Al Jazeera lets rip into CMS’ role in Sarawak


Hi folks, did you see the Al Jazeera focus on Sarawak over its 101 East programme just now? And how they highlighted the 12-dams overkill in Sarawak.

The programme  spotlighted the role of Taib Mahmud’s family owned company, CMS.  It also interviewed the CEO of Sarawak Electricity, who is Taib’s brother-in-law.

It was fun to watch Fauziah, the interviewer, roasting James Masing with a smile on her face.  Did you notice James making some vain attempts to adjust his tie when the going got a little too hot?

Fauziah, who had done her homework, was asking James whether he was Taib’s crony and why projects were awarded to CMS without open tender. But James said he was just a “friend” of Taib’s and insisted contracts were properly awarded.

James kept saying that if there was anything wrong, the laws and the legal process would have taken its course. Finally, he said the electorate in Sarawak kept voting them back; so surely the leadership was vindicated. (Sarawak voters, take note.)

Anyway, an analyst in Sarawak tells me that the pervasive role of CMS in Sarawak may be news outside the state, but it’s old hat for Sarawakians, who are all too familiar with CMS…

READ MORE:  Crony capitalism: Malaysia is no. 2 in the world!
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  1. IbanBidayuhmix, my apology for the overt generalisation of the situation. I have no intention of looking down on the political will of anyone, but it’s just my thought that even by changing your political alignment from Devil A to Devil B, it would send a clear message to these so-called ‘leaders’ that the people is still in charge of who’s representing them. By continuing to elect the same Devils back into office only reinforces that the people are happy with the current government even if that’s not the case.

    You’re right on the fact that since we don’t live in these rural areas, it would not be fair for us to slap our comments on the real plights faced by your people. Again, please accept my apology.

    Yes, I’ve been thinking about for some time about your proposal (living in rural areas). Really, if you’ve been living in the urban areas for some time, you do lose touch with what’s the real issues are.

  2. Dear anak tempatan

    Honestly, I’ve already showed my courage by being different from the majority who voted for BN all these while and yeah I’m poor too, seems hard to secure a job when most of the private companies where I applied jobs aren’t keen to hire me(probably because I’m a bumi, just probably), and not to mention the civil service. Owh why have to work for them? why not start my own business?I’m not a money printing machine, dude. Yeah, I do some menial jobs such as working at fuel station, electronic factories (used to), etc. and now I dun have regular incomes, only enough to cover up my basic needs and this freaking prepaid internet for a month, hoping that one day, from my savings I can start a small business. Hey, I know how being poor is like, so you don’t have to ask me to meditate on your question bcoz I know what’s the price is if I don’t know my VOTE, is my POWER. But what can a dissenting vote do against the majority who say ‘Yes’? I still use it for my well being and see, I’m poor yet I haven’t swallowed pride instead of the ‘bitter pills’..I’m not whining, but that seems to be the trend of ‘democracy’, the majority will always be entertained (win) and the dissenting minority is always subject to discrimination (losers). Yeah, I know how bad UMNO treats us. Do you think that I’m blind and dumb? You don’t have to tell me. Go tell those majority who are still ‘blind’ in the rural area over here, and don’t just throw another cyber verbal diarrhoea as if you don’t have a choice, it stinks dude. Unless you’re like 70 and above, I think you can still make it. You think those rural folks who don’t have internet as mentioned by Storm Raiders can hear you and read your whining here? You think it’s gonna work by you blabbering only?

