Warisan objects to any plans to move Papar Dam project back to Penampang

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah rejects a proposal by Sabah Works Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin to revert the construction of the Papar Dam to Penampang.

Warisan treasurer-general Terrence Siambun (pic) said the party objected to the move and was prepared to fight the issue.

This comes after Bung announced on Tuesday (Jan 5) that the controversial Papar dam may be going back to the Penampang district.

Bung said he had been informed that if the dam was built in Papar, the water supply sustainability was only for 60 years, while in Penampang, the supply would last up to 85 years.

"Our stand has always been consistent, that is, 'Moyog cannot continuously be making the sacrifices for others by allowing the second mega dam to be built in Penampang's largest green lung, ” said Siambun, who is former Moyog assemblyman.

He said Moyog is currently supplying treated water to users via the Kasigui Water Treatment Plant and Babagon Dam so other districts should equally bear the burden.

“Hence, the reason why the Kaiduan Dam was scrapped by Warisan Plus and replaced by the Papar Dam," he said.

Siambun had headed an anti-Kaiduan Dam movement, known as Project Bantah, that collected several thousand signatures during a petition drive held in late 2013 and early 2014 after verbal exchanges on the Kaiduan Dam issue between him and the then-Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

"This issue of building another dam in Moyog goes beyond the normal argument about the environment; this is about a small constituency that has been trampled and squeezed over and over again until it no longer has the landmass that it can be proud of, ” Siambun said.

He said the younger generation in Penampang aged 40 and below might not know it but the district used to be very large, extending as far as Sepanggar, which is now another constituency.

“As leaders, our first and foremost responsibility is to protect the lands where we belong, ” he said.

Siambun said the people in Penampang will not allow any more expropriation of land in Moyog, more so when it is a prime green lung.

He said if the GRS-led state government was still adamant on proceeding with the proposal, then Warisan, together with its allies, will do everything it can to stop it.

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