Saturday, January 12, 2008


150 acres for villagers affected by dam project
Residents who are affected by the Milau Dam project in Kudat have been advised to be patient as the Government has pledged to provide an area for them to build their new homes. Assistant Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Jornah Mozihim, who is also Matunggong Assemblywoman, gave the assurance yesterday, saying that the Government is serious in solving their problem and has allocated a 150-acre area for the resettlement of the affected residents. In August last year, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has asked the Director of Land and Survey Department to prepare and submit a report on the claims by landowners from 10 villages that they were displaced as a result of the dam project. A call to the State Government to give adequate compensation and relocation facilities to the affected landowners was made on Saturday by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili after a dialogue between the related government agencies and the landowners. Jornah said the Chief Minister had in October last year agreed to provide the relocation area which will be available at the end of November so that the construction of the dam can start as soon as possible. However, the site clearing was delayed because some villagers on the land who are land application holders claimed their rights to the land, she said. “There was an objection from 18 land application holders within the land between Kg Bonduk and Kg Tambuluran,” she added. Jornah also said that site clearing at Kg Pituru, Nongkul and Garau will be started as soon as the land is surveyed. The Government will ensure that the house and infrastructure allocation will be given to the villagers whose houses were in the affected project area, she said. Jornah urged the contractor for the project not to bulldoze the houses where compensation has not been paid. She also asked the Land and Survey Department to expedite payment to the landowners. She hoped the department will expedite their task in preparing the resettlement site as the dam area will be flooded anytime during this rainy season. The RM230 million dam, which was approved under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, would serve as a reservoir to supply water to Kudat and parts of northern Matunggong.