Long Wat Penans Are Pioneers At New Tegulang Resettlement Village

Belaga (Sarawak) – 10 September 2013: Belaga Assemblyman YB Liwan Lagang and Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit were on site yesterday at the Tegulang Resettlement Village to provide personal support for the relocation of the eighty nine (89) Penan families from Long Wat affected by the impoundment of Murum Hydro Electric Project (HEP).

The site of the new resettlement village at Tegulang, upstream Bakun, was selected by the affected community during the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) process and many members of the community have been employed during construction.

Supported by the Belaga District office, all 89 affected families have now moved to their new homes.  The Belaga District Officer, Abdul Halim Abdullah thanked the community and the MPDC (Murum Penan Development Committee) for their proactive efforts to support the smooth relocation.

YB Liwan noted “I am very pleased to see that Sarawak Energy and State Government Officers have been diligent in making careful preparations for the move.  The Murum Penans deserve our support and I have been determined to ensure that the resettlement is a success.  The process is off to a good start, but I will be working with the community to make sure that all of the Government’s promises are delivered”

Torstein said “We recognize that yesterday's relocation is just the first step in a much longer journey.  Sarawak Energy accepts that we have a special obligation to the communities affected by our projects and we are determined to be a good neighbor for the long term.  Together with the State Government, we are committed to support the Murum communities in their transition to sustainable economy and self-sufficiency.”

The day began when villagers performed the prayer and ritual ceremony before leaving their old houses at Long Wat. Former Penghulu, Pao Tului has described this as long-awaited moment to migrate to their new houses which provide good basic amenities such as treated water, electricity, multipurpose hall and other modern facilities for the first time.  He also noted that several enthusiastic villagers had already have regularly visited their houses and began harvesting the vegetables from their home gardens before they relocated to Tegulang.

MPDC Chairman, Labang Paneh with his father and siblings arrived at Tegulang at about 3pm yesterday and immediately "checked in" their new houses. Saran Joo, the former MPDC Chairman was among those in the last batch reached Tegulang at about 7pm.

Meanwhile, Asan Along, the headman of Long Malim was also seen at Tegulang yesterday to give moral support to relatives in Long Wat. Mr Asan said that the people from Long Malim are waiting to migrate to their new homes at Tegulang, which is expected to take place at the end of October. "There are so many relatives from other villages such as Long Luar and Long Singu who came to help, "observed Suie Along, from Long Luar.

Families waiting anxiously to be transferred from Long Wat to Tegulang

A memorable moment with Penan families who are Tegulang Resettlement Village pioneers.
From far right is SEB's Special Advisor for Community Relations Stell Sindau, Belaga Assemblyman YB Liwan Lagang,
Belaga District Officer Abdul Halim Abdullah, SEB's CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit,
SEB's Corporate Social Responsibility Senior Manager II - Jiwari Abdullah (in blue shirt and blue cap)

Process of handing over "bilek" to its new owner

Tegulang on the day of the relocation activity

Tegulang at night