A group of Penan men resting at one of the blockades leading to the Murum dam, some 320km from Bintulu. (SCANE)

The total compensation package offered to affected communities in Murum is exceeding RM600,000 per family, in the form of longhouse and infrastructure facilities.

Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) refuted claims that affected villages were only offered RM16,000 compensations.

“The longhouse and infrastructure facilities alone, cost RM213.3 million or more than RM600,000 per family,” SEB said in a statement yesterday.

“The incorrect report being disseminated by the NGOs that does not give the true picture of the relocation and compensation of the people affected by the Murum HEP and intended to mislead the public,” Sarawak Energy said.

“What they failed to inform the public is the total package that the affected communities are getting under the Government’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), which is described as one of the best in the world,” it added.

SEB said in the Murum Resettlement Plan, the affected communities will receive:

  • 15 hectares of land per household on the basis of one hectare per household for community purposes, and 14 hectares for agriculture
  • Forest access to wildlife and forest produce – total area of up to 20,000 hectares
  • RM15,000 ex-gratia cash payment upon relocation
  • Temporary Income Support valued at RM850 a month from the time they are resettled at the new resettlement village.
  • Free housing – One unit (bilik) of longhouse per family of 1,300 sq. ft.
  • Clean and stable water supply
  • Electricity supply with subsidized monthly allocation of RM40 per family
  • Free Astro NJOI package for every longhouse
  • Integrated community halls with chapel and kindergarten
  • School
  • Medical assistance
  • Own garden plot per family
  • Livelihood restoration programmes through overall sustainable agriculture programs up to 2020

On the development at the Murum site, SEB expressed its dismay that the NGOs are instigating the people to remain at their villages which has improper living condition, sanitation, water and food in order to pressure the Government with their additional demand of RM500,000 cash compensation.

SEB accused the NGOs’ trying to turn the scenario negatively so it will look bad on Sarawak Energy and the State government in the eyes of the world.

Murum Dam

Water gradually rising at Murum hydroelectric dam, Belaga. (Photo: Facebook/Horatio Libau).

Its added, continuous engagement being made between the affected communities with Sarawak Energy and representatives from the government and the most recent was on the 16th of October in Bintulu.

The meeting was chaired by the Resident of Kapit and attended by representatives from Murum Penan Development Committee (MPDC), penghulus, Ketua Kampungs and Chiefs from Long Wat, Long Malim Penan, Long Malim Kenyah, Long Luar, Long Tangau, Long Menapa and Long Singu other than the key people from the Government.

“In the meeting, the representatives expressed their appreciation to the government on the facilities provided at the new resettlement area such as free housing, electricity supply, clean water supply, huge land and other facilities provided to them.

“The only issue that they wanted to negotiate further was on the cash compensation.

“Sarawak Energy is also working closely with MPDC in facilitating the needs of the resettled communities such as providing transportation for the children to attend school and continue with other initiatives such as the literacy program,” SEB said.