Civil Society Joint Statement
10 November 2015
Coinciding with the second anniversary of Baram blockade, We, the 24 civil society groups signing this statement, strongly demand the state government of Sarawak to immediately stop the Baram Dam development project with written guarantee and to stop encroaching the Native Customary Land.
Although Chief Minister Adenan has verbally instructed the suspension of this project, people of Baram would continue their resistance movement until the final written guarantee is presented by the state government.
We would like to reiterate, that, the local villagers have never been consulted prior to commencement of the dam project. It indicates a violation by the state government of the development principles of “Free, Prior, Inform and Consent” stated in United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This mega dam project would force twenty thousand indigenous people to relocate, and annihilate heritages and cultures. An area as large as Singapore would be flooded, posing a long-term environmental destruction. Not only should the state government halts the Baram dam project, all 12 mega dam projects proposed under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) should also be canceled.
Baram people have been stationing at the two camps, namely Long Lama and KM15 in the past two years to prevent staff and contractors of Sarawk Energy Berhad (SEB) from going into the project construction site. Last year at KM 15, fourteen confrontations with SEB occurred in three months, during which SEB personnel were expelled and machines were moved away. A huge hole was also dug at the main road heading to the construction site.
The state government must recognize the perceived meaning of “development” by indigenous villagers. They would never accept any forms of exploitation of natural resources, let alone their ancestral land and rivers. They demand a sustainable development – provision of basic infrastructures and democratic life without sacrificing environmental ecology and culture. Therefore mega dam project at rural Baram should be replaced by construction of amenities (roads, schools and hospitals), as well as supplying electricity and clean water.
- Damn the Dams Action Group
- Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
- Pusat KOMAS
- Center for Orang Asli Concern
- Institut Rakyat
- Rainbow Genders Society
- Institute for Development of Alternative Livestyle Lifestyle (IDEAL)
- Civil Rights Committee of KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
- Malaysian Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA)
- Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
- Tindak Malaysia
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
- Sahabat Rakyat
- Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
- Save Rivers
- In Between Cultura
- Community Information and Communications Centre (CICOM)
- Bukit Bandarraya Residents Association
- Focus On Sarawak
- Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
- Sunflower Electoral Education (SEED)
- Ban Cyanide Mining in Raub
Enquiry please contact Mr. Ng at 012-2658448