Resettlement Of Long Luar & Long Singu Put A Close To Overall Murum Resettlement Exercise

Belaga, Kapit (Sarawak), 3 December 2013: Sarawak Energy is pleased to announce that it has completed the resettlement of Long Luar and Long Singu to the Metalun Resettlement Site, the final two remaining villages affected by the Murum Hydro Electric Project (HEP). 

This officially concludes the resettlement of 353 households that began since September 2013.

This final phase of resettlement started since November 30, 2013 saw the first two villages Long Tangau (31 households) and Long Menapa (42 households) being moved first to the Metalun Resettlement Village. Long Luar (52 households) and Long Singu (67 households), which make up the 119 families, were resettled by 4pm and 6.30pm respectively on December 2, 2013.

Among the economic benefits and assistance provided to each family are 15 hectares of land inclusive of one unit of longhouse per family of 1,300 sq. ft., clean water, stable electricity, access to education and medical services, integrated community halls with chapel and kindergarten and temporary income support valued at RM850 per month.

Longhouse chiefs TR Madai Salu of Long Luar and TR Paren Usak of Long Singu were among the first to receive the house keys to their new homes.

Speaking for the new residents of Metalun, Lai Lait from Long Luar said: “We were given a new house and were provided with allowance when we moved in. By end of this year, we would have school and clinic. We hope that this development will bring about success in our life.”

Lagu Karang, from Long Singu and mother of two said: “The reason we moved is because we were promised a school and clinic, and that’s what I’ve been hoping for. From long ago until my parents’ generation, we did not receive any education. I want my children to receive adequate education.”

Commenting on the resettlement exercise, Belaga District Officer Abdul Halim Abdullah said: “This final relocation exercise on December 2, involved the largest number of families being moved. The relocation exercise was seamless as a result of the support rendered by the Sarawak State Government, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KEMAS), Land & Survey Sarawak Department,  PDRM, Education Department, District Office, District Council, Information Department and of course, Sarawak Energy. We are appreciative for their efforts in the pre and actual resettlement exercises and in ensuring the communities are well taken care of”.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager II for CSR, Jiwari Abdullah said, “Over the course of close to three months, we have been faced with various challenges such as the Murum blockade and relentless efforts from the opponents of the development to derail this resettlement exercise. It is heartwarming to know that all challenges have eventually been resolved through open dialogues and the final relocation concluded yesterday (December 2) is a testament to our commitment in supporting the communities to embrace the challenges of development for a better tomorrow. The communities are our neighbors in the course of development t and it is our duty to ensure that they are not left behind.”

“Our goal is to provide continuous assistance and ensure that the communities can smoothly adapt to their new life. Initiatives such as the Home Garden Programme, a collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Sarawak Energy; and the Murum Penan Literacy Programme and a number of community development programmes will be continued and implemented. All are aimed at helping the realization of the indigenous people’s aspirations for equal access to development,” added Jiwari.

Sarawak Energy has taken up the role as one of the catalysts to bring the state’s vision of socio-economic growth to fruition in SCORE. Most people understand the job opportunities and investment prospects will deliver. However, most of us are not aware on the positive impact that SCORE will have on the indigenous communities.

The SCORE initiative will bring development closer to the people deep in the interior to enable them to enjoy the amenities and facilities that have long being enjoyed by the people in the urban areas.  For the communities affected by the HEP projects, other than receiving new houses in better locations, they will have access to clean water, electricity, education, medical services and enhanced infrastructure. This can only be achieved by continuing to engage ‘hand-in-glove’ with the communities as what Sarawak Energy has been carrying out for years.

Food provided to the villagers before the resettlement

A family packs their belongings to be transferred to their new home in Metalun

L-R: Belaga District Officer Abdul Halim Presenting the house keys to Paren Usak Long Singu chief

Madai Salu, Long Luar chief at the new resettlement site in Metalun with Jiwari Abdullah of SEB pic

Long Singu Metalun resettlement site