Urgent security protection needed for Bakun, Murum and Baleh dams: Masing

Masing (centre) having a group photo with Manca (3rd left) and GOF top officers at the former’s office in Kuching today. On Masing’s left is Freda Agan, an officer of Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Sept 25: Sarawak’s three major hydroelectric power (HEP) dams, namely Bakun HEP, Murum HEP and Baleh HEP need urgent security protection against any unforeseen geopolitical threat, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

“These three HEP dams located near the border, produce 4,500MW of electricity. Power generated from these three dams is critical for the economic development of Sarawak.

“If the three dams are sabotaged by any unfriendly parties, the people of Sarawak will be like ‘baka pitak buai di mata’ (like blow fly with eyes taken out) in short, we will fly blind. It will be disastrous.

“Thus, the three dams must be protected,” said Masing after the briefing by Sarawak General Operations Force (GOF) Commander SAC Manca Ata at the former’s office here today.

Masing, who is also the chairman of State’s border security reiterated that Sarawak needed to beefed up its border security to ensure that these strategic assets worth billions of ringgit are secured at all times.

“By 2026, Indonesian administrative centre will move to Kalimantan. It will involve no less than 1.5 million people closer to URDA (Ulu Rajang Development Agency) area. Therefore, our border with Kalimantan must be secured to prevent border crossing.

“Since these border posts involve Malaysian security with Indonesia, I want Malaysian govt to be actively involved in their establishment. Sarawak will contribute as much as we can,” said Masing

Earlier, Masing was briefed on the establishment of two permanent border posts at Tapak Megah, 20km from the Malaysian-Indonesian border and Long Singut, which is about 15 km from the border.

“These border posts are not only used to stop infiltration of people from Kalimantan during Covid-19, but to prevent smuggling across the border which is rampant at the moment.

“Therefore, in the near future GOF want to establish a unit of not less than seven specially trained GOF personnel in each of the three HEP Dams. Sarawak is keen to have these assets to be well protected,” added Masing. — DayakDaily

Map showing locality of Tapak Megah and Long Singut where GOF has established its permanent border posts.