20 Sep 2010

Solid Success – Bakun Delivers on Requirements

Solid Success – Bakun Delivers on Requirements

Bakun - mega-structures are ideal for siphoning off taxpayers money

News publications have been chewing over the figures as Bakun waits to be flooded and have come to some inevitable, long-predicted conclusions.

Firstly, the Dam has no genuine economic purpose.  Sarawak already has more electricity than its impoverished population can afford to use and the plans to send it to Malaysia by undersea cable was a fantasy by technology-illiterate ministers.

Secondly, the dam will actually make electricity more, not less expensive for ordinary Sarawakians, as existing power plants will be shut and Sarawak Hidro are desperate to claw back some of the RM 7.3 billion costs.

Thirdly, the public worker pension funds, which were arm-twisted by politicians into funding the dam to the tune of RM 5.75 billion, are now left facing an appalling loss.  This means either a whole generation of hard-working public servants (teachers, nurses, clerks, firemen etc.) will now lose their savings for old age, or the Malaysian taxpayer (the next generation of workers) will have to find the extra money to bail them out.

Pensioners’ loss is Taib family gain

plenty of cement and steel

Therefore the all-round conclusion has been that Bakun is a monstrous, multi-billion dollar disaster.  Southeast Asia’s  greatest ‘White Elephant’ foisted onto Malaysia by Sarawak’s ‘Chief Executive Officer’ Abdul Taib Mahmud.  Perhaps, it is speculated, at least tourists will come to visit such an appalling example of state planning gone spectacularly wrong?

However, these commentators are neglecting to point out that from the point of view of Mr Taib’s personal finances and those of the Taib family, the Bakun Dam has been a stunning success.

Much of the RM 5.75 billion siphoned out of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) by this project has gone gushing straight into the Taib bank accounts – and then presumably straight on out of the country to fund their private foreign investments.

CMS saved from bad business judgements by Bakun

Researchers have long since detailed how it was the decision to revive the Bakun Dam project, after it was shelved during the Asian Financial Crash, that rescued Cayha Mata Sarawak (CMS), the business the Taib family ‘privatised’ from the state into their own pockets, in the late 1990s.

By 1999, CMS, which had over-stretched on ambitious projects, was facing terrifying losses of RM 787 million.  The Chief Minister (whose late wife and two sons owned most of the shares of this ‘public’ company) was even more alarmed as the share price collapsed as a result.  The ‘CEO of Sarawak’ was facing personal bankruptsy, since most of his family company’s borrowings were based on the value of these CMS shares.

Environmental catastophy - an area the size of Singapore has been stripped bare for flooding

So it was the political decision by the Malaysian government to pour RM 1.6 billion of taxpayers’ money into Bakun (a sum which has since escalated to 7.5 billion and rising) that saved the Taibs’ from ruin (and kept BN in power in Sarawak).  Everyone knew that the Chief Minister would award his own company the lions share of the contracts for this glorious mega-project (CMS specialises in producing cement and steel) and that the company would go from strength to strength.

Endless profit to be made

The Chief Minister does not miss a trick when it comes to making money and Bakun has gone on to provide wonderful further opportunities for abuse of public trust.  Thus, his own company CMS has now gone on to further establish itself as the biggest private customer of the publicly owned venture that it built.

The company has done a deal with Rio Tinto Zinc (despite the horror of environmentalists) to build a vast aluminium smelter to soak up Bakun’s excess power.  This consortium is currently playing hardball with Sarawak Hidro, the Federal government body in charge of the dam, to get a preferential deal for electricity. This at a time when Taib is negotiating on behalf of the State of Sarawak to buy the project off the Federal Government.

This means clever Taib has set himself up as the biggest client of the state venture that, as Finance Minister and Chief Minister, he is going to be entrusted with managing of behalf of the interests of the taxpayer!  As far as conflict of interest goes that is about as big as it gets!

Aluminium smelters - get ready for the pollution

Meanwhile, Sarawak Report wonders whether his business partner, Rio Tinto Zinc, has considered dusting off its own ethics book on this issue, and leafing through to the section on doing business with corrupt tyrants?

Clearly, the opportunity to move politically sensitive and highly polluting aluminium smelting plants out of Australia, where the mineral is mined, and into Sarawak is tempting.  Taib, of course, plans to cover the whole of this once pristine rainforest state with filthy foreign industries to foul up what remains of the dammed up river basins – the so-called Sarawak Corridor of Energy.

