Patience wearing thin over broken promises in Bakun

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

KUCHING, Nov 14: The patience and tolerance level of villagers in Bakun (Sungai Asap) Resettlement Scheme over empty promises by the state government is reaching its limit.

Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon said it is just a matter of time before the bomb explodes as every human being has their limit.

Citing empty promises by the state government, Kennedy said years of outstanding issues have caused anxiety among the people who have sacrificed their ancestral lands to make way for the construction of mega hydro projects in Bakun and Murum just for the sake of the state’s development.


“Over the years they have been waiting in vain for a definite answer but it is as if their rights and virtues were neglected and they felt marginalised. Once again, I am appealing to the state government to issue proper land titles for 922 lots as announced by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing in the May 2016 state election. This involves a total premium of RM880,510,” Kennedy said in the State Legislative Assembly today.

“We are also demanding that the government reimburse the total premium of RM2,343,042 to 1,178 families who have paid for the premiums by contra from their land compensation. This is due to the fact that if the government gives the land title (under section 18 of Sarawak Land Code), which is a permanent title, then the premium is free of charge.”

The villagers are also waiting for the approval for 2,450 acres of replacement land for the current land as it was deemed unsuitable for agriculture.

The new land has been identified by the Land and Survey Department but to date, it has yet to be approved.

“Apart from that, the villagers have been waiting in vain for the approval of the additional 6,400 acres of agricultural land with proper road access as promised by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his visit to Bakun (Sungai Asap) Resettlement Scheme on 16 January 2011. The said land has also been identified by the Land and Survey Department but as of to date, it has yet to be approved,” Kennedy said.

At the same time, villagers from the Murum resettlement scheme in Metalun and Tegulang areas are also seeking for approval for 302 residential lots and 284 agricultural land titles to enable them to cultivate their farms. Currently they are depending on a very limited food subsidy, which is barely enough to put food on the table for their families. — DayakDaily