Stand In Solidarity with Sarawak Communities

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Murum Dam is set to flood 2,750 square kilometers of Native Customary Lands of the Penan and Kenyah indigenous people of Sarawak, along with vast stretches of rainforest. In response to the continued violation of their rights, the lack of consultation and direct threats to Native Customary Lands, the Penan and Kenyah have launched bold, coordinated acts of resistance by setting up a number of simultanenous blockades along the Murum Dam's access roads.

Sarawak Energy has repeatedly promised the Penan that negotiations would be held over the terms of their resettlement and compensation. Yet compensation has not come. Consent to build the Murum Dam on Native Customary Lands was never granted, and there has been no public access to social or environmental impact assesments.

Now, SAVE Rivers, the alliance defending Indigenous Peoples' rights to land, water and life in Sarawak, has raised the alarm that the construction of another hydroelectric project – the Baram Dam – is set to begin illegally, without prior consultation or consent of affected villages.

It's time for all of us – from Malaysia and beyond – to send a strong message to Sarawak Energy and the Malaysian government to respect the rights of the Penan and Kenyah, stop damming the rivers of Sarawak and pay reparations for losses inflicted.   

For more infromation about the blockade against Murum Dam, watch the video below and take action in solidarity with Penan and Kenyah communities.

More information: 

For more information about the ongoing blockades, check out my colleague Zachary Hurwitz's blog, and visit SAVE Rivers' website, the grassroots network of indigenous communities and organizations protecting rights and stopping destructive dams in Sarawak.