Undersea cable cost for jinxed Bakun doubles to RM15b


I have always believed that the Bakun Dam has been jinxed, ever since the developers messed with the ancestral lands of the indigenous people and displaced them from the site.

Now we are witnessing a re-run of the scandal involving the second Penang bridge, which we might not even need in the first place. The figures are almost identical – except that for the Bakun Dam, the cost of the undersea cables is quoted in US dollars instead of ringgit.

In the case of the second Penang Bridge, the estimated cost has soared from RM2.7 to close to RM5 billion in a year or so.

In the case of the Bakun undersea cables, according to an Edge report, the cost of the cables has soared from US$2.5 billion (RM8 billion) to US$4.7 billion (RM15 billion), which is the figure quoted by a consortium led by Sumitomo.

No wonder Sime Darby pulled out. How to supply electricity to Tenaga in the peninsula at an affordable tariff, when the cost of the cables has reached the stratosphere! No super-profits to be made, so let’s pull out and leave the government holding the Bakun baby. A typical case of “privatisation of profits, and socalisation of losses”.

In any case, the peninsula hardly needs the electricity now, does it. Besides Tenaga is still paying capacity charges to the independent power producers for electricity it does not really need. And now, Tenaga is supposed to pay at least 18 sen per unit for electricity from Bakun, when it can produce electricity itself for much cheaper!

But if they don’t transmit electricity to the peninsula, they will have all this excess capacity in Sarawak from Bakun. What to do with all that power? Build more polluting smelters? And don’t forget, they are still on a dam-building spree in Sarawak, building more dams as if there is no tomorrow…

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najib manaukau

Most Malaysians seem to forget the one most important factor why so many white elephants were and are still implemented. The white elephants were and still are being built to ensure (a certain leader)… give out contracts to all his cronies. That was to ensure all his Umnoputra cronies will continue to support his (position) in Umno. And …. now you know the indisputable truth as to why he was (a leader for so long)… You don’t need a secondary education to know that ! And at he same time projecting the illusion that the shenanigan was the most popular… Read more »


Why do our country built this dam that cost so much money. If that money used to built the solar power i think it already generate the income to our country by now.Beside our native forest and population over Bakun don’t have to suffer from the effect that comes from this mega project.

Yong Kok Wee

Frankly, they built the dam is to get profits from the fallen trees. There is no need to build a dam and flood the area as wide as Kelantan state. This is a job of some mindless politicians on business interest. They are really irresponsible for the children’s future. I am very sad to be a Malaysian.


Stop the whole damn project now! Scale down Bakun, abort the underseans cable plan. And to all the feasibility studies on new Hydropower dam in Sarawak, NO NEED. It is feasible to build technically, it is NOT feasible to build for our economy.

While the White Monarch in Sarawak and Peninsula crocodiles rape our forest and build dam, we should not hesitate. Stop dreaming, we will send you back to the real world, like what we did on Khir Toyo (still remember who’s that?) and Tajol and Samy… To the hell with them

Kenny Gan

Due to the cost of Bakun dam and the undersea cable, TNB will be forced to buy electricity it does not need at inflated rates and pass it on to consumers.

This is yet another example of redistribution of wealth. The rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer.

No wonder ordinary Malaysians are suffering!


Hi Anil, Whatever that was planned, it wasn’t planned for the benefits of the people (rakyat) just the ” dealers’ ” pocket. Of course in the long terms, some projects will turn out to be beneficial BUT at what cost ? Ultimately, the people suffers in view of wastages and with our national oil fields drying up soon, what is left for the future generation ? The next generation will have to bear the consequence of the massive loans taken for the many failed project. We have all the top talents in various field but just that they are not… Read more »

J Choo

15,000,000,000. Is this the correct zeros, or is it more. But never mind. Anil, think of the so many social projects or alternative source of energy that we could implement with the right people/experts in charge. I don’t think laying cables is a good idea at all.


Of course, now Dr.M will claim that were it not for the ‘currency conspiracy’ plotted by [email protected] that scuppered his plans, we could have saved billions if Bakun had been continued in 1998.

If the truth be told, we have become the dumping ground for obsolete as well as untested technology. What links them are billions of $ of inflated costs, directly negotiated non-tendered contracts and the sitting-duck suckers – the weary and truly sodomised Malaysian taxpayer!!


How possible is it for our PR MPs to convience everyone in the parliament to reject this proposal? Its …overspending … underplanning …


Right from the start, Bakun has been a problem looking for a solution instead of an economic going concern. There never was a real case for its economic viability, other than government spin.

I see the Penang Bridge differently. Economically, its definitely a viable project. The escalating costs are due to a combination of worldwide construction material inflation combined with the usual opaque uncompetitive government contract decision making process. There are valid environmental concerns of bringing more motor vehicles into the congested island.


Thanks Anil, your report are fact based. Can you check out my blog on the piece that i wrote on nuclear power? In short, Malaysia can produce the same amount of energy at cheaper rate using the latest solar power, but the gov. seemed bent of nuclear & building more dams. And solar is free here.

One do wonder where all these electricity will go to. In PD, they are building a new humongous power plant. With companies leaving Malaysia, we are overplanning and underutilizing.



Thanks Anil for all your research. If not for people like you, we will only know what the MSM produce and we all know that MSM is censored information.

With the good efforts of people/bloggers like you, everybody can now know about multi-billion dollar scandals, no more multi-million dollar!

Can you pls create a email link like bloggers.com, so that we can forward informative postings to all our friends. Although I have subscribed to your feedburner, I don’t get all your postings and the ones that come have like 1 to 2 days delay.

Juan Taman

The 15 billion can be better spent to generating more world class power-hungry industries in Sarawak to create more employment for Malaysians.Malaysia need to do more promotion overseas.
More industries from W Malaysia can be relocated to Sarawak to take advantage of the power abundance.Just wonder where have Malaysia top planners go?


That is why, don’t mess with ancestral lands. So sadlah, all the money could have been saved, can be used to “subsidise” petrol for the people and bring back petrol price to RM1.92.

As recession is around the corner, Malaysia should scrap all mega projects and conserve. All other countries are doing that fearing another 1997 recession.

All other countries, governments are already warning their rakyat to tighten their belts to prepare for a bad global recession.

raj raman666

There is no jinxed lah.

Just check it out SIME DARBY siapa punya?
TENAGA siapa punya?

Then you will get the anwser but for a while only.
rajraman – both kita punya but they claim mereka punya.


And it’s not just one baby. It’s a whole orphanage.