KUCHING, Aug 17: Eleven families in Kampung Quop, merely 10 miles away from the city, who are still living in the dark without electricity supply for the past two decades has puzzled Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Program (HIDUP) president George Young Jr.
“Oh behalf of these families, HIDUP is strongly urging the relevant authorities – from the JKKK (Village Security and Development Committee) to the MP, ADUN (State assemblyman), SEB (Sarawak Energy Berhad) to the Minister for Utilities to give this the utmost urgent priority to connect them to the electricity grid without delay.
“No Sarawakian family deserves to be denied of such basic services especially when they are within the established electricity grid,” George said in a statement issued here today.
He said he came to know about their plight after a family friend contacted him to seek advice.
“Acting from the request, a HIDUP team visited the site in Kpg Quop, where 11 families have been living without electricity, some for as long as 20 years.
“So, how is it that just over 10 miles from Kuching these families have been living without electricity supply for up to 20 years while the state government is planning to supply the new capital of Indonesia in Kalimantan hundreds of miles away electricity from its Bakun hydroelectric dam?,” he asked.
The first case is that of Steven Smail, a mechanic, whose family of six, has not been having electricity supply despite having apply for the utility, since he completed his house in 2007.
“Steven and the other families informed me that their applications have always been shelved in preference to later applications.
“For 13 years, his application, requests and pleas have either been ignored or fell on deaf ears of those elected or appointed to ensure that Sarawakians like Steven do not live in the ‘dark ages’,” said George.
“As we get closer to 57 years since Sarawak co-founded Malaysia as equal partners, we would rightly expect all Sarawakians to have basic services like running water and electricity by now. Sadly and shockingly however that’s not the case for eleven Sarawakian families living not far from Kuching,” added George.-DayakDaily