By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU: Moyog assemblyman, Terrence Siambun has questioned the latest call by Minister of Infrastructure and Development, Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan to hold a dialogue over the controversial Kaiduan Dam project when the latter has always failed to meet the affected villagers despite frequent promises.
Pairin, the outgoing president of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) was reported in a local daily as calling for another dialogue with the stakeholders of the controversial dam which is Phase II of the Kota Kinabalu Water Supply project.
According to Siambun, several invitations had been issued to Pairin to attend forums conducted by the community of Ulu Papar and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) but he never turned up.
After Barisan Nasional won the 13th General Election, the proposed Kaiduan Dam project was revived in 2013 and Pairin then had called for a dialogue but it never materialised.
Siambun who has been consistently challenging Pairin to walk his talk, lambasted the “Huguan Siou” or Paramount Leader of the Kadazandusun community for yet again failing to advocate the interest of his people.
“As the Huguan Siou of the KDM people, Pairin has failed to carry out his responsibilities. Let me remind him that the water from the proposed Kaiduan Dam is meant for the West Coast area namely Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang.
“Majority of the KDM live in Penampang and he should protect the affected indigenous people by all means. Pairin cannot even confirm whether the water crisis assumed to occur in 2025 will actually happen.
“The so-called study recommending Kaiduan as being the only suitable location for the multi-billion project is not justified if it is merely based on the rapid growth of population in the West Coast.
“Furthermore, the Sabah Water Resources Council (SWRC) which made the decision is under the influence of the Sabah Water Department (SWD) led by the then Director and Deputy Director who have both been accused of involvement in a RM3.3 billion water gate scandal,” Siambun said in a statement issued here Friday.
Siambun pointed out that Pairin was always inconsistent when asked about the proposed area for the dam and did not reply as to how the Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Need Statement was issued out directly to WCT Berhad on 15 May 2009 to do a detailed Feasibility Study (FS), full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and prepare a detailed technical proposal for the construction of the dam, in a report that was submitted to the International Work Group for Indigenous Affair (IWGIA) on 11 February 2010.
The report stated that the Kaiduan Dam project back in 2009 was estimated to cost around RM2.8 billion. It was also reported by some NGOs that the mapping for the affected areas had been drawn up but the Huguan Siou always denied it whenever asked about it.
“It is my obligation to protect the people under my constituency if they are to become the victims of this unjustified project that may benefit only certain parties. If Pairin said he is doing his job then how on earth did he fail to detect the Water Gate Scandal which is under his ministry’s jurisdiction?
“The transparency of this mega project is questionable as the SWD played a leading role to ensure the project materialised. I have asked for the study and for a freeze on the project pending the investigation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) in a motion presented to the State Legislative last month.
“Unfortunately, the motion was declined by the Speaker citing the role of SWD in SWRC had not much impact on the decision to recommend Kaiduan Dam,” said Siambun.
The Moyog assemblyman demanded that Pairin come clean by being transparent on the project for the sake of the stakeholders.
He also said that both he and Penampang MP, Darell Leiking should be informed and consulted about the project because they represented the people who stood to lose their ancestral and traditional land as a result of the Kaiduan Dam.