Awang Tengah to tackle logjam in Bakun HEP Dam

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 21: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan has been appointed by the State Cabinet to spearhead a committee to tackle the massive logjam at the upper Bakun HEP Dam.

This was disclosed to DayakDaily by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing after the cabinet meeting today.


“The issue (Bakun HEP Dam logjam) was deliberated extensively during our Cabinet meeting just now. Hence the Cabinet has decided to appoint Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan to spearhead a committee to tackle the issue,” said Masing when contacted by today.

Masing commented that Awang Tengah is the right person for the job as he is the minister-in-charge of environment and other related agencies to address the logjam issue.

“He is the most appropriate person to spearhead the committee and we are very confident that the committee will be able to tackle the logjam soonest possible,” added Masing who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development.

The decision by the cabinet today followed the logjam issue which has been affecting the community in upper Bakun HEP Dam including five villages namely Long Keboho, Naha Jalei, Naha Nyalong, Long Bulan and Long Jawe, with a total of 220 doors.

Prior to this, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said that the clearing of the debris had to be postponed due to the imposition of Movement Control Order (MCO) in Sibu and Conditional MCO in other areas.

Lee had said, SRB and the relevant agencies will work with the communities in the affected areas by tagging the logs which will be spiked with iron nails then secured onto the riverbank with ropes to create a safe passage for the movement of boats in the area.

He said the decision was made following a meeting called by his ministry on Dec 18, 2020, attended by all stakeholders such the Forest Department, SRB, Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFS), Land and Survey Department and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).

The logjam issue in upper Bakun HEP Dam was first brought up by Belaga Assemblyman Datuk Liwan Lagang on Nov 16, 2020 and subsequently, he made another appeal on Jan 18, 2021 as he claimed his complaints had fallen on deaf ears.

Lee had reiterated that the logjam issue at the upper Bakun HEP Dam is not a new issue as it has been there since the impounding of the Bakun HEP Dam way back in 2010.

However, chairman of the Bakun Lake Native Association (BLNA) Pemanca Tony Kulleh said there was no need to wait for the lifting of MCO in Sibu to carry out the clearing works as Belaga district is not under MCO.

As such, Tony reiterated that it was absurd for Lee to make such statement as Belaga was never under Sibu’s jurisdiction.

He also reiterated that the local people can do the clearing job provided the government must provide the necessary funding.

Tony refuted that it was not just the five villages which are affected by the debris but also inland fishermen from Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme. — DayakDaily