[QODLink]
101 East
The Last Frontier
Alleged corruption, rights violations and environmental degradation plague Malaysia's controversial Bakun project.
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2012 05:48

Thousands are set to lose their homes, as a controversial hydro power scheme gets underway.

In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, the Bakun Dam has already flooded an area the size of Singapore. Some of those displaced say they’ve never received the full compensation they were promised.

The state government, working with Australian company Hydro Tasmania, is embarking on an ambitious plan to build a further 12 dams - flooding vast tracts of river valley land - and displacing tens of thousands of indigenous people.

Connect with 101 East

Hydro Tasmania, an Australian state-owned energy company is involved with dam construction projects in Sarawak by the Sarawak Energy Board while Malaysian timber giant Ta Ann has received major timber harvesting contracts in Tasmania.

Both businesses are linked through Hamed Sepawi, who is the chairman of Sarawak Energy Board and Ta Ann. He is also a cousin and close business associate of the state’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, say there is a lack of accountability and transparency over the hydropower projects.

Environmentalists and political activists in Malaysia and Australia are calling for the ‘unhealthy’ business ties between Tasmania and Sarawak to be investigated and audited by an independent body.

The Malaysian government says the 20gigawatt project capacity can change the economic face of Sarawak and says its links with Hydro Tasmania are legitimate, while the companies involved deny any wrongdoing.

 
101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Click here for more 101 East.

311

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
Libya has seen a blossoming of media outlets, but the media landscape is as polarised as the politics on the streets.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
join our mailing list