However, while the Chief Minister regards himself impervious to criticism and bullet proof at the ballot box (no fool like an old fool), the business executives at Rio Tinto have learnt the hard way about the dangers of deals such as these.  Their local back yard environmentalists in Australia may be happy to see them move off, but the global environmentalists will be only too ready to hold such actions to account.  And the native peoples of Sarawak are not that happy either, to put it gently.

Moveable inconvenience - displaced people at Sungai Asap camp, Bakun

No benefit to Sarawak

Citizens of Sarawak have also learnt the hard way that the jobs from dirty industries such as these will go to foreign workers and the money will go straight back out again.  They know that  ’Progress and Development’ , Taib-style means environmental destruction, land seizures and poverty for the many and vast riches for….. well Taib.

All of which explains why the multi-billion dollar plan to go on building pointless dams across the whole of the rest of Sarawak, displacing tens of thousands more indigenous people and destroying vast areas, while appearing to be the strategy of a mad man makes enormous economic sense personally to Abdul Taib Mahmud.

This is because China has agreed to invest US $11 billion to do it.  Most of that money he reasons will go to him and after that who cares that the people of Sarawak will be in debt to China and therefore under China’s control for ever more?

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    • CMS Employee

      What is the answer of this mega flop built more Dam not 1 but 7.

      Now the people of Sarawak will have to bare the burden of high electricity cost. Even now Sarawakian are paying more then the rest of Malaysian.

      This will have to wait untill BN win the coming state election.

      Hopefully, hopeless Sarawakian will start thinking wisely.

  • borneo sun

    Do Sarawakians still want this mega monster to be the Chief Minister? It’s very stressful reading all these and the sight of his face makes me want to throw up.

    • kris

      u not Sarawakian? not so easy …but it will soon change..so for this old man, he wants a 'historical white elephant' tagged to his name…when he is gone, he shall be remembered as one 'great" man with "great" ambition….and so he dream.

  • Abdul

    It's as simple as you reap what you sow. Sarawakians are not Kelantanese. The Kelantanese dont talk much but they showed who's the boss during election.

    Sarawakians just whine and complain but during election still elect Taib Mahmud to power. Wake up man…

    • http://Google salok

      Wake up Sarawakian…enrol yourself as member of any political party that will bring Taib & his cronies downfall….

    • Joseph

      TRUE…WHY? BCOS BEFORE THIS WE THOUGHT TAIB CARE OF SARAWAK, BUT NOW…HE MISCHIEF SARAWAK IN THE END.

  • Sarawak Bee

    Sarawak Government (Actually is Taib himself) want to buy it for RM6 billion and still under negotiation. Federal is asking RM8 billion.

    Who's the chairman of SESCO (Sarawak Power company)?

    Who is the beneficiary even though it is a "white elephant"?

    How many tons of cement have been used? How many tons of steel have been used? How many trees have been chopped down for export? You know, I know.

    • Joseph

      SARAWAK GOV COULD GOES BANKRUPT IF BUY BAKUN.WHY FEDERAL HAVE TO SELL BAKUN?DON'T FEDERAL CARE ABOUT IT.

      • kris

        sorry Jo…u may not be quite right there…sarawak is rich….very rich and some man is also very very rich.

  • 6688PP

    TAIB IS PRODUCER, EDITOR, SCRIPT WRITER ND DIRECTOR OF THIS GREAT MASTERPIECE – BAKUN DAM. ADVANCE COPIES OF THIS MOVIE ARE SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES IN HOLLYWOOD! A GREAT IDIOT THAT IS A CURSE TO SARAWAK!

  • borneo sun

    Remember: Sarawakians voted them over and over again…Payhim Silly Tait Mahu the Thief Minister & his gang of thieves!

  • Taik Mammoth & F

    Why should i & my family care anyway….LOL… who vote me?????? LOL…..

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  • http://Sarawakreport O Mo(Black hair)

    How is the Sarawak government going to finance the purchase? I suggest Tahi Mahu fish out money from his own pocket,afterall his money is illgotten. He can then change the name to Tahi dam and whatever he likes with it.

