And who has been given those shares? The lucky list of shareholders are none other than 24 key local headmen in the Sungai Asap longhouses. These are the people whom BN pay to be the ‘representatives’ of their people – the people who will be hoping to ‘advise’ their longhouse folk on whom they should vote for at the coming election!
The Federal MP for Hulu Rejang, Bakun says that he “wants to keep serving his people” for another 5th term. However, his rival Wilson Ugat, who is the political secretary to their PRS party chief, BN’s James Masing, says he “wants a turn”.
We ask whether these men are squabbling for the chance to help their people or to grab more wealth and resources from Bakun and elsewhere?
After all, during the 22 years that Billy Abit Joo has held his seat 10,000 of his constituents have been driven from their lands to make way for the Bakun Dam. He supported this project, but what benefit have the people received from the logging and flooding of their lands?
It is now a decade since they were pushed from their homes, yet most of these refugees have yet to receive more than a fraction of the compensation they were promised.
They have now even been told they have to pay for their replacement homes out of the compensation money, which they have yet to fully receive, putting them supposedly ‘in debt’ to the state!
So, what happened to BN’s original promises of free new homes, free water and electricity, new jobs and of course handsome compensation on top?
And what happened to the billions of ringgit that were made out of the logging of these lands by Ekran, a company owned by Taib crony Ting Pek Kiing and Taib’s own sons?
We have to ask, in 22 years what use has Billy Abit Joo been in getting just compensation for his constituents in these matters?
Wargana Consortium Sdn Bhd
Wargana Consortium Sdn Bhd is an enterprise that perfectly spells out the difference between what Billy Abit Joo promises and what he actually does. It shows how, while he promises to enrich his people, he is actually working to enrich himself and key supporters.
Wargana Consortium was announced back in 2010 as a cooperative enterprise. Taib side-kick and sub-Minister for Planning and Resources, Awang Tenggah, called it:
“a company formed by the people themselves” [Borneo Post].
Billy Abit Joo then described a RM 9.8million contract awarded by Sarawak Hydro to clear 60,000 tons of dangerous debris in the Bakun Dam area as some kind of shared venture:
“The local people hold 50 per cent of the share and the other 50 belongs to Wargana Consortium Sdn Bhd”, he claimed. [Borneo Post again]
Billy also said that local people would get the opportunity to work on the venture and provide their own boats to the project to help clear up the waters.
These statements gave the clear impression that the project was offering work and also that a 50% share of the profit from the RM9.8million contract would go in dividends to the local people.
If this were really the case you might praise a local MP for arranging such help for his people.However, the promises over the Wargana Consortium have turned out to be as thin as those over compensation for Bakun.
Firstly, our researches show that there is no shared venture. The whole debris-clearing project was awarded to Wargana Consortium Sdn Bhd alone, according to Sarawak Hydro’s own web announcement. There is no record at all of 50% of the share going to local people!