    By the way, yeah, the CM has a RR. So what? you think that we should emulate him, driving around in luxurious car and buy things that we don’t even need? Hey, RR is not my taste bro…it sux. You feel proud if u ever happened to have one? Lame, poor taste.From one point, your curiosity tends to make a dumb person think that you thought that Sarawakians will die if they don’t drive RR. Hey, dun worry, I got your point; Sarawakians should get back what really belongs to them. Thanx dude, but man can’t live on Rolls Royce alone! By the way, since when did you, in particular, have this kind of sudden awakening (which actually triggers my curiosity too) and have this very deep concern about the plight of Sarawakians, while for that all nearly more than 20 freaking years while Sarawak has been under the … regime, you have never been as damn vocal as this? Why? did … reduce the 95% state’s income which is supposed to be channeled to the Fed. Govt.? or the UMNO took most of it and you all are given the leftovers and slowly feel the pinch? While all that while, when most of you had at least enjoyed the comfortable lives and tend to think less about us, but now when that comfort is slowly being taken from you, you start to scare us too of the possibility that our less than comfortable lives might be taken as well?,probably you too have voted BN into power all that while, until the last GE, when you suddenly had this awakening…well, don’t take it personal, I’m just assuming. See, when you put up that curiosity of yours, some people with poor jugdment would tend to see that you are one of those opportunists who think only about saving your own a… sorry; I have to be matter how dumb my perception towards you, my bro.

    Hey, perhaps you can express your concerns towards the Sarawakians more at Dr.Patau Rubis’ site:
    He’s my local hero. Feel free to have a look and leave a comment. He’ll never miss to reply to your comments. Let’s stop this bashing party as we’re in the same boat, neither one of us would like to rock the boat, aite? and hey, come, lemme give you a hug. As I mentioned, I’ve no grudge against you, bro. PEACE.

  3. It’s Not SarawaKian Vote BN.
    It’s that Rural Old Folks Without Internet,Electricity,roads,Tv etc.They are Too Easy To Fools with A few Crates of Beers,foods,zincs,woods,water tanks,oils,generators,a few bucks and the List goes on.Sarawakian Natives especially Those Too ULU they are not Educated and too friendly.When a stranger Came with Sweets talking Sweet Words Giving Gifts etc they ll vote for You…..

    God Save Sarawak My Beloved LAnd Of The Hornbills ( Not Land Of The Crooks By Hooks) Amen.AMITABAH

  4. Dear Uchu Labi

    While I agree with your assertion that the Opposition provides mouth services and BN gives subsidies, the Opposition don’t really have a choice do they? Consider this:

    The party in power holds the key to the treasury or the purse and it is they who will decides at their whims when and to whom to loosen the purse string. So the BN uses the state money like it its theirs to use as they please (with a lot flowing to their pockets). Remember the wealth and assets of Sarawak belong to Sarawakian, not to BN and the chief minister. So on and off they gives subsidies which is pittances to what they can afford to give, you guys are hooked and thank them for their generosity. Hey the subsidies belong to you guys in the first place and the BN govt is only the custodian.

    The opposition are poor and do not hold the treasury’s key, so how to give? Common sense. However if they are in power and behaves like BN then vote them out.

    As I said earlier, your vote is your power. Use it wisely for you wellbeing and future.

    Also can you see how umno is treating the East Msia BN component parties even when they depend on the Sabah and Sarawak BN to remain in power. ….what about the people that matters, the rakyat of Sabah and Sarawak?

    Meditate on this and give yourself an honest answer. Time to show courage my friend.

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, I was told that the Chief minister goes around in a Rolls Royce, betul kah?

  5. I’ve been thinking…

    On what basis we malaysians make our vote? Do we vote simply because i hate person A/party A, so i vote person B/ party B?

    Have you guys ever noticed that during every GE, most people/party running for office never made any clear promises that we, as voters can base their performance should they get elected.

    We always see/hear in the media whereby each party/or person running for election will say “vote us for the betterment/development of m’sia and her people”. May I ask, development/betterment of what? Development of bigger pockets?

    I feel it is ridiculous. They should say during election that they promise a,b,c and d. If the promises they made sounds good (or for whatever reason we base our decision), we vote. Then we can base their performance in 5 years time. If they fail to even fulfill a promise to supply 10 computers to a school for example, it can be considered a failure. We vote them out in the next GE.

