Papar dam a two-pronged solution for Sabah’s water, power woes, says PKR man

KOTA KINABALU: Building the Papar dam would not only resolve Sabah’s water woes but would also address the electricity supply issue in the state, says PKR deputy Information chief Razeef Rakimin.

Supporting the call by Papar MP Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali over the proposal, he said both the water and electricity supplies were among the main issues plaguing residents in Sabah.

He acknowledged that the proposal, which would involve building a hydroelectric dam, would be met with opposition from villagers as well as activists.

“However, after a number of studies by several quarters, the affects are considered small and short-term,” he said, in a statement here on Wednesday (June 7).

“But when the dam is completed, Sabahans will not only have their water problems resolved but the addition of power stations will also address the blackout frequency which had haunted Sabah for decades,” Razeef added.

Armizan had last month said the dam should be built in Papar if it was the best option to solve Sabah's water woes.

"The state government needs to make a difficult but unpopular, bold and necessary decision to move forward and solve this problem once and for all," said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs and Special Duties) said.

The concerns of villagers, he added, would be addressed and taken into consideration.

However, he said outsiders who are unaffected by water supply issues do not have the standing to criticise the building of the dam, adding that the issue should not be used as polemic and continue to be politicised.

Towards this end, Razeef said it was obvious Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajii Noor was determined to put an end to the water and power issues as well as improve road conditions as soon as possible.

He said the good relations between the state’s top leader with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also made it easier to resolve lingering issues in Sabah.

During Anwar’s visit to Sabah last May 31, he said, the Prime Minister had approved a RM3mil allocation for underwater drilling and water treatment centre for Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

The following day, he said, Anwar then chaired a special meeting in Putrajaya to address the water supply issue in Sabah and Kelantan.

“The Chief Minister then announced a RM320.25mil allocation from the Federal Government to undertake projects to address the supply issue in Sabah.

“I believe the results of the efforts by the state and federal governments will be felt once the construction of several water treatment plants are completed.

“These short and medium term projects must be followed by the dam construction,” Razeef said.

Non-governmental organisations and Opposition lawmakers had opposed the construction of the proposed dam, located about 40km south-west of the state capital, for various reasons including floods and possible displacement of villagers.

The dam, said to benefit the whole of Sabah's west coast from Beaufort to Kota Kinabalu, was first proposed at Moyog (Penampang) as the Kaiduan Dam project over 10 years ago, before being shifted to Papar.

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Papar Dam , Hydroelectric , Water , Power


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