Anti-dam demonstrators marching towards Long Lama town

31 October 2012

For Immediate Release

Baram villagers showed displeasure towards their Community Chiefs for supporting the proposed Baram Dam in Long Lama

LONG LAMA, BARAM – About 450 villagers made up of different ethnic groups from all over Baram gathered at a normally sleepy town of Long Lama  on 29 October 2012  to demonstrate peacefully and show their displeasure towards some of their community leaders for supporting the proposed Baram Hydro Electric Project (HEP).

Banners and placards stating Stop Baram Dam and Stop Mega Dams were unfurled during the demonstration followed by cries from the villagers to call on the government and the relevant authorities to listen to their pleas.

The demonstration started  at around 10.00 am,  outside the Long Lama Sub-District Office and then the villagers proceeded to march around town shouting slogans “Stop Baram Dam” in the different ethnic Orang Ulu dialects.

Police presence in Long Lama was heavy  including  a police helicopter flying overhead scanning the situation on the ground. It was learnt that there were about 100 police personnel assigned with also a few riot police being mobilised. However, no untoward incident happened and the demonstration proceeded smoothly with the crowd only dispersing about an hour later.

A reliable source also mentioned that the crowd could have been bigger but certain timber camp managers around Baram told their employees not to come down to Long Lama town.

Philip Jau, Chairman of Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) addressed the crowd saying that the majority of the people in Baram reject the proposed Baram HEP and the community leaders should not be made used by certain  politicians in the government with vested interest.

“Our Ketua Masyarakat (Community Leaders) should stand strong and listen to the peoples’ concerns instead of being easily manipulated by politicians with vested interest in this project. Do not abuse our community leaders,” Philip said.

Supporters of Temenggong Pahang numbering about 90 people did a counter demonstration inside the Long Lama Sub-District Office. The 90 people comprised mostly headmen and community leaders including Senator Lihan Jok and the State Assemblymen for Telang Usan, Dennis Ngau.

Prior to the demonstration, the Native Court presided by a Community Chief, Penghulu Lenjau Kuleh heard the case brought by Dorus Katan from Long Tap, Akah against another Community Chief of the Orang Ulu Community, Temenggong Pahang Deng for violating the Adet or customs of the Kayan-Kenyah community for lying.

The Native Court proceedings was initiated by Dorus after failing to get Temenggong Pahang to retract his statement in the Borneo Post  article dated 18 May 2012 under the headline “Community Support for Baram  Dam, A Federation of Orang Ulu Association Malaysia delegation conveys backing for project at a meeting with state leaders”.

In the article, Temenggong Pahang was quoted as saying that “After initial misgivings, the people who will be affected by the Baram Hydro Electric Project (HEP) have collectively agreed to give their support to its implementation.”

This statement according to Dorus is wrong, false and misleading and have created a lot of confusion and anger among the majority of the Orang Ulu community in Baram.

The case however, was struck out due to a technicality.According to Dorus, he will review the Court’s decision by consulting legal experts and will decide soon on the next course of action.

Press Statement released by: Mark BujangSecretary, SAVE Rivers.

For more information please contact Philip Jau at +6016 859 7738.

Demonstrators against the dam gathering outside the Long Lama Sub-District Office
Counter demonstration from Temenggong Pahang's supporters within the compound of the Long Lama Sub-District Office
Anti-dam demonstrators marching towards Long Lama town
Demonstrators marching around Long Lama town. Philip Jau 4th from left with loud hailer



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3 replies on “Baram Villagers Show Displeasure Towards Community Chiefs For Supporting Baram Dam”


    Rajah Charles Brooke said, and I quote:

    “I beg that you will listen to what I have to say, that you will recollect my words, and endeavour to call them to mind when I am no longer with you. I will make known of what is in my mind to my successor, but I can only be responsible during this my lifetime.

    I have lived in this country now for sixty years, and for the greater part of that time as Rajah. I know that I feel as you do in every way regarding the present and future for the existence and welfare of the inhabitants. I think after so long a period you will allow me to open my mouth and give my opinion truthfully.

    Has it ever occurred to you that after my time out here others may appear with soft and smiling countenances to deprive you of what is solemnly your right, and that is the very land on which you live?

    This land is your inheritance (pusaka) on which your flesh and blood (daging darah) exists, the source of your income, the food even of your mouths.

    If this is once lost to you, no amount of money could recover it. That is why the cultivation of your own land by yourselves or by those that live in the country is important to you now.

    Cultivation by strangers, by those who might carry the value of their products out of the country to enrich their shareholders, such products should be realised by your own industries and for your own benefits.

    Unless you follow this advice you will lose your birth right, which will be taken from you by strangers and speculators who will in their turn become masters and owners, whilst you yourselves, you people of the soil, will be thrown aside, and become nothing but coolies and outcasts of the island.”


  2. It is sad that greeds have just forgotten the basic principles of people life over hundreds and thousands years. The politicians and vested interest groups – may your souls go to hells as a result of curses imposed upon you. Let your greeds continue to haunt you wherever you are.

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