KUCHING, 28 NOVEMBER 2014, FRIDAY: Sarawak National Kenyah Association (PKKS) stated their readiness to play a bigger role in putting forward the voices of the silent majority in Baram in support for the implementation of the Baram HEP.

This statement was made clear by members of the PKKS executive committee during a courtesy call to Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit at Menara Sarawak Energy recently.

Led by Baram MP YB Anyi Ngau, the association executive committee members namely Penghulu Paul Kalang, Pemancha Tony Kulleh, Deputy Chairman Kennedy Chuk Pai Ugon, Secretary-General Romulus Charles Agan, Treasurer General Raymond Apoi  Balan and Women Wing Chairman Annia Selalang Lawai were welcomed by Datuk Torstein and members of his management team. The group was also accompanied by Robert Laing, the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister.

In the visit, the group voiced out their concern over reports that the construction of Baram HEP was being held back and stated that it was high time that the true majority of Baram who are supportive of the dam’s development be heard.

The group then called for the dam’s preparatory works to commence as soon as possible and lamented that the delay in the dam’s construction meant a longer wait for the people of Baram to enjoy the benefits and opportunities expected to be brought about by this hydroelectric project.

Penghulu Paul said the association was voicing out how the majority of the Baram people felt about the dam’s construction being the impetus for development in their area that is considered one of Sarawak’s interior.

He said some NGOs who were against the dam, claimed they represented the majority of the Baram community but this was not true.

Alarmed over these NGOs brazen act to deceive outsiders into believing this, Paul said more and more of the “silent majority” will come forward to voice their support and set the record straight on how Baram folks perceived the hydroelectric project.

 “We want the project to take off as soon as possible. We are the silent majority. The ones who are loud are not the majority as how they claimed to be. They are just loud but as the saying goes ‘Empty tin makes the most noise’.

“What ought to be done to bring development to the people, must be carried out. I, myself want to be able to see development takes place in Baram during my lifetime and watch all our hard work become a reality,” he said.

This was reiterated by the rest of the committee members present during the meeting.
YB Anyi said it was obvious the association was conveying the voice of the majority of the community in Baram.
“The people of Baram are actually looking forward to the hydro dam being built for it is an asset to the community there. They understand that it is not the dam per se but the development that comes with it (the dam), that will benefit them greatly and open up the area,” he said.

For that, he assured that the association was prepared to assist in every way possible to get the project moving.

Adding on, Robert said the people of Baram wants the dam built just so long as their welfare is being taken care off.

“The word “we” have been greatly abused in Baram. The NGOs who are protesting against the dam have been claiming that they represent the majority when in reality, that is not the case.

“We should do our part to be more vocal to drown the voices of this minority group,” said Robert.

Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit updating YB Anyi Ngau, Robert Laing and the rest of the PKKS executive committee members on Baram HEP.

PKKS Deputy Chairman Kennedy Chuk Pai Ugon concurring that Baram’s majority wants the Baram HEP.

Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit (centre) together with Baram MP YB Anyi Ngau (fifth from left), Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Robert Laing (10th from left), the executive committee of PKKS and Sarawak Energy staff pose for a group photo.