KOTA KINABALU: A proposed dam project in the south-western Papar district should be scrapped following the arrests of two Sabah Water Department officials for alleged graft, says an NGO representing the affected communities near here.
Grassroots movement Task Force Against Kaiduan Dam (TAKaD) spokesperson Mary Giun said the two department officials were partly responsible for the proposed dam at Kaiduan.
Mary said the dam project continues to be plagued with transparency issues.
"This project has always been shrouded in controversy and should now be cancelled," she said in a statement.
Mary claimed that the Department had not been sincere in giving answers to possible alternatives to the dam, such as reducing leaks in existing pipelines that stood at 55.1%.
"We strongly believe these individuals who were implicated in the recent haul by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) have a reason to benefit from the construction of the dam, judging from their lack of interest in engaging communities and civil society," she said.
She said the millions of Ringgit MACC had seized from the duo could have used to reduce the pipeline leakages (also known as non revenue water).
"We have always maintained that forest and river resources should not be destroyed for projects such as dams. We have been advocating for the efficient protection of the environment but the Government has continued to take a different view," she said.
MACC investigators had arrested Sabah Water Department director Ag Tahir Ag Talib and his deputy Teo Chee Kong on Oct 4 and seized more than RM114mil in cash, jewellery and luxury vehicles from them.