The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) – a group which has been critical of Sarawak's policies on its indigenous people – said Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud's eldest son, Mahmud Abu Bekir, is the chairman of Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCB), whose subsidiary won the contract.
"According to company documents, the Sarawak strongman’s son is both chairman of SCB and its second-largest shareholder with a 33% stake in the company (21% held directly and 12% indirectly)," said BMF.
The Sun daily yesterday reported that stock exchange authorities in Kuala Lumpur were informed by SCB that its subsidiary company – Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd – had received a letter of award for two 500kV transmission line projects in Sarawak, from Mapai to Lachau and Lachau to Tondong.
BMF said the awarding of the contract could not have come at a worse time, referring to the stand-off between native communities and the state over the Baram Dam construction by Sarawak Energy.
The dam, one of 11 new dams being planned by the state government throughout Sarawak, will see the evacuation of 20,000 natives from the Kenyahs, Kayans and Penans ethnic groups.
Villagers had set up protests and blockades around the site of the Baram Dam, preventing Sarawak Energy workers from entering the area.
"Native communities scored a victory when their blockades forced Sarawak Energy workers to halt survey works for the planned Baram dam," Straumann had said.
Meanwhile, The Star quoted Telang Usan's Barisan Nasional state assemblyman, Dennis Ngau, as saying that the situation on the ground was "very hot" following no sign of the natives backing down.
The politician claimed he was worried the matter would "boil over into a physical confrontation", urging restraint through a "cooling off period".
"Stop all ground works for the time being until further notice. Don't confront the protesters. Leave it to us politicians to find a solution," Ngau advised, referring to rock drilling works between Long Naah and Long Kesseh, some 200kms inland from Miri City.
Ngau said he had also cautioned Sarawak Energy and officials from the state Land and Survey Department to stay away from the site for now. - October 31, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider