Taib Mahmud’s weird justification for more Sarawak dams

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This one has to take the cake: The Sarawak Chief Minister says the building of more hydroelectric dams can reverse rural-urban migration and transform the infrastructure of rural Sarawak.

Suddenly dams are being touted as the solution for rural development. If that’s the case, we should build more dams all over the peninsula as well, shouldn’t we?

The irony is that all these wonderful dams are displacing thousands of natives from their customary land. If these dams are so good for them, why are the natives consistently protesting against these dams that will submerge their land? Has anyone really consulted them – I mean real consultation – about what they think? And what do they really think about the so-called ‘resettlement schemes’?

The Penan, many of them displaced by dams, are among the most marginalised communities in the country. Where do they go to earn a livelihood after being displaced from their land?

By a happy ‘coincidence’, it doesn’t hurt that Taib’s family-owned CMS is involved in the supply of steel and cement.


This report
is from the Borneo Post:

Pointing this out, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the population in the interior were mostly children under 12 years old and very old people who could not be very productive.

Citing Ulu Baram as an example, he said most of the young people had drifted to Miri and other urban centres in search for jobs.

Taib added he was very concerned about the situation as this was also happening in other rural areas.
“Ulu Baram, Ulu Kapit will never be developed if not for the construction of the dams, in fact these areas are already losing their population, I’m not going to allow this kind of thing to happen forever, we have to reverse the trend.”

Thus, he pointed out that dams were built not only for the sake of producing electricity but also for the spin-off impact of creating jobs, enhancing local industries like eco-tourism and development of basic infrastructure in the interior rural areas.

“If we don’t have any dams, I don’t think there is justification to have a road to Belaga, road to anyway in the interior,” said Taib when officiating at the High Performance Team 2013 gathering at ParkCity Everly Hotel here yesterday.

He disclosed that the state government planned to build two new towns in the interior of the state within the next 20 to 30 years to cater for the expected population increase there.

However, he cautioned that development programmes also presented challenges for the government because the state was very stringent in environmental management.

He added that the success of development projects could not totally put an end to all problems.

“When we talk about dam, the problem of resettlement will become most dominant.”

The issue had been exploited and sensationalised by some organizations he said.

Taib said some international NGOs were against the government’s efforts to develop the interior of the state through construction of dams despite its policies which safeguard the environment and the interests of the affected people.

The chief minister noted that some NGOs were responsible while some just tried to stir up issues in order to get maximum support in their own country or internationally.

If they were to succeed in stopping the development of rural areas through construction of the dams, the very people they claim to fight for would be deprived of a better life, said Taib.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when he says that the state is very stringent in environmental management. And to think the Borneo Post can print such stuff with a straight face.

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sallangtioman

BN must be blind to continue to allow him to rape the land. Sarawak is well known for its many rivers. Modern technology have proven that electricity can be generated by installing generators in these rivers. By building a dam, most of the vegetation will be flooded, and the landscape will be destroyed. Build roads and bridges for goodness sake, and towns will be connected. Small towns will be created. Keep the beautiful scenery for the future generations to enjoy. Meanwhile make tourism the main attraction. Tourism minister to take note. When comes to protecting the ecology and the environment,… Read more »

ikan bakar @ GK

@Tunglang:

I don’t think your tunnel + botak hill gomen can last very long. Let’s wait and see. Who knows if BN can win back Penang in coming GE ???

tunglang

You elected a Dam(p) state gomen, you get Dam(p) development at a Dam(p) price.
What a damp idiot proposition of road building tied to dam building.
Sarawakians, you future is not tied to dams, damp it!

Apai

We sarawakians love and support Taib.

Kevin

All I can say is that Sarawakians especially the rural and ultra rural ones support Taib Mahmud. Whether their land is displaced or not does not seem to bother them because they love their govt as evident in GE 13. They are getting what they asked for. To us it may not be good but to them it is and they have a right to think so. So let them be.

satay pluto @ GK

Apparently, Taib Mahmud is always wanted by the Sarawakians. If he is not wanted, then please explain why Taib Mahmud team win every election since decades ago ???

Are u detached from reality ???

tunglang

Hello, GK.
I thought your kedai-kedai runcit still operating in Penang Island post 513.
No gravy-train business ah?
Now selling Mee Curry al-kataki, Asam Laksa & Satay Pluto!!!
What about Sup Kepala Ostrich tanpa Gelak-Otak?
Have to work hard & sell cheap loh! Penangites are kiam siap kau kau!
Let me see if I have any space left for you after (20 years of your hard street hawking) to qualify for Ori-Maestro recognition in my Penang Street Food Museum.

Cheers Kopi-O kau kau. Mee Curry tambah smooth ladies frog legs, please.

mandom808

Hahaha Tunglang,

Thanks for saying exactly what I had in mind. GK had nothing better to do, and operating multiple stalls now …. GK Medan Selera =)

seaplane.lao111@gmail.com

Taib added he was very concerned about the situation as this was also happening in other rural areas. “Ulu Baram, Ulu Kapit will never be developed if not for the construction of the dams, in fact these areas are already losing their population, I’m not going to allow this kind of thing to happen forever, we have to reverse the trend.” Thus, he pointed out that dams were built not only for the sake of producing electricity but also for the spin-off impact of creating jobs, enhancing local industries like eco-tourism and development of basic infrastructure in the interior rural… Read more »

KTWong87

Also in the Borneo Post today was a report:
“What good service to Islam means – Taib”

See:
http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/06/19/what-good-service-to-islam-means-taib/

Wow…

bigjoe99

For the seriously mathematical, Taib talk is A LAUGHING STOCK. The kind of simple linear argument is TRAGIC COMEDY. … to hear such simpleton linear argument, the real question is if his thinking is so simplistically linear, how the hell he managed to get away … for so long?

Its classic of when leaders priority is so self-interested that he applies his best effort to himself that all the people get leftover of his mind and effort is simple crumbs which is what Sarawakians has..

Asam Laksa @ GK

Anil, are you detached from reality ??? Why all things you mentioned never bother the Sarawakian voters.

Why voters still pick Taib Mahmud ???

Mee curry al-kataki @ GK

Same logic applies everywhere. I also can’t see the justification Penang tunner. Maybe supermajority is the REASON behind tunnel/dams

mark

He(Peh Moh) will be calculating how much businesses(construction,supply building materials like cement and steel) will be generated for his family-controlled companies. That is why he is proposing this idea.
Did he really concerned about the long term effects of the dam? The real economic gains by the locals for the long term?

Paul igan

He won’t build roads because there are no dams…. This same Taib have been promising that he will make Sarawak as the richest state . The rural people after 34 yrs of his misrule are as poor as ever. He won’t build roads, pull water or elec in for them. Some hv whitish eyes and high cheek bones as a result of malnutrition. But Taib doesn’t give a damn. … Very silly old man.