    So, i feel sad, being a swakian myself hearing about “no choice”. We as voters have the right to ask what promises that the people/party running for office can offer us during elections. NOT AFTER.

    PKR and DAP should put their money where their mouth is and start making clear cut, strategised promises instead of “vote us for change”. That promise is simply too vague for me to even vote for them. I’m not implying that im for the other party. But that is what i noticed most of the time in the media circus.

    So, if PKR and DAP truly wants to win in Swak, they should start making promises a,b,c until z, where we swakians can truly have a ground/basis/reason for voting them.

  6. Dear anak tempatan,

    Perhaps, the main reason why Swakians are hard to to vote for Opposition over here is that because, majority of them don’t see much difference between BN & Opposition, though I myself voted for Opposition all these while..with PKR and DAP were bickering over the number of seats they wanted to contest in the last GE. So, hey, most of them perceive Opposition as hypocrites, which is quite true..I mean, they only do mouth-business … all the time, but when it comes to service..sadly, only God and they know. You want to convince them to vote you, do your job sincerely, go out there and help as much as you can,not being a show off but SINCERELY…without expecting something in me, you’ll have the advantage for doing that..and not only talk and see from afar, that when you don’t see the kind of result that you expect, you simply blame and curse them for their ‘foolishness’. So far, from what I have observed, the Opposition over here in Swak is just like BN themselves, they only campaign when it’s near election and they’ll start to raise this and that issues, and again, what’s the difference? BN on the other hand, no matter how crooked they may be, consistenly gives these poor folks helps in terms of subsidies etc. though how small the goodies may be.. and hey, it appears that they have done something good to these folks. Yeah, we do whine over our pathetic life and yeah, some of us start to wonder that if the 95% of the income from their natural resources are not channelled to the Fed. Govt. since we formed Malayisa, we could have a better life; a way better one. But, that has developed some major parts of Malaya all these while, ain’t it? the kind of life and development you enjoy there right now. So, if you suggest that the Swakians may get back, say, 50% of t natural resources income, should the Opposition win, we’ll be damn glad. Fine..but it’s still hard to gain their trusts back, because not untill the last GE that most of the Oppostion voters over there (Malaya) did vocally echo this issue, except only a few apolitical activists that I knew well have been strongly doing the real job here, some got barred … from entering Sarawak, and because of their gutsy deeds that I voted against BN all these while, wihout fail…not because of ‘tin kosong’ empty words…like some of the better, smarter voters like you keep on blabbering about. What if the Opposition that we voted for suddenly behaves exactly like the BN when they come into power, we still feel smart over that choice? So, please don’t talk and insult them like they’re so dumb..I myself will never ever do that to my fellow Sarawakian brothers and sisters who voted the other party.Seriously,think about it..not that I don’t want a change, but in order to gain the Sarawakians trusts and to make that change, stop being like we’re always smarter than other human beings..and try to REALLY, REALLY understand the voters’ sentiments over here. So, no grudge held against you Bro, let’s start make a change by changing our attitudes first. Peace!

  7. Reading the comments from the Sarawakians, I can only shake my head in disbelief. The Peninsular voters were brave enough to vote for change though not good enough but still show courage and they now also suffer the consequences of voting the PR but no one regrets. See what happened in Perak and Selangor but no one regrets. Peninsular voters knew what they were in for when they voted opposition yet had the moral fibre and guts as we know change will take time and we will also suffer for some time before change is completed. Hey bro its about courage and commitment.
    All I can see from our saudaras in Borneo is kiasuness, kiaseeness, deep denial and total lack of guts. The excuses are so lame and cop-out. You keep talking about how bad it is for them but don’t do anything about it. You keep whining about how poor you are and how badly treated your are by BN but yet do nothing. You keep mentioning neglect and ignorance of Sarawakians’ suffering by Peninsular folks but still keep quiet. You talked about self respect but do you have any when you keep silent, timid and compliant in the face of bullying, intimidation and have your lives and rights stepped on everyday by BN. SO YOU DESERVE THE GOVERNMENT YOU VOTED FOR and if you continue to vote for the same government then you deserve the continuing s… coming your way. Your VOTE IS YOUR POWER. Use it wisely and then forever hold your peace.

  8. Haha, good job…………if there is more time, This crony will be grilled till burnt. He was talking nonsnece and frivilous. Not guilty? He has no sense of compassion so how can he be a leader. Question more about what has been plan for these displaced ppl to make sure they are cared for……….

  9. I like this “We do not like to be just seen as a disposable “extras” for you to achieve your goals.”

    Thank you for putting up a clearer picture fellow sarawakians.

    We are not staunch followers of any party, true we may want change. But change for the betterment of our people. Not to line the pockets of our so called ‘leaders’ from whichever politcal divide that may be. If we are courted by both sides, why not take advantage of the courting?

    It’s not blind faith in a party but it’s a matter of surivval and of development….

  10. Kudos to IbanBidayuhmix,

    The whole reason why we still voted BN is because government be it opposition and even BN themselves are ignorant of the plight of Sarawak people. Only point I see why the oppositions now getting involve in east politics is because we are the main reason that BN is on the top. By voting the oppositions, what do you think will happen? Probably they will start thinking of proposing to decrease the vote count here when they have won thus making us even more less important. I’m seeing a lot of floods here, bad road condition between towns (unlike the highways from peninsulars), people getting evicted from their house (yes BN doings) but I dont see the oppositions making much fuss out of it aside accusing BN misdoing in the peninsulars. We have our own reasons, life and self-respect as well and we do not like the idea of voting the oppositions, just because you (at the peninsulars) are unhappy about your own current situations without thinking about how the people feel here.

  11. I’m an urban educated Sarawakian and I totally echo the views of my brother/sister Sarawakians who have commented thus far. Generalisations by West Msian commentators such as @Penangites above just reveal how out of touch West Msians are about the realities on the ground here in East Msia and how the issues at the forefront of the East Msian electorate substantially differ from their West Msian counterparts for various reason. @Penangites, perhaps you may like to read Sim Kwang Yang’s articles on Malaysiakini for an insight as to why we vote the way we do, here across the water.

    Anil, I just like to say kudos for highlighting the video. I on one hand, find that the silence by the big wig politician bloggers such as Kit, Anwar, Ku Li overwhelming… a sad way mind you. Granted there may be more important issues playing at the mo (UMNO elections, Bkt Gantang etc etc). But I can’t help but wonder whether the general silence just reflects indirectly on how we East Msian states are viewed as inconsequential by the power players?

  12. IbanBidayuhmix, I totally agree with you… What our people want is only a better treatment from the party we voted for. It is not all about politic’s party… It is about our damn leader!!

  13. Penangites & Yow Chuan,

    Come and live with those deep rural folks for like a year, completetly living like us deep in the jungle.. don’t ever stay in town, it’d be different. You might want to know, how these so-called ‘brainless’ people as you both blamed, yearn for development in their ‘RURAL’ area for damn only God’s not really like the Semenanjung rural area, dudes…where, even though you have enough facilities, you still whine. Neither do us want the corrupted BN … to stay in power, they are just simply left with few choices not like you all do over there. Even if the Opposition wins there but fails to deliver and fulfills its promises, what good does it bring? Is that a CHANGE for you? Easier said than done eh? So, before blaming the ‘brainless’ people, go, see and live like they do and taste how it really feels like first, detach yourself completely from the kind of living you have now, whatever e-gadgets you may have..perhaps, you may be very grateful even with that smaller than peanuts goodies, buddies..then you’ll feel yourself very cheap for being ‘bought’ by the corrupted BN..go, feel it..neither do they like it..just like some whores in the streets, do you think they all really like their jobs? some maybe do, because they can easily find big money, but to some they do it for the sake of making ends meet.., they’re freaking poor, damn it! I’m afraid even you can’t be very helpful towards these poor people. So stop being hypocrites and welcome to reality, buddies. In as much as you shout to others for a CHANGE, you might as well need to change your way of seeing things, or rather expand that, together we may bring CHANGE; ok buddies? Neither do I tell this as an excuse for failing to vote BN out of the Swak’s office during the last GE, perhaps gradually, change will take place as you and me can’t forcefully change them, many are resistant to change while some who are very politically aware like me badly want CHANGE…but we don’t simply blame other people for not following our ways..otherwise, I’m afraid you are among those being regarded as Kiasu in Sarawak..sorry, but I have to tell both of you..

  14. I concern our people are less educated but not stupid. We got to find out an effective way on how to educate our people (Which most of them are our folks = naive). Lets think about something…

  15. People. We HAVE woke up. We know that they won using shady tactics. The problem is a bit more complicated than just the dams, the cronisym in Sarawak and vote rigging. Most of us do not even enjoy the present technology like internet which allows us to get more accurate information. Most of the newest technology and facilites are channeled at the peninsulars and we are basically ignored until a decade or so. When the goverment talks about broadband penetration, I suppose they are talking about those in peninsular only and disregard us Sarawakians as merely … meant to live on bananas (of which I found it to be quite true).

    Also, we do not want another incident like those happening in Sabah after the “you know who” get involved into Sabah politics. People from the west malaysia, come to borneo first (if you care) before you start generalizing us for supporting the BNs. It’s not we dont want to vote them out, it’s more like we don’t have a choice.

  16. hi,

    Im sarawakian & live in kuching … in sarawak i voted oppositon all the way as im very unhappy with the rajah of sarawak & the gangs..

    i wonder why the hell those rural are voter keep voting for BN i.e Taib…

    (quite a few of) the major companies in sarawak is belong to taib and his cronies…CMS… and all those related to infrastruture businesses.

    land are taken in the name of goverment project but actuall fact only a small piece for gov. projet and the balance piece for housing project..?

    to all non Taib & the Gangs cronies, let me ask u this;
    1)Why the hell are our land lease for 66years only? even in bukit bintang area u can find freehold land.

    2)why after all this while under BN rules thes not road from sibu to kapit and most road in sarawak are only fit for 4WD vehicles..

    3) why the heck sarawak need 12 dams, for rakyat benefit or project ($$$) for BN YBs

    4) why the rural folks still Bekuli for generations… & lots youth
    earned a miserable income…

    5) why theres is nothing to proud of in Sarawak????

    6) wheres Dayak position in Sarawak….

    7) NCR land slowly but surely being taken… only certain race get the land title …??

    in near future the Dayaks will be nobody as the older generation & cronies cordone Taib & the Gangs by keep voting for Taib & the Gangs…

    chines vote opposition even if PAS come over. only the Dayaks voted Taib even being disriminate all these year


  17. Lets not forget the cheats in elections. How can people make an informed choice when they’ve not been educated enough about it. Lets not forget the postal votes, missing candidates, etc.

  18. Let’s hope the people of Sarawak will wake up and take back what belongs to the people.

    Change is what the west is seeking and we hope the eastern state will rise up and work together with us.

    Long Live PEOPLE’S POWER.

  19. I took note when this programme running… Difficult for our people to get into real situation as our local mainstream media are not allowed to air such things. Thanks to AJE (which not many people watch it)to reveals it.

