Sarawak senator: Hold engagement sessions with local communities before building cascading dams along Sungai Belaga

KUCHING, Jan 16 — State PKR Hulu Rajang branch chairman Senator Abun Sui Anyit today urged the state government to hold a series of engagement sessions with the affected communities before going ahead with the construction of cascading dams along Sungai Belaga.

He said he believes that the communities in Belaga district are not against any form of development, but they want the state government to engage with them.

“I am confident that they do not want many unfulfilled promises made in the construction of Bakun and Murum dams, both in Belaga district, to be repeated,” he said in response to Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg’s recent announcement.

He said cascading dams weren’t a necessity since the electric power generated by the two dams is more than enough to meet current demand.

Abun Sui said many residents of Belaga district are in the dark over who wrote to the state government requesting for the cascading dams to be built along Sungai Belaga as announced by the premier.

“At this moment, no local group or individual has come forward to claim responsibility that they were the ones who wrote to the state government,” he said.

He said if the state government wants to develop Belaga district, then it should upgrade the district into the 13th division of Sarawak.

“I am confident that more development will follow with Belaga becoming a division,” he said.

The premier had on Sunday said that the state government had received letters of approval from the local communities to build cascading dams along Sungai Belaga, Sungai Gaat and Sungai Tutoh.

He had said the dam construction would be carried out by private companies, with the electric cable grid routes provided by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).



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