Dipetik dari web dayakbaru.com
Written by: Dr. John Brian Anthony
Finally, my earlier question of why did Sarawak “sell out” Bakun to West Malaysia is finally going to be answered. It is going to be expensive for Sarawak to pay for the control of BAKUN even though the Ministry of Finance held the biggest share.
It is expensive to Sarawak
Not only in monetary term which could be addressed by Return on Investment (ROI) through sales of electricity, but Sarawak sacrifice the people of BELAGA for the project. The people of Belaga have to move out of their centuries old homes, history, familiarity, land, culture and begin a new life that is lacking in everything they have experience before.
The cultural shocked is felt by Belaga people up till today. What did Belaga people get out of Bakun - development that was created to feed the industrialized sector of West Malaysia. Now those sacrifice is at least understandable as Sarawak Energy is involved in a much more substantial way through equity. and control of operation.
Hopefully, Sarawak Energy would provide “special treatment” to the people of Belaga who are affected by the project.
While in Belaga town last year, the town folks commented that “large fishes” has disappeared and now they only buy smaller fishes for their dining table. The Bakun dam has affected the quantity and quality of the food down stream.
Sarawak Energy, TNB to take over operation through leasing agreement and other related agreements (Jan 23rd 2009 -Borneo Post)
“Bakun hydroelectric dam is going to be operated by a Sarawakian-based company. The detail of the takeover had been worked out and the federal government had agreed to the idea.
It was reported that Sarawak Energy and TNB will take over from Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd through a leasing agreement.
Sarawak Energy said a special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be set up to take over the operation from Sarawak Hidro upon full commissioning of the units through a leasing agreement and other related commercial agreements for the sale of electricity to Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.
The SPV will be owned by TNB, Sarawak Energy and the state whilst Minister of Finance Inc (MOFInc) will hold a golden share in the SPV.” ( Borneo Post).
Benefits from Bakun
The poor people would look forward to have electricity in their home. The Batang Ai Dam for example is limited in its benefits for the poor people. Hopefully, the same will not happen to Bakun and to those people living close to Bakun.
Previously - Bakun is almost 100% in the hand of foreign ownership and Federal Government. I guesse the cost of constructing Bakun was too much for the State. However, the natural wealth ( Bio-mass and Timber licence) has been awarded to a very rich Chinese personality. On top of that award of forest license to the chinese person he awarded more money when the government take over the contract of Bakun from him.
What has this man given to the Bakun people?
Could there be some sharing of under table money somewhere from this process of giving timber license and compensation ?
Leasing from Sarawak Hidro
This is a very important arrangement - leasing is the crux of many problems in Malaysia - the toll in West Malaysia for example is one and many more. The State government must be HONEST and act with INTEGRITY to ensure that the leasing would be fair to Sarawak. Is that possible in Sarawak from the same old group of corrupted people?
When the leasing agreement is in favour of Sarawak Hidro - than Sarawak Energy would stand to suffer in the long run. It is a big burden to meet the financial commitment for leasing and more so if the agreement is negotiated in a “corrupt” manner to benefit certain individual both in Sarawak and West Malaysia.
SIME give up on undersea transmission contract
So now it seems that TNB through a joint venture company owned by Sarawak Energy, TNB and MOFInc will undertake the development of the undersea transmission facilities, while the on-land transmissions systems for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak to be developed by Sarawak Energy and TNB, respectively.
This laying of undersea transmission line and above ground line would be a big and expansive task. This would be a better option for Sarawak contractors to source out contract work compared to SCORE. from Sarawak Energy. Hopefully Sarawak Energy would not give the BIG CONTRACT to one company belonging to the biggest person in Sarawak.
At least part of the Bakun project is in advance stage and therefor work would start sooner rather than later. If the big work is given out to BIG BUSINESS / CONTRACTORS usually the prices awarded to second, third, fourth level tier contractor would be very small.
The State government should ensure that contract prices to those below the first level tier contractor must be protected. Then that would be meaningful to the small contractor compliment he government effort of “giving away” work to Class F contractors.
The 12 Dams
One dam is now being constructed. The reason for constructing the dam is because Sarawak do not have enough electricity to power its development. We all know that this is Sarawak Government “bullshit” excuse to build the 12 dams. Certain leaders in Sarawak Government are more interested in taking the forest timber from the 12 dams than the actual dam.
With Bakun under Sarawak company - then the 12 dams are not relevant. If the State government insist to go on - then their motives must be question - is it for self interest to sell the timber in the dam’s area? That would be totally unacceptable as abuse of power and corruption. Sarawakian beware!
The Batang Ai and Bakun are painful experience for the poor people. The pain is felt until today. What did the government do to heal the pain? The Batang Ai people are still poor - mostly and the same with Bakun today. Their 3 acres of land allocation to each family is not enough to sustain them let alone give them wealth to send their children for good education and looking after the bill for their health.
Education, Health and Economic opportunities must be a deliberate policy and program to help the people of Batang Ai and Bakun to not only turn around their miserable life but to repay them for their sacrifice. What sacrifice has the rich “contractor - timber man” made to Bakun and yet he was given the timber license and compensation?
BIG BUSINESS should not be the BN government way of trying to eradicate poverty in Sarawak. BIG BUSINESS has no core competency and knowledge to enrich the poor people.
The poor people must be “enabled, guided, supported, inspired and lead” toward economic transformation. It is morally wrong to have a RICH Sarawak State but with many of its population poor - living below the poverty line. If the BN government can address this problem - then they are successful. Failure which, they are just a bunch of monkey grabbing the rich fruit of Sarawak.
Dayakbaru - make the change for our better future.