Dam conference in Sawarak


A conference on building dams – and what more ‘appropriate’ venue than Sarawak, where a dam-building frenzy has gripped policy makers.

These days they have green-washed their image: they are calling it “Water Resources and Renewable Energy Development”.

As part of the conference programme, they are organising site visits to Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum as well as “cultural excursions” and “a full social programme” for delegates. I wonder if these will include visits to the indigenous communities, especially the Penan, many of whom have been and will be displaced by all these dams. (Update: Yes, on day two of the programme, “in the mid-afternoon, the group will have an opportunity to visit the Sungai Asap village, where communities were resettled from the Bakun reservoir area. On arrival the guests will be received with the traditional dance of the ‘Kayan’ tribe. There will be a tour of the village, with a chance to learn about the Kayan culture and customs”. I hope they will be thoroughly briefed about the problems faced by those who were resettled.)

Check out the blurb on the conference here.

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I expected not everyone will share concern for “their” environment. No amount of “shifting the blame” can or is going to reverse the failures or lack of action of the previous generations. Our (yes, all of us) generation is going to endure a climatic change never seen before. We are experiencing it now. Can you explain the gradual increase in temperature these few years? Or explain the sudden heavy downpours that choke our infrastructures? The Kyoto Protocol was/is a global initiative to address these dramatic climate change. Malaysia is also part of it. Sadly it is not to expectation. We… Read more »


Gerakan K is certainly no fan of those bothersome “blue monkeys” and their sacred trees. Prime example of an ecosystemic virus in human guise.


I’m sorry to be over-sensitive to Gerakan K’s comments, but when people state things with confidence, I always feel as though they’re trying to sell me slimming pills or insurance. Hydropower is not green. It’s closer to blue-grey. It usually replaces vast expanses of green, photosynthesising plants (absorbing sun’s energy and absorbing carbon, releasing oxygen) with a large body of water which may do the opposite of those 3. Worse yet, I’m not convinced it is precisely renewable. Converting rainfall to energy is only renewable as long as the rain continues to fall in the catchment area. I’m not a… Read more »


I’m also not convinced by Gerakan K’s explanation. Building dams does not make it an environmental and “green” energy. Think about the vast forest that will have to be cleared/destroyed to send in these machinery to build these dams. The pollution released by these gas-guzzling behemoth trucks and like would choke and poison the ecosystem. It would take decades to revive the ecosystem. We will most probably lose (become extinct) another portion of our flora and fauna. Then you have the after-effects that include submerging certain areas under water. That is another hot topic and naturalist have divided views about… Read more »

Gerakan K

You beat me totally. Your level of spinning really exceeded even the president of perkosa. You are the spin champion of the year 2010.

OK you won. And tell everyone about your precious findings. You can be instant multi-millionaire. Just sue the publishers, the teachers, the education ministry, and of course the scientist because they twisted the fact just like attempted to sell you a slimming pill/insurance.

p/s: Kamu sudah sesat

p/s/s: Oh my god! Hello blog owner, please show some sense of nationalism….


Sometimes, these sort of excursions and conferences are used by the government to show that “they have consulted widely with locals and NGOs and other interest groups”, just so that they can say they have “consulted all stakeholders” before going on with the dam development anyway.



Visits are on pages 8-10. I don’t know why you’re making such a fuss. You see? They’re going to give the locals pens and pencils. Fair’s fair, Anil.

Gerakan K

Stop your spinning now. Hydro power is renewable and green energy. My “cikgu” also said like that. Many science books also say so. I hope you will make correction in your article.

Gerakan K


Chopping trees is another matter. At least hydro power don’t fire gas/coal to generate power. It uses water only and thus it is a renewable and green energy.

p/s: I’m still waiting some honest commentators to support my opinion. Where are you O ???


First, hydropower does not in the production of energy necessarily produce greenhouse gases. But it can produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases up-front, from deforestation and flooding of forested areas and from the huge amount of energy used and cement dug out to make the dam itself. This is the same with oil palm biofuel production — upfront carbon dioxide emissions are so huge when you clear forests that the “green” biofuel benefits are just a joke cuz the damage to the atmosphere is already done. So, Gerakan K, understand both ecology and economics. By pumping up so much carbon… Read more »