by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, September 27, 1995:
The ticket of contradictions in statements on Bakun by Federal and State Government leaders show that the biggest privatisation project is being rushed through in indecent haste without proper study and evaluation.
The Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Leo Moggie said in Kuching yesterday that power generated by the Bakun hydroelectric dam project, to be completed in the year 2003, will be fully used to meet the nation’s domestic power demand and would not be exported.
However, only three days ago, at the closing of the two-day Bakun Hydroelectric Development Project Seminar organised by the Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas) in Kuching on Sunday, the Sarawak Minister for Finance and Public Utilities, Datuk Dr. George Chan, declared that power from the Bakun dam would be exported to neighbouring countries like Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines.
How could the Federal and State Government leaders contradict each other on such a vital aspect in the biggest privatisation project in the country?
This is not the only example, for the Bakun dam project would have set the record where the most number of contradictory statements had been made not only between Federal and State Government leaders, but also among Federal government leaders themselves!
The thicket of contradictions in statements on Bakun by Federal and State Government leaders show that the biggest privatisation project is being rushed through in indecent haste without proper study and evaluation.
Another classic example of the contradictory statements on the Bakun dam project which had been made by Federal and State Government leaders is on the Cabinet decision in May 1990 to “scrap” the Bakun dam project.
This was publicly announced by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed at an international conference in Petaling Jaya on June 12, 1990 that the Cabinet had decided to “scrap” the Bakun dam project for “environmental” reason.
However, in answer to my parliamentary question on August 17, 1995, Leo Moggie contradicted the Prime Minister and denied that the Cabinet had ever decided to “scrap” the Bakun dam project in May 1990.
It is clear that all the Federal and State Government leaders need to synchronize their statements on Bakun and to stop the impression which had been widespread in the past two years that there is so much confusion over the Bakun dam project that it is not only the Federal ad State Governments not knowing what each is doing, but in the Federal Government itself, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing!
The 15 billion Bakun dam project must rank as one project where the Government had subordinated the principles of accountability and transparency.
Many critical questions about the Bakun dam project remain unanswered, while the Federal and State Governments churn out increasing confusion with more and more contradictory statements.
Malaysian Parliament Group on Environment and Development (MPGED) to organise a Conference on the Bakun dam project in December to focus national attention on the Bakun dam project.
It is for this reasons that Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environmental and Development (MPGED) proposes to organise a Conference on the Bakun dam project in early December.
The MPGED Conference on Bakun will not be “anti-Bakun” or “pro-Bakun” but will be designed to secure all available information on Bakun and to provide a forum for the proponents and critics of the Bakun dam project to present their case.
As Chairman of MPGED, I propose to invite local ad international experts on environmental, social, technological and financial aspects of the Bakun dam project to inform Parliament and nation about the pros and cons of the Bakun dam project. The Ekran Bhd, the Federal and State Governments will also be invited to send representatives to the MPGED Conference on Bakun.