Thursday, September 11, 2014

Damn the dam protest in front of KLCC

2:00PM Sep 10, 2014
By Anjulie Ngan

About 100 protesters held a peaceful demonstration against the building of mega dams across Malaysia in front of KLCC towers today. 
The protesters with banners and placards condemning dams, said they represent various communities from Sarawak, Sabah, peninsular Malaysia and including Indonesia.
Some of the protesters said that they took part in the protest to send a message to the delegates who are currently attending the two day Asean Power Week conference starting today at KLCC.
"We want the people responsible to stop the building of these dams. They are unnecessary.
"More than 20,000 people will be displaced by the building of the 100m high Baram dam in Sarawak," said Peter Kallang (right), chairman of anti dam NGO SAVE Rivers.
Kallang claimed that 33 NGOs including Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy supported the demonstration.
He also claimed that they have managed to gather 10,000 signatures.

"The dams will load the pockets of the tycoons, yet it will rob us, the indigenous people of the lands that we have owned for generations!" said Kallang, to applause from the crowd.

Kallang said in the Temenggor dam case, built in 1978, the families that were displaced were only given RM800 and nothing else till today.

"We don't even know what was promised to us (in Baram dam)," said  Kallang. 

He said that a bigger protest will be held in conjunction with the one year anniversary of the Baram dam blockade come Oct 28.

"The mega damns will leave thousands of indigenous people poor. Our entire lives depend on the river," said Rina Jane Toumin, 22 a representative from the village of Kg Terian, Penampang.
During the protest, a memorandum was handed to a representative of Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
SEB, one of the hosts of the Asean Power Week, is also the state owned energy company which will be building the Baram dam.

Baram dam is a gravity dam to be built over the Baram River near Miri and is touted to replace 25 native longhouses. Once built, it was reported the dam will cover 39,000 hectares.

The dam is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy projects, an initiative of the state government.
Sarawak’s dams have displaced many small communities and the tug of war for land between dam builders and native communities is a continuing battle. 

~ Malaysiakini


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