    • The politic and economy of Sarawak has been dominated by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.
    • The family own business has been involved in the building of roads, bridges, power stations, hospitals and the new state parliament building.
    • One of the most controversial is the building of the dams which caused the displacement of more than 10 000 people.
    • Nawan Sing a Long Luar Villager comments that they don’t know where they would go if they were asked to move and he is not sure if they will get any help from the government.
    • Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has been behind much of the development in the state but his families’ extensive commercial interest in many of the projects he approves has raised many questions about the conflict of interest.
    • Dam of Murun is among 12 dams initially planned. The needs of these dams are questioned as the state already producing 20% more capacity then it needs. The Bakun dam will double the electricity the state currently uses. The completion of the dozen planned dam in the state will produce up to 600% electricity.
    • John Brian Anthony, Sarawak Dayak National Union says that the government is not sensitive about the livelihood of the indigenous people. The displacement of people from the land they have been occupying for years and making them poor is not a good economy sense.
    • CMS (Cahaya Mata Sarawak) will be among the beneficiary as it owns the two major cement plants in the state. Bakun dam is already the biggest market for its product.
    • CMS also won the state approved contract to build an aluminum smelter. CMS owns 40% of the join venture with Rio Tinto.
    • A CMS joint venture has also won contracts to build the new state parliament building in Kuching. Many other similar state contracts had been awarded to CMS.
    • The major share holders in CMS are Sarawak Chief Minister’s family members.
    • Barely 18 months after it was founded, Titanium was awarded 150million state contract. It was meant to pay for the repair or replacement of almost 400 bridges in the state.
    • Sarawak Chief Minister’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib owns 1430 000 shares in Titanium.

    Faridah Ibrahim interviews Dr. James Masing , Sarawak Land Development Minister and his comments are:
    • Clean, cheap and renewable electricity are necessary for the state.
    • The 12 new dam is important for Sarawak’s future.
    • He denies the allegation on the environment fallout and the displacement of over 10 000 people during the Bakun project. He says that a survey has been done prior to the project and all the indigenous people had been consulted.
    • The proposal of the 12 dams shows that the government is responsible and concern for the future.
    • He denies the allegation of capital cronyism in Sarawak.

  20. I hope many more of such interviews will be done on issuance of logging licences, Licences for Planted Forests, provisional leases for oil palm plantations, etc, etc. in Sarawak.

    The Chief Minister must be interviewed because he is not only the Sarawak Chief Minister since 1981 but also the Minister personally responsibled for Planning and Resource Management in charge of land and forest matters in Sarawak, the Sarawak BN Chairman and President of PBB.

    The Chief Minister must be asked, inter alia –

    1. whether he is prepared to disclose the map of all the areas in Sarawak he has licenced out for loggings, for forest plantations, leased out for oil palm plantations since 1981; if not, why not?

    2. whether he is prepared to disclose the names of all the companies granted the logging licences and their contractors; licences for planted forest; leases for oil palm plantations; if not why not?

    3. why until today the BN government cannot survey and issue document of titles for the 1.5 million hectares (could be more) of native customary land in Sarawak?

    4. Why the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) of which he is Chairman did not at all take action against logging companies that failed and continue to fail to undertake Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Study in respect of their logging activities as required by the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment?

    5. Why despite of massive logging activities and the development of oil palm plantations (which generated billions of ringgit for the companies involved) within and around the native customary land of the natives (bumiputra) since 1981, the natives especially the dayaks until today suffered the highest rate of poverty?

    I can contribute more questions for the Chief Minister to answer if any journalist who want to interview him want to know more. I am sure there are many others who would be willing to do so as well.

    I raised these questions on the premised that Sarawak and its resources, wealth belongs to all Sarawakians and the Chief Minister and his ministers are mere trustees entrusted to manage our State and its wealth, resources on our behalf. Sarawak is not my or their personal property.

  21. @ Penangites (II)

    “Why the HELL you people keep voting in BN…”…oh, please penang dude, how the hell would you know? why the hell are you desparate? you’re desparate for CHANGE?? are you a cast of “desparate housewives” i.e. one of them?? “you people”?? that is most rude and absurd, dude.

