Batang Ai: Ho! Ho! Ho! The White-Haired One arrives…


Due to climate chaos wreaking havoc to Santa’s North Pole winter detection system, he has mistakenly set out to balmy Asia way ahead of schedule.

Having been tipped off, my contact in Sarawak has been keeping an eye out for his early arrival. Hark, are those sleigh bells ringing? The ring-a-ling draws closer and then… with a mighty flourish, the sleigh draws into view and screeches to a halt. As the jolly White-Haired One, a huge sack of goodies slung over his shoulder, disembarks and bellows, “Ho! Ho! Ho!”, his band of cronies… er, I mean, faithful elves dances a jig.

It’s Santa and his elves bringing the politics of ‘instant noodles’ development to the good folks of Batang Ai.

RM2 million for Longhouses in Batang Ai
By Churchill Edward; Borneo Post; Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Land titles

…Sarawak is conducting a census among people in the Batang Ai resettlement area to resolve the long-standing issue of land titles after they were displaced by the construction of the Batang Ai hydro-electric dam in 1982…(NST, 27 March 09)

Projek RM60 juta bukan ‘mi segera’

Borneo Post, 26 Mar 09

Pelbagai projek di DUN Batang Ai sudah lama dirancang: Masing

RM45 juta kos subsidi
Oleh Edwin Raoh, Borneo Post, 23 Mar 09

Jumlah tersebut adalah bagi seragamkan harga petrol dan diesel di Sarawak di bawah pelaksanaan Projek Komuniti Drumming

Rural grants

“…federal government had allocated minor rural project (MRP) grants amounting to RM420,000 for Batang Ai…” (Borneo Post, 22 March 09)

Road improvements

“…priority to tar-seal the 10km Batang Ai settlement area ring road and two other roads at a cost of RM42 million…” (Malaysian Insider, 15 March 09)

Fish breeding course

“…The next catfish breeding course will be held at Batang Ai Hilton Resort from March 23 to 25. It is targeted at community leaders from Batang Ai…” (Borneo Post, 20 March 09)

PKR’s bad political maths
By Samuel Aubrey, Borneo Post; Thursday, March 19th, 2009

…Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang “…hands over RM345,000 in rebates to 692 outboard engine owners….”

…According to Jabu, Batang Ai can look forward to several  projects soon and these include building of new roads and upgrading of present roads which are estimated to cost in the region of RM12 million…

…These projects which include the RM5 million Batang Ai ring road, the resettlement road and the RM4 million Lubok Antu-Nanga Bulu road would be implemented  under the second stimulus package announced recently by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, he added…

…Later, another ceremony to hand over cash rebates took place at Serubah, Lemanak which was also officiated by Jabu and attended by Masing.  They  also took the opportunity to introduce Mussen to the people there…

…In Serubah, 177 people received cash rebates totalling RM87,000…

…In total, there were 869 recipients and RM430,000 in total cash rebates were paid out in Lubok Antu, which was the first area in the state to receive this assistance….

RM12 mln for roads in Batang Ai; project state’s priority: Masing
By Churchill Edward and Connie Banji; Borneo Post; Monday, March 16th, 2009

Lubok Antu folk first to receive cash rebate
By Samuel Aubrey, BP; Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Outboard engine owners to get RM400,000 from scheme

Lubok Antu folk to enjoy phone, Internet service soon
By Jacob Achoi; BP; Monday, March 9th, 2009

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The Grinch

When that Santa is gone we’ll be sure to have a parade on his grave… Think of all the wealth he has taken from this land. i think this is what he means when he said he “know Sarawak better than any other people does.” the ability to poison the mind of rural people with false promises. when will people here realize that things will never change as long as they vote for Be End. i bet if Be End wins, Santa’s gonna say “Gotcha!” to the folks at Batang Ai and walks away with a stupid grin as if… Read more »


Come on, people of Sarawak! OPEN UP ALL YOUR SENSES!The time is ripe now for a change to happen. It is already happening in the peninsula! Do the same to Sabah and Sarawak. We at peninsula are awaiting eagerly for the ultimate change. Let the people rule the country. From the people to the people for the people!…

Dennis Madden

Way to go… Catching up on long overdue maintenance and services …. PLUS a catfish breeding course( at the Hilton Resort???)

That’s really opening the door to an imaginative and prosperous future for the Batang Ai-ese

Andrew I aka the bored pensioner

Thank you Chris for sharing and we shall respect that.


yup its always “batang ai”. batang = big river meanwhile ai = water in Iban literally translated as big water river.


It’s Batang Ai to the locals ‘Ai’ – is Iban meaning the same as ‘Air’ in BM. In respect to the Iban i would use Batang Ai. Also i personally object to the Malayification that is happening throughout the Borneo states. Small things like names actually are a really big friggin’ deal.


it’s always “batang ai” to the people lucia. It’s iban

Andrew I aka the bored pensioner

So which is it? Air or Ai?

Complacency finds its way into all languages and there will always be those who will try to justify it.

Take Kota Bahru, Kota Bharu and Kota Baru. Sounds like it, looks like it but can’t say for sure whether it is it.

Just did a swing by at Anwar’s blog. There’s an article by the Economist called Um, no change.

Reminds this old bird of a burger king advert in London during the 80s. The caption for the whopper read: It’s not just big, Mac.


They have been doing these for 50 over years & still doing it….!

Bribe, bribe & bribe…!


*yawn* what else is new.

btw anil, everybody had been wrong to use ‘batang ai’. it should be ‘batang air’. a MAFREL observer on checking the official electoral roll, found ‘batang air’ in it, not ‘batang ai’. you can also check from SPR site which shows the constituency N29 as batang air.

i wonder how along the way the ‘r’ had been dropped.

Strange, cos the Borneo Post also spells it as Batang Ai. – Anil

sink umno

yeah thats a giant bag full of goodies.. trying to deceive

The b…… is restless….


Hey it’s not even Dec yet, Christmas arrived early in Malaysia!
So expected of least they did not let us down. No new tricks eh? Any new tricks? We are tired of the old tricks! Show us something new!


i wish (more) BN YB have heart attacks. then we could have more christmas celebration… i mean… by-elections.

Mata Kuching

Unfortunately and as cruel as it might sound, the rest of Sarawakians living in the remote interiors whose NCR lands have been allienated to Plantation tycoons, would have to wait for their respective BN YBs to pass on before they would be instantly rewarded with Instant projects and grants and good tar sealed roads connecting to the main high ways. That is the reality of Taib’s politics of self development and ensuring all BN Dayak leaders are subservient to his iron rule.


What incredible largess. The people of Batang Ai should thank the opposition for this windfall and vote PKR. If PKR isn’t contesting would they get anything?




Wow!! Spend, spend, spend… I see why the analysts thinks that BN will take Batang Ai… money dropping from the sky… I wonder if the projects will still continue if they do win… after all the economy is in ruins… in 3 months time we’ll see how the global recession trend is, will it go further into depression. If so, we will not have the money to continue the projects in batang ai.

So the conclusion is to VOTE FOR CHANGE. These are empty promises!

Johnny Cheah



This is blatant corruption. When will it be stopped? I think Umno’s MACC won’t do anything but there is need to educate Sarawakians and Sabahans so that they know what inherent dignity and rights mean. That’s the only way forward. It will take time but there is need to start it now.