KUCHING: The announcement on the cancellation of Baram HEP dam by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem is a positive development in the struggle against the building of mega dams in Sarawak, says SAVE Rivers chairman Peter Kallang.
He said SAVE Rivers also hoped that this would be the beginning of a policy centred on environment-friendly development that is sustainable.
“The announcement by the Chief Minister at a press conference in Kuching on April 27 is a positive development and we in SAVE Rivers are grateful to him for taking this step. Our hope and request to him is to bring Sarawak forward with a government which is inclusive and people-centred targeting at sustainability,” Kallang told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He said the resistance against the 1,200 MW Baram Dam had been ongoing for the last five years.
According to him, based on the proposal by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), there were three proposed HEP dams planned at the Baram River alone.
“We sincerely hope the government will stop all mega dam projects and focus on micro dams and other alternative energy options to meet Sarawak’s power need, especially for the rural areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stanley Balan Kajan, a Baram villager who was one of those manning the blockade of road to the proposed site of the dam said, “while we are thankful to the chief minister, we are looking forward for an official black and white confirmation from him about the dam’s cancellation. With that we will be able to tell all those affected that the dam is cancelled”.
On Wednesday, Adenan gave his assurance that under his administration, all mega dam projects in Baram had been halted and instead would focus on mini hydro dams for the needs of the rural populace.
He added there was no need to build mega dams in Sarawak as it (Sarawak) would not export energy to Peninsular Malaysia.