By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, October 3 , 1995:
The Federal and Sarawak State Government should stop their campaign of disinformation about the Bakun dam project
The Federal arid Sarawak State Government should stop their campaign of disinformation about the Bakun darn project and allow greater accountability and transparency on the project as well as opportunity for the affected 10,000 people in Belaga to express their wishes.
Recently there was a high-powered mass media campaign to present the impression that the 9,428 natives in the Ulu Belaga district who would be affected by the RM15 billion Bakun dam project had given “unanimous” support to the Bakun project and that whatever opposition had been created by some 25 non¬government organisations (NGOs).
For instance, the Political Secretary to the Prime Minister, Abdul Aziz, Shamsuddin recently went to Sarawak and claimed that the Sahabat Alam Malaysia only managed to get 97 signatures from the 9,428 people in the Belaga district to supports its Bakun Declaration to illustrate that there was “unani¬mous” support from the people of Belaga for the Bakun project.
In actual fact the 97 signatures for the Bakun Declaration, which wanted full consultation with the people of Belaga before the Bakun dam project is implemented and sought just compensation for the affected, people, was not of individuals taut heads of households and only represented the first phase of the signature campaign, which is still underway.
Is the Federal or Sarawak State Government prepared to host a visit by MPGED comprising Parliamentarians from all political parties?
It the Federal and State Governments are so cocksure that there is “unanimous” support from the 9.,428 people in Belaga for the Bakun project, they will be opening up Belaga for everyone to visit.
As Chairman of the Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environment, and Development. (MPGED), I would, like to know whether the Federal or State Government is prepared to host a visit by MPGED comprising Parliamentarians from all parties concerned about the Bakun dam project to the Belaga area to meet with the Belaga residents to ascertain their views of the Bakun dam project.
Alternatively, is Ekran Bhd prepared to fly all the long house heads and elders from the affected Belaga area to the MPGED Conference on Bakun on December 3 to let the country and whole world know that, the Bakun dam project has now the “unanimous” support from the people in Belaga?
I hope the Federal Government, the Sarawak State Government. and Ekran Bhd. would accept the invitation to send top-notch speakers to the MPGED Conference on Bakun in December to show that they have the confidence to present their case for Bakun project and in facing down all critics of Bakun, whether from inside or outside the country.