By denigrating the Penan elders’ way of life the PRS has create a gap between the party and the Penan community. See what the result could be at the elections!
Focus on young Penans
by James Ling
August 16, 2010, Monday
Masing says Penan elders will be left alone to do what they have been doing
KAPIT: The government is going to resolve the issue concerning the 3,000-strong Penans affected by the proposed Murum hydroelectric power dam project in Ulu Belaga in two ways.
Minister of Land Development Dato Sri Dr James Jemut said the first approach would be to allow the Penan elders to continue practising what they had been doing all these years.
“For the younger generation, we will prepare them for a new lease of life in the 21st century.
“We cannot allow them to continue to practise what their elders and ancestors have been doing for decades, otherwise some quarters will criticise us (government) for doing nothing to help the Penans,” he said.
Speaking at an official dinner here on Saturday for Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia T Jasudasen, who was here for a two-day social visit, Masing said the Penans who would be displaced due to the proposed dam project were semi-nomadic.
“We may have problems with this Penan issue but we can solve it through consultations. We are doing that with the help of experts in the field,” he said.
Masing told his distinguished guests, which included His Excellency’s wife Patricia Jasudasen and First Secretary of the Singapore High Commission Harold Lee Tien Loong, that the state government planned to tap the hydro potential in Kapit fully.
When completed, Kapit would become an electric powerhouse generating over 5,000MW of electricity.
The power would come from Bakun HEP
with 2,400MW, Murum (1,000MW), Baleh (1,000MW) and Pelagus (750MW).
“This is enough for the future demand of the state and Malaysia. If Singapore is interested in this hydro power, you are always welcomed to negotiate with us,” he said.
On the Bakun HEP, Masing said it was now completed and impounding of the water would be carried out in two months’ time. It will take 18 months to fill up the water.
Nonetheless, Abdul Karim said he was confident the state BN could still win the support of the Chinese.
“There must be something that they are not happy, judging from the trend that we observed from past by elections. This is why we will need to listen as to what they are not satisfied with,” said Karim.
He added that issues would arise, not just in Kuching but other places as well, so the BN must come up with better plans for the state election.