A few days ago, The Star reported that the relocation of seven Penan villages affected by the proposed RM3 billion Murum Dam in Belaga, Sarawak would be carried out according to the findings of a social and environmental impact assessment.
State environmental adviser James Dawos was reported as saying that the government had appointed consultants to conduct the study, expected to be completed by year-end, and would consider their report before coming up with a resettlement plan. The villages affected are Long Wat, Long Luar, Long Tangau, Long Menapa, Long Singu, Long Malim and Long Uba. Long Wat villagers face double jeopardy: they are to be “temporarily relocated” (to enable the construction of a cofferdam to divert the river) before later resettlement.
Here’s what one analyst had to say in response:
The major omission in this news report is that it does not canvass the views of the affected Penan.