SAPP promised to
from Kg Tambatuon are prepared to sacrifice their lives to defend their
KOTA BELUD, June 19, 2011: A group of 30 or more youths from Kg
Tambatuon, Kota Belud, has vowed to defend their village against the
controversial Tambatuon dam project there.
"We are prepared to sacrifice our lives defending our land, instead of
end up dying as a 'refugee' on others' land," they solemnly vowed.
They made the vow during a ceremony before three old Batu Sumpah (curse
stone) at the village yesterday and were led by Jahim Singkui, the son
of former village head there, Singkui Tinggi.
The three Curse Stones were erected by the forefathers of the villagers
of Kg Tambatuon, during the British colonial era after the Japanese
occupation, as a pledge between the then British government
and the villagers, that the village shall not be disturbed in any way.
The ceremony was aimed chiefly to remind the present leaders of their
forefathers' struggle to preserve and to defend their village from any
Meanwhile, Agnes Liewpin, the division chief of Sabah Progressive Party
(SAPP) Kadamaian who led a delegation of SAPP Central Youth committee
members, promised to support the villagers in their bid to save their
She also urged the state government to look for an alternative site for
the proposed project such as a mini micro hydro dam, such as in Kg
Pungitan, Kg Wariu or Kg Sorob, which are less populated.
The proposed dam will force the resettlement of around 600 villagers
who have lived a relatively prosperous life without much government
However, Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan is adamant that the village
must make way for the dam to boost rice production and avert a
recurrence of the 2008 rice crisis.
He said that the construction of the Tambatuon dam would help to
irrigate 25,000 hectares of unproductive paddy fields in Kota Belud.
Agriculture experts however have questioned the costly plan which would
set back the government by between half a billion to one billion
They contend that poor irrigation rather than short supply of water is
the main cause for the low yields from the padi fields of Kota Belud.