Saturday, 19 September 2009

Sarawak Conservation Action Network (SCANE)

Sarawak Conservation Action Network (SCANE)


19 September 2009

Miri, Sarawak

On behalf of the Sarawak Conservation Action Network (SCANE), we protest strongly the baseless accusations of Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu anak Numpang that the signatures of the communities on the Murum Dam memorandum are false.

We invite the Deputy Chief Minister to point out which signatures are fake and we will produce the person who signed it. Furthermore, we invite the Deputy Chief Minister to actually visit the villages that are protesting the dam so he can understand the sentiment on the ground.

It is an insult to the Penan communities who have traveled very far to get to Kuching to meet with their elected leaders, when these leaders themselves are afraid to come out and receive the memorandum.

On the other hand, we take it as a positive sign that the Deputy Chief Minister had actually seen and read the memorandum to see the signatures. We therefore call upon him to listen to the concerns of the signatories that are listed in the memorandum.

In summary these concerns revolve around the dam flooding the villagers’ homes and because of the problems facing previous dam resettlement schemes (eg Bakun), the communities are informing the government they will not give their free, prior and informed consent to the dam at this time.

In the words of one of the Penan representatives Sui Along, “The government is only interested in knowing when we are going to move. They have not asked us if we agree to building the dam on our land.”

Until the Sarawak State Government engages effectively with the communities, there is no evidence that any consultation or consent process has taken place. We therefore call upon our elected leaders to support and listen to the voices of the communities.

Raymond Abin


Sarawak Conservation Network

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