Bakun dam is 207 metres high with a reservoir surface area of nearly 70,000 hectares, about the size of Singapore

Bakun dam is 207 metres high with a reservoir surface area of nearly 70,000 hectares, about the size of Singapore

An environmental crisis may be looming in Sarawak following revelations that the developer of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam plans to set fire to an area the size of Singapore.

Sarawak Conservation Action Network coordinator Raymond Abin, told The Star on Sunday, said that it had information that the burning of the leftovers in the 64,000ha area had begun as a prelude to the flooding of the reservoir.

That’s story according to Sarawak’s Natural Resources Environmental Board (NREB) controller, Dr Penguang Mangil today, nothing but ‘a big lie.

Dr Penguang said the NGO was confused between the size of reservoir and the area that have to be cleared for safety reason and eco-tourism potential.

“The reservoir size is the size of Singapore but they are not clearing all of them. They will only be clearing at the elevation 180 meter to elevation 228 meter above sea level within 15 kilometer radius of Bakun Dam which is only about 455 hectare,” Penguang explained.

The areas beyond that would not be cleared at all and the allegation by the NGO is completely wrong.

“I believe there is some motive because many are angry at not getting the job contract, there are so many applicants of course not all will be getting the job,” he said.

Who’s telling the truth? NREB or the NGO?