Challenge to Keng Yaik to explain why in May 1990 he supported the Cabinet decision to scrap the Bakun dam project for “environmental” reasons and yet could now allege that there was. completely no basis for NGOs to oppose the dam project


Arrival Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Sibu on Saturday, 16th September 1995 at 1.45 p.m.

Challenge to Keng Yaik to explain why in May 1990 he supported the Cabinet decision to scrap the Bakun dam project for “environmental” reasons and yet could now allege that there was. completely no basis for NGOs to oppose the dam project

Two days ago, the Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said that, there was completely no basis for NGOs to oppose the RM15 billion Bakun dam project. In doing so, Keng Yaik had become the latest Cabinet Minister to mislead the people about the Bakun dam project.

I do not know whether Keng Yaik had forgotten that in May 1990, the Federal Cabinet took a policy decision to scrap the Bakun dam project for environmental reason?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, himself announced at the International Conference on Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity in June 1990 that Malaysia “had made a big sacrifice for the environment” by scrapping the Bakun dam project and that the Cabinet’s decision to scrap Bakun was “not only for the benefit of Malaysia’s environment bin also for globa1 ecology”.

Keng Yaik was a Cabinet Minister in May 1990 which meant that he was party to the Cabinet decision to scrap the Bakun dam project, for “environmental” reasons.

I challenge Keng Yaik to explain why in May 1990 he had supported the Cabinet decision to scrap the Bakun dam project for “environmental reasons” and yet now claim that the NGOs have no basis whatsoever to oppose the Bakun project!

Up to now, neither Keng Yaik nor any Federal Minister had given any good reason why the Cabinet had September 1993 reversed its May 1990 decision to scrap rue Bakun dam project for “environmental” reasons.

Can Keng Yaik explain why In May 1990 the Federal Cabinet decided that the Bakun dam project should be scrapped because of “environmental reasons”, and yet three years later, it did a “somersault” and decided to reverse this decision and to give approval to Bakun dam project?

What were these “environmental reasons” which were strong enough to justify the Cabinet scrapping the Bakun dam pro¬ject, and how have these “environmental reason” suddenly disap-peared as to justify a Cabinet reversal of this decision in September 1993?

Parliament is meeting from October 16 for two months for the budge debate and I call on the Government to table in Parliament the two Cabinet papers which resulted in the May 1990 decision to scrap the Bakun dam project for environmental reasons and the September 1993 “turnabout” to go ahead with the Bakun darn project.

MPs and the public have a right to know what were the reasons and factors which led to the Cabinet In September 1993 reversing its May 1990 decision to scrap the Bakun dam project.

So long as the Government is nor prepared to be open and transparent on the Bakun dam project by releasing these two Cabinet papers, as well as all studies which had been commis-sioned on the Bakun project, the Government has only itself to blame if Malaysian NGOs and citizens suspect that it has a lot of things to hide from the public which would strengthen the case against the Bakun dam project.

DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Malaysia’s second worst air disaster which killed 34 people

DAP sends condolence to the families of the 34 persons who were killed in Malaysia’s second worst air disaster in Tawau yesterday, which killed 34 people.

The Tawau air disaster is most shocking and the DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct an open inves¬tigation into the causes for the ill-fated MH 2133 Fokker 50 ploughing into a squatter village while lauding at the Tawau airport yesterday.

MAS should pay ample compensation for the deaths and injuries caused to passengers arising from the air disaster.

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