‘Bakun dam must not fall into foreign hands’

By Joseph Tawie, Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: Sarawak DAP is against the idea of the federal government selling the Bakun hydro-electric dam to a foreign company. Otherwise the locals would be at the mercy of this foreign company, the party warned.

“We understand that there are three offers to buy the dam – two from foreign companies and the state government of Sarawak,” said DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen.

“The dam is a strategic project and we must not allow it to fall into the hands of the private sector or much worse to a foreign company,” he added.

Chong, the Bandar Kuching MP, suggested that the federal government surrender the dam to the state government if the federal government was really interested in developing Sarawak.

“After all the federal government and the state government are both Barisan Nasional governments. It is just a matter of taking from the left pocket and putting it into the right pocket,” he said.

The federal government must consider this option because in the construction of the dam, state resources had been depleted, trees chopped, forests cleared and natives resettled and their lands had to be submerged.

Form special committee

“All these are costs to the state, so I call on the federal government to surrender the dam to the people of Sarawak,” Chong said, pointing out that it should be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from the opposition, federal and state governments.

“I will speak on this in Parliament next week,” he added.