The people of Baram gathered together to protest the proposed Baram Dam during a ceremony called the ‘Manyau Dalleh’ organised last Saturday by the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad to kick start the second phase of soil studies of the dam project. Read more about the protest against the dam’s construction below.
For more information on dams in Borneo, please visit: https://borneoproject.org/our-work/ongoing-campaigns/stop-the-dams
Ceremony marred by protests against dam project
Posted on April 24, 2012, Tuesday
AGAINST THE DAM: Some of the residents holding a peaceful demonstration to urge the government to stop the Baram Dam construction.
MIRI: A ceremony called the ‘Manyau Dalleh’ organised last Saturday by the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) at the proposed Baram Hydroelectric Dam Project site at Nahah Uvek Baram to kick start the second phase of soil studies of the project was marred by protests by the people of Baram.
The secretary of the Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers), Mark Bujang said about 30 villagers from Long Liam, Long San, Ba’ Abang, Long Beku, Long Laput, Long Ekang, Long Tap and concerned non-govermental organisations (NGO’s) from Miri participated in the protest against the construction of the dam.
Mark in a press statement yesterday said the demonstration went on peacefully and lasted for an hour under the watchful eyes of the police and the Peoples’ Volunteer Corps (RELA).
Apart from holding demonstration at the proposed site of the dam, a demonstration was also held at Long Na’ah village whereas on the day before, a dialogue with community representatives in the Baram District was held by federal and state government agencies.
Earlier, Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage, Liwen Lagang talked about the “success” story of the Bakun Dam Project.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Baram Protection Action Committee, Philip Jau alleged that the community leaders participating in the ceremony did not know the culture and traditions of the Orang Ulu.
He said the ‘Manyau Dalleh’ ceremony was traditionally used to cleanse the land and the people after a calamity or disaster struck the community.
Thus the ceremony was irrelevant, as there was no calamity or disaster in Baram.
Among those conducting the ceremony were Senator Lihan Jok, Sarawak Deputy State Secretary Datuk Ose Murang and a few community leaders.
Abun Sui Anyit, a Kenyah lawyer from Belaga refuted Liwen’s success story about the people of Belaga affected by the Bakun Dam, adding that many affected people still angry about the broken promises made by the government to them.
Meanwhile, Peter Kallang, chairman of SAVE Rivers Network also questioned the rationale behind formation of two separate Consultative Committees for the Baram Hydroelectric Dam.
One of the committees was chaired by Lihan and the other by Jacob Dungau Sagan, the member of parliament for Baram and the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industries.