Miri police apprehend family obstructing substation project

27 Jun 2019 / 18:19 H.

MIRI: Police apprehended a family of six including two women, for blocking the access path to a substation project site of Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) near Kampung Lereng Bukit here this morning.

In the 7.50am incident, the family who were from the village, had been advised to remove their vehicle which was blocking the path, to enable an SEB vehicle to enter the project site but they did not budge, forcing the police to mount an operation to forcibly apprehend them and take them to the police station.

“We had to use a bit of force,“ said Miri district police chief ACP Lim Meng Seah who himself led the operation comprising a team of 46 policemen from the Miri district police headquarters.

He said the operation also involved the dismantling of illegal tents set up by other villagers in an attempt to prevent project works from being undertaken.

Speaking to the media after the operation, Lim explained that in the past, the villagers had prevented SEB contractors from entering the project area which they claimed was their native customary land and as such, they were required to be compensated by SEB.

He added that the dispute was brought to the Miri High Court, which ruled in favour of SEB, and ordered that the illegal blockade be removed and project works resume.

The six are being investigated under section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a civil servant from discharging his duties.

This morning’s operation which began at 6am and involved the SEB and agencies such as the Land and Survey Office, caused a traffic jam in the areas near Jalan Pujut-Lutong, one of the busiest roads in Miri town.

News of the incident also went viral on social media.

Construction of the RM10.5 million substation began in early 2017 but was suspended due to the land dispute. The station was scheduled to be operational by August 2018.

The project is aimed at improving the supply of electricity to commercial areas in Miri town - the existing substation in Miri has been in operation for about 30 years. — Bernama

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