Batang Ai: Big hydro-electric dam nearby but folks rarely ge

THE STAR: Published: Wednesday April 1, 2009 MYT 3:07:00 PM

[size=150]Batang Ai: Big hydro-electric dam nearby but folks rarely get power[/size]

By STEPHEN THEN

BATANG AI: No public bus transport, not enough telephone lines, poor electricity supply, frequent water-supply interruptions, not enough health and medical facilities, roads in bad shape, poor mail services, no banks, few job opportunities - these are just a small portion of the long list of socio-economic woes of the 18,000 folks in the Batang Ai state constituency. It has been like this for a long time, even though the Batang Ai hydro-electric dam has been running since 25 years ago.

The people of Batang Ai want a solution to their woes and they want them fast.

And they expect the Barisan Nasional and opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidates in this by-election to hear their grouses and are likely to vote for the man whom they believe will likely improve facilities and amenities - quickly.

The Stars survey found a high level of poverty and backwardness in Batang Ai, even in the main commercial centre of Lubok Antu Bazaar.

The Batang Ai constituency measures 1,300 sq kms and has 156 longhouses and villages scattered far and wide apart.

Road-links are few. The river is the main mode of travel and transport from the interior outposts to the towns.

The existing roads are narrow and many still gravel.

However, once the by-election was declared following the death of incumbent Barisan assemblyman Datuk Dublin Unting on Feb 24, JKR had tar-sealed numerous stretches of these roads.

“This is what we want. Action. Not just promises after promises by politicians,” said longhouse elder Dunstan Jelin who hails from Rumah Labi.

Jelin is happy that the feeder road that leads to his longhouse from the main Batang Ai road has been tarred and that more promises of development are rained down on Batang Ai now that politicians are jostling for the hearts and minds of the people.

"As long as they (politicians) deliver, we do not care which party they come from. We are fed up with the lack of basic necessary facilities.

"Many longhouses still do not have electricity - after so many decades. Water supply is also very unpredictable. There are times when we get water from our pipes only two days in a week.

"The remaining days, we have to rely on rain water and water from the Batang Ai lake.

I hope politicians are not just here for the by-election. Look into the problems we are facing. Come to our kampungs and longhouses and see for yourselves the condition we are living in," he said.

Catholic priest Reverend Father Martin Wong, who handles the Sri Aman Parish, has travelled extensively in Batang Ai, as well as the its neighbouring constituencies.

He knows the problems faced by the people in the interior.

"It is good to see a sudden big surge in development projects coming into Batang Ai. I hope the pace of improvement will continue even after the by-election.

“Indeed, the people, especially those living in the far reaches, have a lot of problems that needs to be resolved. I know the government is serious about wanting to help them, but there must be greater effort put in to improve the delivery system,” he stressed.

Shopkeeper Chong Kiat Voon joked that there should be more by-elections held on a more regular basis.

Having to wait five years for an election just to get windfalls in the form of financial and project allocations is too long a period, he said.

Barisan leaders had so far announced allocation for development projects and cash incentives amounting to more than RM70mil for Batang Ai.

[size=150]Pity those Batang Ai folks have to face all these problems even in this modern society… these are what they get after almost 50 years of Sarawak independence… and also what they get after voting the people form certain political party over the years!!!
At least, Malaysians take note of the problems they faced daily with the coming by-elections… it shows that the past politicians have done nothing much for them.
Only now during the by-election that the Government come out with all the sweet promises… same old tactics [/size]

the same player must be carried all the zaman tok kadok nyer tactic… forget about bn…

This is a case where someone’s death is actually a blessing. Politics is funny.

That why… welcome into BN world…
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/SecretPosting.1.gif

they should be bless that the one that they vote is no longer be with them, if he’s still alive, there still be no ‘TAR ROAD’ at their area.
Pity them they only get their wish come true after someone’s misfortune. BN…1 word, NIAMA

When election is just around the corner, then only they will start repair all the roads,bridges all these. Hurmm…

that is politic stand for maaa

they wan2 upgrade the telcos there n put internet

datuk nenek will YM with their cucu after this…

fix the basic necessity 1st, water supply, electric n road

“As long as they (politicians) deliver, we do not care which party they come from. We are fed up with the lack of basic necessary facilities.”

You don’t care which party? Even when there’s one party that you voted, neglected the people and basic infrastructures in the area for the past 45 years? Great. That’s how the people will be kept in perpetual cycle of poverty and used as a pawn in this political game.

Can’t they see it? All of sudden, Santa Claus projects and goodies coming in, where were all this in the past? This only show one thing, some party can do things if they want to, but somehow… they ‘forgotten’ to do so all this while until now. The people should thank the opposition for this great opportunity to get basic infrastructures upgraded, new funds allocated (although I believe it’s just mere promises, when this country coffer is already running dry) because only when the establishment feels the heat of probable lost in this by election, it went into panic mode and start doing things it never did before - tarring the roads, installing street lamps etc.

So yeah, go vote for the party that has been neglecting the folks in Batang Ai for all this years.

THE STAR: Published: Friday April 3, 2009 MYT 1:23:00 PM

[size=150]Batang Ai folk want Barisan to fulfil promises[/size]

BATANG AI: The 5,000-odd Ibans who were displaced by the construction of the Batang Ai hydro-electric dam 25 years ago have appealed to Barisan Nasional to fulfill all the promises the Government had made to them in 1982 during their resettlement deals.