    Please man, be responsible in your choice of words, if not you’ll get some of your words spat back in your face. The issue here is simply the consideration for disproportionate construction of hydrodams, i.e. 12 new ones altogether. Of course there is the issue of monopoly by a certain “someone” in power, and chronysm and all that..i guess Fauziah, being a responsible reporter as she should have, do not have to hide behind the issue of displacement of indegeneous people, she could have put on a much straightforward topic for her program.

    Again, penangite, do come over, and you might learn a lesson or two on how to behave and live together with other races, which clearly you may not have ever experienced before.

  22. Malaysians outside the East Malaysian states should be more vocal on what’s going on in the two states. The reason is that the huge amount of taxpayers money that is sucked … are their money too. This has been going on too long. If you watched the AZ program last night, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. … it’s grab grab grab all the way. No wonder some people say ours is a country of milk and honey, if you are in power that is.

  23. @ Penangites

    Blame us? Have you actually been to Sarawak before and take a look at our current situations? Have the oppositions actually cared about us aside after the 8th March election when they realise that BN won because of majority vote in the east? Dude, it’s not as simple as just because BN is corrupted that we need to vote them out. We do not simply sacrifice our peaceful livelihood for the benefit of the west, if you get what I mean that is.

  24. Hi Anil

    It was a very good programme.
    I’m sure this “101 East” piece will be
    repeated by Al-Jazeera.
    JIT (Just In Time) for Batang Ai by-election in Sarawak!

    Perhaps you can get the transcript and post excerpts from
    it on your blog??

    P.S. I doubt that the interviewer is a Malaysian. (Singaporean
    Malay, perhaps?) Otherwise, she will be persona non grata in
    Sarawak! Or join private eye Bala and all the others in
    “SD Heaven” (mysteriously disappeared in some neighbouring country).

  25. It really stinks to high heaven when One Man ( who is actually a servant of the Rakyat ) can enrich himself & those around him for so long bleeding the State dry !

  26. Penangites, I agree with you. The comfort threshold of Malaysians is indeed very high. Just look at the number of unregistered voters…

    Brinkmanship is the order of the day!

  27. Bro, CMS and its cronies companies have been in KL actively for the last 10 years getting … contracts.

    Make some calls and you’ll be rewarded 🙂

  28. The fight for power

    The Bakun dam project has displaced more than 10,000 indigenous people [EPA]

    The Malaysian state of Sarawak plans to build 12 new hydro-electric dams along the state’s waterways, saying the projects will create jobs, provide cheap renewable energy and meet the demands of future industrialisation.

    The dams are supposed to push the total generating capacity in the state to 7,000MW by 2020, an increase of more than 600 per cent from the current capacity.

    There are plans to expand the aluminium-smelting industry in the state which will need the planned output.

    But critics question the sustainability of the project.

    They are concerned that the dams will destroy the environment and heritage sites, displace tens of thousands of local indigenous people and are unnecessary for a region that already has more electricity than it needs.

    Opponents also say that the projects are magnets for corruption, enriching the private coffers of those in power.

    This week on 101 East we talk to those in favour and against Sarawak’s proposed new dams.

    This episode of 101 East airs from Thursday, March 19, 2009 at the following times GMT:
    Thursday: 1230, 1930; Friday: 0300, 0630; Saturday: 1400; Sunday: 0530; Monday: 0130; Tuesday: 1030; Wednesday: 0730, 1430.

  29. Like I mentioned earlier, the voters themselves are to be blamed. Why the hell you people keep voting in BN when there are serious obvious signs of massive corruption. Looks like most malaysians are practising the rule of ‘Management by Crisis’…that is when problems become too great than only eyes and brains become wide open.

  30. Yep, just watched it and couldn’t help sneering to see and hear James going on about everything being ‘legal’ and that there was no ‘illegality’!! I cringed at his pathetic attempts to skirt around the issue. I’m sure our viewers were all too aware of his weak attempts to justify Fauziah’s observations.


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