Compensation: Tell it to SPU not media, Elli told

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KUCHING: Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo prefers that Bakun Community Safety Committee (BCSC) chairman Dr Elli Luhat tell his predicaments to the relevant authorities, like State Planning Unit (SPU), instead of highlighting them to the media.

Abit said this when asked about Elli’s media statement yesterday that BCSC would file a report with Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding the alleged missing compensation to appease ancestral spirits in Long Wat near Murum.

“I don’t know the details and what he (Elli) is talking about. It’s not right for me to give comment as I do not know the details.

“He should pursue the matter with the proper authority like SPU and not through the paper,” he asserted when contacted yesterday. Elli, among others, claimed that BCSC had “heard verbally from the state Museum Department” that a total of RM680,000 had been paid out to them for the rituals, which he said they did not receive.

Abit wondered why Elli never discussed the matter with him, and refuted Elli’s statement that some 500 Kenyahs living in Long Wat were waiting for the compensation money of RM680,000 from the government to help them perform rituals to appease their ancestral spirits.

According to Abit, only Penans live in Long Wat and not Kenyahs, adding that Kenyahs were only found in Long Malin.

“To my knowledge, the Penans are living in Long Wat while the Kenyahs are living in Long Malin.

“Those (Kenyahs) found in Long Wat are the group related to the late Datuk Balang Seling,” he said.