A legal “direction” published in the Borneo Post last Friday said an area of 4090.8 hectares was “required for public purposes, namely for the development of a hydroelectric dam” and that all native customary rights over the area would be extinguished.
It said compensation would be offered for the native customary land.An SEIA is currently under way for the Baram proposal, and Sarawak Energy, which is overseeing plans for nine new major dams in total, insists no decision has yet been made about it.
Under state law and international project development guidelines a social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) must be completed before the proposed dam can be approved or its construction started.
But the public road leading inland towards the Baram area has already been renamed as the dam site access road and its new sign carries the logo of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
SCORE, the government’s dramatic industrialisation plan, is premised on a capacity to produce and sell cheap electricity from Sarawak’s rivers.
The proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam would flood an area of just under 400 square kilometers, which is home to an estimated 20,000 indigenous people from 32 villages.
The Land (Native Customary Rights) (No. 39) 2013 Direction was issued by the Ministry for Resource Planning and Environment, which is headed by Sarawak’s Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Under the Sarawak Land Code people who have native customary rights to the land have 60 days from when the notice was published to apply for compensation. - August 6, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider