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TJ KB STS: Projek Bakun Hidup Semula
By Leslie Lau
2/3/2001 9:58 pm Fri
Projek Bakun berharga RM13.5 bilion itu akan diteruskan juga walaupun
ia menggugat alam dan tinggi risikonya. Ia masih mengikut struktur asal
cuma kabel 600km dasar laut sahaja tiada. Projek menakung air seluas pulau
Singapura itu mungkin mencecah lebih RM 20 bilion sebenarnya.
Pada awalnya projek Bakun diberikan kepada kontraktor balak (memang pelik kan?)
Sarawak, Tan Sri Ting Pek Khing. Melalui Ekran Bhd, Ting mencukur hutan rimba
(69,000 hektar banyaknya) dan bergaduh dengan ramai orang termasuk orang asli
dan rakan teknikal asing (ABB) sehingga akhirnya projek itu terhenti.
Tetapi kerajaan membayar RM500 juta kepada Ting sebagai pampasan pula. Sudah
RM1 bilion hangus dibelanjakan oleh kerajaan tetapi Bakun masih tidak berisi
apa-apa melainkan botak sahaja. 10,000 rakyat yang menetap disitu terpaksa
berpindah walaupun pampasan tidak memadai dan rungutan mereka didiamkan sahaja.
Mahkamah mengistiharkan projek itu tidak sah pada Jun 1996 apabila di saman
tetapi rayuan mahkamah mengizinkan Ting menoda juga.
Kita tentu masih belum lupa EPF turut menyumbang dana buat projek raksaksa ini.
Ia hanya mampu menyumbang dividen 6% sahaja kerana melabur dalam projek
yang penuh risiko serta bercampur dengan karenah kroni. Dengan TNB menjadi
pengurus Bakun nampak jelas Jamaluddin Jarjis diarah mengetuainya untuk
satu lagi projek buat kroni juga.
Kerajaan memang bermain sembunyi-sembunyi dengan Projek Bakun. Ia didiamkan
bila menjelang pilihanraya. Kini setelah menang ia diteruskan juga walaupun
iklim ekonomi kurang baik untuk merancang sesuatu yang merbahaya. Ada sesuatu
untuk kroni di dalam projek Bakun ini dan sudah tentu ada sesuatu juga untuk
poket dirinya, jika tidak Jamaluddin tidak akan diberi tugas untuk menjaganya....
Source: The Singapore Straits Times
1st March 2001
KL to revive Bakun dam project
The project, shelved during the 1997 economic crisis, will now be
built within six years. It will generate power for Sabah, Sarawak and
By Leslie Lau
MALAYSIA announced yesterday that it would revive the full-scale
version of the controversial RM13.5 billion (S$5.9 billion) Bakun
hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak.
It will be completed within six years despite environmental concerns.
However, Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Leo
Moggie said the dam would only generate power for the East Malaysian
states of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.
Power generated deep in the jungles of Sarawak may also be sold to
Kalimantan in Indonesia.
Under the original plan, underwater cables were to be laid to
distribute electricity to West Malaysia but this has been shelved.
The minister did not say why the undersea cables plan had been shelved
but critics had said that it was too ambitious.
They said too much power would have been lost because of the length of
The 600-km-long cables would have been the longest in the world.
The minister said power demand in the Borneo states was also expected
'We are quite confident that the full capacity of power generated by
the Bakun project will be fully utilised in Sabah and Sarawak,' Datuk
He said the project would be undertaken by a company owned by the
'We will implement construction of the dam to the full original height
with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts so it will be based on the original
design,' the minister said.
He added that work on the diversion tunnel was in the implementation
stage and would be completed by April while relocation of the native
community had already been completed.
Nearly 10,000 people were relocated because of the project and critics
claimed that the project would have huge environmental and social
consequences for the people of Sarawak.
The original contractor of the project was Ekran Berhad, a company
controlled by Sarawakian businessman Tan Sri Ting Pek Khing.
The original contractor of the project was Ekran Berhad, a company controlled by Sarawakian businessman Tan Sri Ting Pek Khing.
It was shelved indefinitely following the 1997 financial crisis.
The government had already indicated last year that the project would
be revived despite concerns that it was not viable to submerge an area
the size of Singapore and that the project might end up costing up to
RM20 billion. Ekran was paid compensation of nearly RM500 million after the project
was shelved. Analysts say the dam's full revival was expected as the government had
already sunk RM1 billion into it.
Ekran was paid compensation of nearly RM500 million after the project
Analysts say the dam's full revival was expected as the government had already sunk RM1 billion into it.
Pumping up the construction industry this year could also prime the
pump of the Malaysian economy.
News of the project's revival also comes on the heels of indications
that the Sarawak state election will be held soon.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had argued that full
revival of the project was viable, pointing out that the project had
only been abandoned because of the financial crisis.
He expects the project's revival to create thousands of jobs and
It will also give him a boost before state elections due within the
Malaysia to revive Bakun dam, drops undersea cable plan
But the cabinet scrapped plans to lay the world's longest undersea cable to
transmit hydroelectric power to peninsular Malaysia, Bernama news agency
quoted him as saying.
"We will implement construction of the dam to the full original height that
has the generation capacity of 2,400 megawatts. So the dam will be
implemented based on the original design," Moggie said.
He said the project will take about five to six years to complete and would
supply power to Malaysia's Sabah and Sarawak states, Brunei and perhaps the
Indonesian section of Borneo.
Installation of machinery and turbines may be done in stages, depending on
actual requirements for power.
"We are quite confident that the full capacity of power generated by the
Bakun project would be fully utilised in Sabah and Sarawak," Moggie added.
The cost of the project before the economic crisis was put at 13.5 billion
ringgit (3.6 billion dollars), including the undersea cables which have now
The project would be handled by a company that has already been established
by the finance ministry, Moggie said.
Work on water diversion tunnels would be completed by the end of April
while relocation of people affected by the project had been completed.
The 205-metre-high (676-foot) dam involves flooding an area the size of
Singapore. It has been Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's most controversial
mega-project since it was mooted in the early 1980s to tap the hydropower
resources of the Rejang River in Sarawak.
After suspending the project during the 1985 recession, the government gave
the go-ahead in 1993 to developer Ekran Bhd.
Ekran's plan involved clearing 69,000 hectares (170,000 acres) of forest
and displacing some 10,000 tribal residents.
The High Court in June 1996 declared the project illegal for contravening
environmental laws following a suit by a group of natives, but the ruling
was quashed by the Appeal Court.
In November 1997, as the regional economic crisis began biting, the finance
ministry took the project over from Ekran which received nearly one billion
ringgit in compensation.
National power firm Tenaga Nasional was made project manager. It later
recommended a smaller dam producing 500 megawatts to cater just to Borneo
island at a cost of around five billion ringgit.
"It's even more of a luxury now after dropping the undersea cables, East
Malaysia doesn't need that much power," said Chan Eu Ky, analyst with
Dresdner Kleinwort Benson Research.
He said power demand in Sabah is very small at about 440 MW annually and
there were few major power-consuming industries in Sarawak.
"I think it's very ambitious," Chan told AFP.
Gurmit Singh, adviser to the Environment Protection Society of Malaysia,
welcomed the move to drop the undersea cables.
But he said it still did not make economic sense to revive the dam to its
original full-scale version as this would mean higher costs and flooding
the entire site.
"The government is being stubborn. I cannot understand why they are so
obsessed with building the dam at full capacity. Where is the demand going
to come from?" he said.
Gurmit said the project "still remained shrouded in secrecy" and urged the government to declassify information to prove its viability.