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Malaysian Bar Council report on impacts of Murum Dam on resettled indigenous communities

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Article
1 January 2015

Sarawak Energy fact sheet: “Murum Dam"

Author: Sarawak Energy

The Murum dam is the second hydroelectric project (HEP) to be developed by Sarawak Energy since Batang Ai HEP in the 1980s...The main EPC (Engineer, Procure, Construct) contractor is Three Gorges Dam Company (Malaysia) while Sarawak Energy acts as the project proponent in building the dam...The first round of community consultation on the dam took place in November 1994...Since then, the consultation involved visits to the directly affected longhouses in order to discuss the proposed project and consult with them with regard to all aspects of their proposed resettlement in order to reach amiable consent for the affected communities...From January 2010, the affected communities were consulted on the resettlement sites...The compensation policy for the affected community was guided by existing policies of the government...All 353 families living within the reservoir of Murum dam have been successfully resettled in early December 2013...Sarawak Energy is currently providing continuous assistance in ensuring that the communities can smoothly adapt to their new life. Schools have already started in the two resettlement areas with about 300 students...[Other initiatives]...are aimed at helping the realisation of the indigenous people’s aspirations for equal access to development.

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Report
7 August 2014

Report of the BC's study trip to the Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement Areas in Murum, Sarawak

Author: Bar Council Committee on Orang Asli Rights and the Bar Council Human Rights Committee [Malaysia]

The Bar Council...undertook a study trip to the Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement Areas in Murum, Sarawak from 17 to 23 May 2014.  The primary purpose of the trip was to study the post-relocation conditions of the Penan and Kenyah native communities, which had been displaced by the construction of the Murum Dam...rather than experiencing “an immediate and substantial improvement in living standards, better access to basic human rights to education and health care, and better economic opportunities, whilst preserving their cultural identities and traditions”, the affected communities have been displaced and left desolate.  Their living conditions are deplorable and their livelihood has been decimated.  In spite of this, there appears to be no sense of urgency in remedying or rectifying the situation.  The standard response when officials from Sarawak Energy Berhad visit the area is one of indifference or callousness.  The Penan and Kenyah communities are simply told that they would have to refer the matter to the “pegawai atasan” in Miri or Bintulu, which is 12 to 16 hours away by road. [Bar Council Press Release]

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