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U-TURN ON DAM WELCOME BUT WITH RESERVATIONS – PBS

PAPAR: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Vice President Datuk Johnny Mositun is questioning those opposing the Kaiduan Dam proposal during the BN administration but now singing a different tune.

“We pursued the idea of Kaiduan Dam under the BN administration but the then opposition and certain NGOs blocked the idea. Now that they are in power, they are singing a different tune,” he said.

He said PBS was not against the idea of building a dam to ensure a reliable and adequate supply of water for Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding hinterland as mentioned by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Datuk Johnny Mositun. SNT File Pix

It was reported that Mohd Shafie had issued a directive to the Minister of Infrastructure Development Datuk Peter Anthony to expedite construction of the Papar Dam.

The order for the construction of the controversial dam to be expedited was made after Mohd Shafie was informed that firefighters were hindered by low water pressure while battling last Friday’s fire at Kampung Pasir Putih, Putatan.

Mositun said PBS was not against a dam per se but only objected to it being moved downstream into a more populated area and closer to Papar, exposing it to danger.

“The original site for Kaiduan Dam was chosen because if the reservoir receives heavy rain excess water can be discharged into two rivers, reducing the danger of floods to heavily populated areas downstream in Papar and Penampang.

“Fewer people would be displaced but the same cannot be said for the proposed Papar Dam.

“The Chief Minister should revert to the original Kaiduan Dam site if at all one must be built,” said Mositun who is also PBS Pantai Manis chief.

Hailing from Papar himself Mositun said the views and consent of those who would be directly affected or displaced, mainly KDM villagers, had not been consulted nor had their consent been sought.

“And who is to believe that complete scientific and technical studies for a dam of this size can be done within a span of six months since it was announced? On the other hand, it took years , including the EIA, for studies on the Kaiduan Dam project.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development owes an explanation to the people on this, which is so far not forthcoming. Why?,” Mositun wanted to know.

Mositun said it would be wrong to ‘bulldoze’ the new dam project through when a proper proposal had already been done for the original Kaiduan Dam.

“Just work out the full details to compensate those affected and revert to the original Kaiduan Dam project, and we can have a win-win solution for all.

A dam is a necessity, but there must be transparency, sound planning and no danger to anyone, That will be a win-win solution. It may look like a U-turn, but if it is the right thing to do, Shafie must sum up the will and courage to do so before the damage is done,” Mositun said.-SabahNewsToday