More police reports over damage to Baram Dam samples

KUCHING (Nov 4, 2013): Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) will lodge further police reports against those responsible for destroying core samples from the soil investigation work and threatening site investigators at the proposed Baram Dam.

In a statement today, SEB's chief of corporate services Aisah Eden said: "We have provided the police with a detailed file including video and photographic evidence of the destruction of core samples and other valuable property at Long Kahah .

"The damage to the core samples is estimated to run to a million ringgit."

SEB's senior manager for community engagement Jiwari Abdullah said, "Having failed to make any impact in Sarawak, these NGOs have now revealed their true colours.

SEB chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Torstein Sjotveit said: "In recent months, SEB has been much more active in exposing the facts and this appears to have infuriated our detractors, who are now resorting to gutter tactics.

"At SEB, the welfare of the people potentially affected by our work enjoys our constant focus and attention. "

Meanwhile, the Swiss-based rainforest advocacy group Bruno Manser Foundation (BMF) and its Norwegian partner FIVAS have lodged an urgent complaint against SEB with Norway's anti-corruption agency, Okokrim.

Under Norway's tough anti-corruption laws, its citizens can be held accountable for their involvement in corruption anywhere in the world.

"The extent of conflict of interest in the Sarawak power sector is simply shocking", BMF director Lukas Straumann said after a meeting with Okokrim in Oslo.

The complaint follows the announcement by SEB that it has granted Sarawak Cable, a company chaired by Chief Minister Taib's son, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, two contracts worth more than RM510 million for construction of power lines in Sarawak.

BMF's research shows that Taib-family-linked companies had already been granted contracts worth more than RM570 million.

With the latest announcement, the total of contracts awarded to the Taib family by SEB is more than RM1 billion.