Thursday, August 6

No dam, no road

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Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: The people of Baram’s hope of having road connectivity lies in the Baram HEP project.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing pointed out that socio-economic factors were the critical drivers for financiers, including government and developers or investors, to start the mega project that could be the solution to many diverse problems.

“That’s why I am committed to making sure that the Baleh HEP dam was built, otherwise there will be no road,” he told reporters after presentin Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants to 21 beneficiaries at his office in Bangunan Baitulmakmur here today.

“So the people of Baram must work it out and make up their minds. What do they want? Do they want the dam to be built so that they can benefit from it as well as the rest of Sarawak?” he asked.

Reflecting on the far-reaching benefits of the Baram HEP dam on the entire Sarawak and its people, the Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation urged the Baram folk “not to be selfish”.

He was responding to the request from residents of Baram for the scrapped Long Lama-Ulu Baram road project to be continued which made headlines in The Borneo Post today.

In the news report, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said that the road project which had in fact commenced for a few metres stopped due to a road blockade by several locals.

 

“You must understand the complexity and difficulty to just build expensive roads to cater for a few longhouses only. You have to look at the benefits,” he said.

“There must be a bigger project to attract that (building of road) apart from being used by people and longhouses,” he added.

The Baleh dam, he emphasised, was the game changer for the people of Baleh who now see the wider impacts the project created including road connectivity improvement.

“The dam will finance (the infrastructures) including providing electricity power to industries and ordinary households. More importantly, not only will the people of Baleh benefit, but all the people of Sarawak,” he said.

Masing also revealed that the Baleh HEP dam is under construction, whereby certain packages have been awarded and the road connecting Kapit all the way to Ulu Baleh is expected to be ready in three years time.