Most improper for the Prime Minister to launch the RM15 billon Bakun dam project when EIA report has not been done

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, February 6, 1994:

Most improper for the Prime Minister to launch the RM15 billon Bakun dam project when EIA report has not been done

The Deputy Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Peter Chin, said on Thursday that work on the RM15 billion Bakun hydroelectric project near Belaga, Sarawak should not start before the approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

He said the Department of Environment (DOE) has yet to receive an EIA report on Bakun and that a big project like Bakun would certainly have some environmental impact.

Chin said that based on the EIA report, the government could weigh the economic benefits and environmental impact before deciding on Bakun.

These are very weak statements after the Prime Minis¬ter, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had launched the RM15 billion Bakun dam project a week ago with the clear signal that he want the project to be carried out at all speed when he ex¬pressed the hope to be able to officiate at its opening.

It is clearly most improper for the Prime Minister to launch the Bakun project when the EIA report had not been done and no approval had been given by the, DOE.

The launching of Bakun by the Prime Minister seems to indicate that environmental considerations would not be allowed to influence government decision to approve the Bakun project making a complete mockery not only of the DOE, but the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Environment.

In other countries, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Environment would have submitted their resignations, for the launching of the Prime Minister of the Bakun project without an EIA report would tantamount to a public insult and humiliation to the entire Ministry of Environment!

The award of the Bakun project to Ekran in what has been described as “Malaysia’s deal of the century’ without open and competitive bidding is also most improper and raises ques¬tions about political propriety and integrity.

Was Tun Daim playing his role as Economic Adviser of Government or Economic Consultant to Ekran or both in the clinching of the ‘Malaysian deal of the century’ for Ekran?

Tun Daim Zainuddin has been reported in the foreign media as having played a critical role in helping Ekran to defeat Dunlop Estates and Multi-Purpose Holdings Group in clinching the Bakun deal.

Malaysians want to know whether in the Bakun deal, Tun Daim Zainuddin was acting as Economic Adviser to the Federal Government or economic consultant for Ekran, or both?

DAP calls on IGP to set up a special Bukit Aman committee to investigate the British “aids for arms’ deal involving Pergau dam and Malaysian purchase of British jetfighters.

DAP calls on the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor to set up a special Bukit Aman committee to investi¬gate the ‘British aids for arms’ scandal involving Pergau dam and the Malaysian purchase of British jetfighters.

The latest issue of the British weekly, the Economist, revealed that a 1988 protocol signed by the then Defence Secre¬tary George Younger pledged that the size of the Pergau aid package would be a percentage of Malaysia’s purchase of the jet fighters.

The Financial Times has also carried a report quoting a businessman involved in British-Malaysia trade as saying that the alleged aid-for-arms deal was struck in a September 1988 meeting in Kuala Lumpur between the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The IGP had been very quick to get the police to lodge a report based on the Sydney Sunday Telegraph report of Australi¬an spies bribing Malaysian politicians. I hope the IGP would – be consistent ‘and order the police to lodge official reports on the numerous foreign press reports about the ‘aids for arms deal’ between the ‘British and Malaysian Governments involving Pergau dam and the Malaysian purchase of British defence hardware so’ that full investigations could be launched as to whether there had been improprieties and abuses of power detrimental to the interests of the people of Malaysia in the ‘aids for arms’ deal.