These Ibans, who are now living in six different resettlement schemes about 30kms from the dam, have yet to receive their land titles after a quarter of a century.

The initial promises made by the state government under the resettlement agreement have also been modified time after time, and many of these promises have yet to be fulfilled.

On Friday, The Star visited these resettled folks and found that they were loyal to Barisan, but they are frustrated by the decades-long dilemma over these resettlement issues.

Longhouse Chief Tuai Rumah Ambau anak Mapang said the folks are getting weary with the very long wait.

"Since we were moved here 25 years ago, we have not received our land titles. Year after year, we heard promises that the titles are coming. Today, we are still waiting.
"Before we were moved out from our original homes upstream of Batang Ai (now the dam reservoir), the government said each resettled families will be given 11 acres of land as part of the compensation deals.

"Today, every family has been alloted only one acre. The government said the remaining land would be given in stages.

They said the same thing year after year, but we have not been allowed to cultivate any more land outside of the one acre we have.

"Our population has grown by several times over the past 25 years. We have no more space to extend our biliks. Our children have to move out to other places once they have their own families.

“We appeal to Barisan Nasional to solve these problems. We have always supported the Barisan Nasional. Please fulfill the promises you made to us,” he said when interviewed.

Rumah Ambau is a huge and really long longhouse. It had 46 housing units joined together. It takes about 10 minutes to walk the entire length of the 500-metre long structure.

Guning, a community elder who is in charge of a church committee in the longhouse, said the resettlement schemes are also suffering infrastructure woes, such as wiring problems and frequent water-disruption as well as erosion problems.

“We have requested for annual allocations to repair and extend our biliks, but the government leaders only give RM5,000 for the whole longhouse once in a few years. This is hardly enough to repair the leaks in the toilets and the cracks on the walls,” he said.

Barisan candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh from Parti Rakyat Sarawak acknowledged that he had received appeals from the resettled folks for help to solve their land woes and other problems, saying that he will bring their grouses to the higher authorities if he is elected.

Mussen is facing Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Jawah Gerang in a straight fight.

[size=150]*** Wow, this BN guy even set conditions to the longhouse people… “Its either I get elected or you wouldn’t get the land title”…
BN always come out with lots of empty and sweet promises that managed to keep all those longhouse folks continue to support BN… Do you think Malcolm will do anything if he get elected??? ***[/size]

They love BN … but they also hate them! At the end of the day, the status quo remains and they’ll ■■■■■ all over again till the next election!

Published: Friday April 3, 2009 MYT 1:23:00 PM.
Batang Ai folk want Barisan to fulfil promises.

BATANG AI: The 5,000-odd Ibans who were displaced by the construction of the Batang Ai hydro-electric dam 25 years ago have appealed to Barisan Nasional to fulfill all the promises the Government had made to them in 1982 during their resettlement deals.

These Ibans, who are now living in six different resettlement schemes about 30kms from the dam, have yet to receive their land titles after a quarter of a century.

The initial promises made by the state government under the resettlement agreement have also been modified time after time, and many of these promises have yet to be fulfilled.

On Friday, The Star visited these resettled folks and found that they were loyal to Barisan, but they are frustrated by the decades-long dilemma over these resettlement issues.

Longhouse Chief Tuai Rumah Ambau anak Mapang said the folks are getting weary with the very long wait.

"Since we were moved here 25 years ago, we have not received our land titles. Year after year, we heard promises that the titles are coming. Today, we are still waiting.

"Before we were moved out from our original homes upstream of Batang Ai (now the dam reservoir), the government said each resettled families will be given 11 acres of land as part of the compensation deals.

"Today, every family has been alloted only one acre. The government said the remaining land would be given in stages.

They said the same thing year after year, but we have not been allowed to cultivate any more land outside of the one acre we have.

"Our population has grown by several times over the past 25 years. We have no more space to extend our biliks. Our children have to move out to other places once they have their own families.

“We appeal to Barisan Nasional to solve these problems. We have always supported the Barisan Nasional. Please fulfill the promises you made to us,” he said when interviewed.

Rumah Ambau is a huge and really long longhouse. It had 46 housing units joined together. It takes about 10 minutes to walk the entire length of the 500-metre long structure.

Guning, a community elder who is in charge of a church committee in the longhouse, said the resettlement schemes are also suffering infrastructure woes, such as wiring problems and frequent water-disruption as well as erosion problems.

“We have requested for annual allocations to repair and extend our biliks, but the government leaders only give RM5,000 for the whole longhouse once in a few years. This is hardly enough to repair the leaks in the toilets and the cracks on the walls,” he said.

Barisan candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh from Parti Rakyat Sarawak acknowledged that he had received appeals from the resettled folks for help to solve their land woes and other problems, saying that he will bring their grouses to the higher authorities if he is elected.

Mussen is facing Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Jawah Gerang in a straight fight.

saw the pic at the newspaper, still can afford astro and nice 4x4 car…swt

http://margeemar.blogspot.com/

PKR is going to win these seat…i can confirm with you…Is to late BN to improve BAtang Ai…Now the native people is fed up with BN and they wanna vote for a change

bn has won the seat, native people never learn a lesson

Congratulation to Batang Ai folks! They’ve voted for another 25 years of empty promises… and yeah, like the saying goes, God bless you all.

Don’t talk down on the Batang Ai folks, it applies to all Sarawakians too. After all, we voted for BN too!