  • BeingRobbed

    Never in the history of Sarawak a Chief Minister steal and betray the people whom voted him. We will see that good times never last for Taib and his family & cronies.

    Its now a matter of time. Start counting folks. "We demand all the ill-gotten return to us".

  • aksadai

    congrats tai mamut, family members n cronies. you all will be assured of a place in hell when you die.

  • jTTigaElf

    Taib knows very well, no other party would be interested to bid for Bakun, and he quickly offered it at RM6B, and Najis of course cannot say NO…

    If 19 seats from SUPP can be taken from them in next GE, how many can we rob from PBB, SNAP, SPDP, PRS and etc … to show 'People Power' ..just like how Pinoys over thrown the Damned Marcos ?????

    • Joseph

      DID TAIB PAY CASH/OWN MONEY OR BORROW FROM TAXPAYERS LIKE ME. I DONT WANT TO PAY.

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  • Joseph

    RUN TAIB RUN, YOU EXPOSE YOUR MONEY TO YOUR RAKYAT

  • Joseph

    The Bakun Dam is located in Sarawak, Malaysia on the Balui River,[1] a tributary or source of the Rajang River and some sixty kilometers west of Belaga.[2] As part of the project, the tallest concrete-faced rockfill dam in the world would be built. This would also be the largest dam in Asia outside of China. It is expected to generate 2,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity once completed.

    The purpose for the dam was to meet growing demand for electricity. However, most of this demand said to lie in Peninsular Malaysia and not East Malaysia, where the dam is located. Even in Peninsular Malaysia, however, there is an over-supply of electricity, with Tenaga Nasional Berhad being locked into unfavourable purchasing agreements with Independent Power Producers. The original idea was to have 30% of the generated capacity consumed in East Malaysia and the rest sent to Peninsular Malaysia. This plan envisioned 730 km of overhead HVDC transmission lines in East Malaysia, 670 km of undersea HVDC cable and 300 km of HVDC transmission line in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Future plans for the dam include connecting it to an envisioned Trans-Borneo Power Grid Interconnection, which would be a grid to supply power to Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, and Kalimantan (Indonesia). There have been mentions of this grid made within ASEAN meetings but no actions have been taken by any party. The project is expected to be completed by 2010.

    READ MORE IN WIKIPEDIA.COM-SEARCH BAKUN

  • sAYOT2

    Taib is going to die with his welth under the ground…

  • Andrew

    The impounding of Bakun has resulted in dried up river bed such as the Pelagus area and the affected inhabitants are helpless to see their lives and livelihood put in such quandry. The authorities does'nt seem to care. I am reminded of the situation of the Marsh Arab in Iraq whose lives was ruined by Sadam Hussein by damning up thr haedwater.

  • Maktumguli

    I believe in sacrifice of one's comfort, in giving way to progress.

    But here in this Bakun episode, the people in the affected area are up-rooted from their home, their village, their land, and never to see them ever again. The grave of their love ones are forever sunk.

    This month the filling or flooding of the dam begins. Another set of people in the Balui area will suffer as their river dries up. 8 longhouses folk will loose their transport mode to Belaga. School children has to walk 4-5 hours to school, while they usually go by fast river boat. And this will go on for a year until the dam is full.

    How is it that the hydro engineers never tell these poor longhouse folks the effect of flooding the dam would be to their lives.

    How is it that Sarawak Gov't officers not telling and devise assistance prior to drying up of the Balui river?

    Leaving them to face these sheer consequences and leaving them to suffer on their own is surely cruel.

  • http://none observer

    GOHET TAIB GOHET..AMBIL SAJA SAMPAI TIDAK ADA LAGI. AMBIL SEMUA TANAH NCR DAN JUAL SAMA COMPANY FROM WEST MALAYSIA WITH AWANG TENGAH. GOHET SAJA.. TAKE THEM ALL AND THEN RUN AWAY ..

    SARAWAK GOVERNMENT WANTS TO BUY BAKUN SO THAT TAIB CAN PAY EKRAN,PAY CMS'S LOST INVESTMENT,BUY MORE PROPERTIES . AMBIL SAJA AMBIL.THE DAYAKS DO NOT WANT TO STOP YOU,SO DO THE MALAYS,PA LU LI ASAL LUI LATANG TAIB.AMBIL SAJA