Landowners say not consulted on Baleh Dam

    (Seated from left) Wilfred, Jadam, Jeffery and Sekudan are seen during a photo call for the press conference with other committee members.

    KAPIT: Members of the Nanga Antawau Landowners Committee have claimed that both the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) failed to directly address them regarding the Baleh Hydroelectric Power Dam project.

    Committee chairman Jeffery Kumbong told a press conference that they are really disappointed with both parties.

    “We demand a direct three-party dialogue to be held at Nanga Antawau to thrash out various issues pertaining to land matters. We call on SEB and the state government to hear our voices, needs and expectations,” he said.

    According to him, land owners were never informed of the fate of Nanga Antawau settlement, land compensation, transportation and education.

    “Make available the environmental impact report to us. We call on outsiders not to interfere with Nanga Antawau people’s interests. Let us handle our own matters without outside interference because we know what we need and what we expect from the mega project.

    “We’re not against the hydro project but make sure our interests are taken care of,” said Jeffery.

    Committee deputy chairman Sekudan Ata complained that the community leaders who visited Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem last month to express support for the Baleh Dam did not represent Nanga Antawau.

    “How dare they claim support for the dam project to give a false picture as if the people of Nanga Antawau have already consented? This is an act of stabbing us in the back,” he said.

    Jeffery added that what Nanga Antawau folk seek is transparency.

    “We’re the landowners and no one else should seek to represent or speak on our behalf. We call for open dialogue between SEB and all landowners pertaining to our land matters.

    “Solve all land matters first – land compensation, find an alternative piece of land for our farming activities because the land is our asset,” he said.

    Also at the press conference were vice-chairmen Johnson Nabau and Galau Berandi, secretary Jadam Iba, treasurer Wilfred Nyawai, publicity chief Maeringai Jinga as well as ordinary members Likong Sanggan and Ricky Ragon.