KOTA KINABALU: Taskforce Against Papar Dam (Takad) urges Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to intervene and cancel the Papar dam project.
“If he can help the Dusun Bengahak community in Lahad Datu to regain their native customary right (NCR) land why can’t he help us, the Dusun Tagahas community in Ulu Papar, Hilir Papar and Penampang,” said Diana Sipail from Takad.
The case in Lahad Datu showed that the Chief Minister had the authority to intervene in NCR cases even though it was under the court’s purview, she claimed.
Diana in a statement on Sunday lamented that their efforts to get the Papar dam project cancelled had fallen on deaf ears.
“Why are we, the natives in Papar and Penampang are being neglected? Our memorandum and proposals about the project have been cast aside. Until today there has been no consultation, study or even dialogue with our community.
“It’s really sad because our community had worked hard and given our strong support to the Chief Minister’s party in the 2018 general election,” she claimed.
Shafie, she said, must show his commitment towards the environment’s sustainability and to the rights of the Orang Asal communities, adding “this way his leadership will be more meaningful to us in Sabah and Sarawak.”
“As the candidate for Prime Minister representing Sabah and Sarawak, Shafie must show a consistent, clear and honest leadership in the matter of environment and Orang Asal rights.
“We therefore urge the Chief Minister to be fair and not discriminate against our community in Ulu Papar who have been protesting against the dam project which will destroy our NCR lands, for more than 10 years,” Diana said.
She added, “please intervene and immediately cancel the dam project and respect our rights and lives as Orang Asal on our own lands. Hear our voices, respect our rights and prove that you are a leader for all Sabahans.”