorium for the dam project was not enough for the Baram people.

“What the people want is for the project to be scrapped completely and return the land (gazetted for the dam) to them,” Kallang said in a press statement on Tuesday.

He said there had been some confusion over the dam project with some believing that it was already abolished.

The recent statement of Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau published in The Borneo Post entitled ‘Move to put off the Baram dam project a sincere one by chief minister’ compounded the issue.

“The fact is that the chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) has never made an official announcement that the Baram Dam is being cancelled but Dennis Ngau made it sound like the project had been abolished.

“He (Dennis) also made critical statements about those ‘arguing the state government’s sincerity and continuing to plant seeds of hatred among the people, misleading them with inaccurate information’.

“So far, there is no assurance from the government that the proposed dam is cancelled.”

He said what actually happened was that on July 30, 2015 in Long Lama, Adenan announced that he was ‘willing to listen’ to those who opposed the dam as he was willing to listen to those supporting the dam.

“The chief minister added that he had not made a decision on the construction of the Baram Dam.”

Kallang thus advised politicians fighting for political survival not to confuse the people by calling the moratorium on the Baram Dam ‘a complete cancellation’ of the project.

“The cancellation is only real when it is in black and white and the gazette for the dam site and reservoir is revoked,” said Kallang.

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