Minister: 12 river basins in S’wak identified for potential cascading dams but no coercion on locals

Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, May 13: Sarawak has identified 12 river basins for the potential development of cascading dams with a total generation capacity of 3,000 megawatts (MW).

They are Sungai Gaat, Sungai Belaga, Sungai Tutoh, Sungai Danum, Sungai Balui, Sungai Trusan, Sungai Lawas, Sungai Limbang, Sungai Tinjar, Sungai Baram, Sungai Tekalit, and Sungai Bangkit.

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Speaking during the ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting here today, Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi said his ministry and Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) are actively implementing engagement sessions with the local communities of Sungai Tutoh, Sungai Gaat, Sungai Belaga, and Sungai Trusan.

“I wish to stress that these projects are still at the proposal stage and will only be implemented once we receive approval from the local communities,” he said.

During a press conference afterwards, Julaihi explained that some of the 12 locations were identified by the ministry while the local leaders and communities proposed some.

“The ones that we are doing right now are based on the request (of the community). For example, Sungai Tutoh in Miri was identified based on the request of its representative.

“But then again, if there are parties who do not agree with this cascading dam project, there is no ‘force’ (coercion) in implementing a cascading power source. We do not want to be accused of forcing the local communities.

“After all, they should understand that this is for their own good in the near future. We must remember that those vocal ones are only representing the minority and cannot overwhelm the voice of the majority of the population in the area,” he explained. — DayakDaily

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