Penan community leaders have resolved to continue their blockade to prevent construction vehicles from entering or leaving the Murum Dam site in Sarawak following a meeting on Saturday.

Contacted yesterday, Save Sarawak's Rivers Network (Save Rivers) chairperson Peter Kallang said he was informed of the decision after visiting the Penan leaders.

NONE"Yes, (they) will continue (with the blockade)," said Kallang, an activist from the indigenous community rights advocacy group.

Kallang said that the Penan leaders had also agreed to participate in a discussion with the Sarawak government scheduled for November.

There have been repeated announcements by state government leaders that the Penan leaders had dismantled the two-month long blockade.

Among others, Belaga state assemblyperson Liwan Lagang had claimed last Saturday that the Penan leaders had reached an agreement with the government following a meeting between the two parties.

According to state land development minister James Jemut Masing, the government had agreed to seriously look into the Penan demand involving land and compensation issues.

Thousands to be displaced

The RM3 billion Murum Dam, now 70 percent complete, is located at the uppermost part of the Rajang River.

penan lands in sarawak 060208It is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) project - a network of electricity generation projects designed to power economic development in central Sarawak.

A total of 250 square kilometres - the size of Kenyir Lake - will be flooded, displacing thousands of indigenous people.

On Sept 26, between 200 and 300 Penans, together with some Kenyah Badeng from eight settlements - directly or indirectly affected by the dam - took part in the blockade at Sungai Seping, the entrance to the dam construction site.

The natives are demanding, among others, 25 hectares of land for each of the 300 families there on top of RM500,000 compensation per family