Baleh River dispute: Soon Koh part of State government that approved logging licenses

Nanta (left) and Soon Koh.

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KUCHING, Sept 5: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh was part of the previous Sarawak government that permitted logging activities that could cause logjams such as the recent Baleh River incident.

Kapit MP Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, in saying this, pointed out that Wong had been long involved in the top flight of the State government leadership that issued green light to logging in Baleh, Kapit and all the way along Rejang River areas.

“The point is that Wong Soon Koh indeed was part of the Sarawak Government that had approved many logging licenses in the past,” said Nanta in a statement on his social media page today.

He said the Sibu’s water supply disruption due to high siltation at Rejang River was also caused by logging approved by the government in which Wong played a part in.

If Wong were to deny this contributory negligence, Nanta wished to remind that the people had never heard of Wong’s protest or dissenting voice on the issuance and continued renewals of logging permits to companies operating in the area.

Nanta, who is also Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, thought it was unwise for Wong himself to bring up the 2010 Rejang logjam in the latter’s rebuttal yesterday (Sept 4) since Wong was a minister in the State government then.

Describing Wong’s statements on Baleh River logjam as political stunts, Nanta said Wong had shown little care for the people of Baleh and Kapit.

“You never really care for us in the longhouses, in the rural areas of Baleh, nor in Kapit town.

“Obviously you are merely playing politics, trying very hard to portray yourself as the so called champion for the native people of Kapit.

“No, you have never been someone who cares for us in Kapit, never was, not now and never ever will be,” Nanta ended his statement, though he said he has much more to ask of Wong, the Bawang Assan assemblyman, his contributions towards his own constituency.

In a local newspaper on Sept 2, Wong included Kapit as part of the affected area of the recent Baleh River logjam. On the same day, Nanta replied with a statement questioning whether Wong is aware of Kapit’s location which is far from the source of the logjam.

Yesterday, there was a response from Wong urging Nanta to look at the bigger picture whereby the logjam should be addressed, and not to dwell on petty issues such as questioning the former’s geographical and political knowledge. — DayakDaily