Betrayal of ordinary people
Thousands of families in Sarawak have been forced from their homes and lands to make way for dams like Bakun, Batang Ai and now Murum. Worse, the promises of compensation and prosperity made to them by the BN state government of Abdul Taib Mahmud have proved worthless. The compensation, when it has been paid, has not been enough even to pay for their new homes, leaving most of these people in debt and unable to afford promised water and electricity. Often the compensation has not even been paid at all!
Meanwhile, cronies of Taib Mahmud have plundered the timber from the vast areas of Sarawak’s unique rainforests, which have been destroyed to make way for the dams. None of this profit has been returned to the indigenous people who rightfully owned the land.
What is behind Taib’s enthusiasm for dams?
Sarawak now has more than enough dams. Yet Taib Mahmud has nevertheless announced a new financial deal with the Republic of China to create 12 further dams, which will displace hundreds of thousands more native people from their lands and livelihoods and complete the destruction of one of the world’s most valuable and beautiful rainforests.
Why should he do such a thing when the world knows that Sarawak has no need of more dams? The answer is simple. Mega-projects like dam building are the quickest and easiest way for corrupt ministers to feed the wealth of their country into their own bank accounts. They provide an opportunity for fabulous riches for Taib Mahmud and his family, who will award themselves fat contracts for building the dams out of the billions of ringits that China has now agreed to lend.
The terrible danger to Sarawak
The dams mean easy wealth for Taib, but how will they leave the rest of the people of Sarawak? Many fear that the dams will be poorly built and burst, sweeping away lands and people. This might be true, but there will be another terrible and more inevitable effect. The millions of ringits that China is lending Sarawak to build these unecessary dams will leave us with a debt that we cannot repay to the world’s fastest growing colonial Empire. China is happy to use its spare dam building capacity and money to extend control over our country, because that will buy our future independence.
So Long after Taib’s family have escaped with their millions, the people of Sarawak with all its natural resources will be controlled by the Chinese, as we try to pay back the money that Taib has taken.
Our country, our natural resources and our independence will be handed away to outsiders once again, to pay back money taken by Taib and his cronies to build dams which nobody needed. Can there ever have been greater folly or a greater betrayal of a nation?
Dirty Dams – Click here for the details of how Taib makes money from dams
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