Saturday, October 19

‘Talk to people affected by Darul Hana re-development project’


KUCHING: The government should ensure that proper and thorough consultations are conducted with the affected

parties, especially those living across the river before proceeding with the Darul Hana re-development project.

State PKR election committee member Baharuddin Mokhsen said he received many calls from people affected by the project, expressing their deep concern that they were never consulted.

“PKR is very concerned as to whether due process has been carried out for the project. There must be proper and thorough consultations and negotiations with all parties concerned, especially the stakeholders such as those living across the river,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Baharuddin said the party was not against development that would benefit the people but the government must ensure that all considerations must be taken into account, including the preservation of cultural and traditional heritage of the oldest Malay settlements here.

“We hope we are wrong but we have noticed that within the last couple of weeks, very little information is forthcoming from this project after the launching ceremony. From the complaints that we have received, the villagers have very little knowledge of the project and they are in fact, surprised when it (project) was launched.”

He added that since the project would involve huge investment and affect a lot of people, the government should enlighten not only the affected people but all Sarawakians on the project.

Baharuddin said the people who are affected by the Darul Hana project were also unsure what would happen to their ‘gold mine’ (prime land) once they have been moved to a new site near the toll bridge here.

“We want to ask the government whether we the original inhabitants of the land will lose all interests in our land.

“We are suggesting that consideration must be put in place so that the original inhabitants will have some equity interest on our land.”

Baharuddin also hoped that the government would also properly address the issue of compensation to those affected by the project, adding that the government should ensure adequate housing for those affected.