‘People affected by Bakun, Murum dams want promises kept’
KUCHING: The people of Murum especially those affected by both the Bakun and Murum hydroelectric power ( HEP) dams want the government to fulfil its promises.
Murum assemblyman Kenndey Chukpai Ugon said the people affected by the two mega dams at Bakun Resettlement Scheme (BRS), Tegulang and Metalun felt that they have been marginalised and thus urged the government to address the issues amicably.
“I will continue to highlight the promises to those affected by the two mega HEP dams at this august House until they are fulfilled. They have sacrificed their ancestral lands for the implementation of these mega dams and they have been very patient in waiting for the answers for these promises but their rights and welfare have somehow been sidelined,” Chukpai said during his debate in support of the Supply Bill (2018) 2017 at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.
He disclosed that among the pressing needs of his people in all the longhouses in Murum are basic amenities such as clean and treated water and electricity through Sarawak Alternative Rural Water Supply (Sawas), Rural Electrification Scheme ( RES) and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme ( Sares) respectively.
“Currently, many longhouses in my area have no access to these basic amenities. On top of that I hope rural schools such as SK Lusong Laku, SK Long Urun, SK Kuala Kebulu, SMK Bakun, SK Batu Keling, SK Long Gang, SK Tegulag and SK Metalun be upgraded so they can have an environment more conducive, comfortable and not lacking in order to produce quality human capital to propel Sarawak to greater heights,” he said.
Chukpai also highlighted the urgency for the government to give out 922 lots under Section 18 of the Land Code, as announced by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing during the last state election, which involved land premium amounting to RM888,510.
“On top of that, we would also like to request from the government to pay back the land premium amounting to RM2,343,042 to 1,178 affected families which have been deducted from their land compensation. If the land is given out under Section 18 ( Perpetuity) then the land premium should be free and the premium be refunded,” he pointed out.
The first- term Murum assemblyman also requested that 2,450 acres of unsuitable land for farming be replaced.
“We hope that the Land and Survey Department will expedite the issuance of more fertile land for the affected communities as the site has been identified,” he reiterated.
Chukpai also urged the government to give out additional three acres of land per family as promised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Uma Belor on Jan 16, 2011.
“We would like to request for extra land for farming and housing for extended 1,264 families at BRS, Sg Asap,” said Chukpai.
On a related issue, he highlighted the need for the government to give 302 residential lots and 284 agriculture lots for resettlers at Metalun and Tegulang.
“We hope the issuance of land titles be expedited so re- settlers can participate in commercial farming and improve their livelihood,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Chukpai urged the government to upgrade former logging roads in Metalun and Tegulang urgently.
Kennedy Chukpai Ugon