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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Banned Bakun Dam series now on YouTube

The controversial Bakun Dam documentary series which had two parts aired in May on RTM 2, but had the remaining three pulled out for touching on 'sensitive elements', is now on video-sharing websiteYouTube. The three cancelled chapters, roughly 30 minutes in length collectively, are now on the Internet, together with the first two. NONEAccording to the producer of the documentary, Chou Z Lam (left), the show was taken off the air under the direct instructions of RTM's director-general of broadcasting Ibrahim Yahya. The parts that were held back highlight basic community problems that have been plaguing the 10,000 strong indigenous community in Hulu Sungai Balui for more than a decade. According to the Penan community, the state land around the Koyan and Asap rivers given to them is not big enough and not fertile for farming. "We are given only three acres a family. How can we make a farm on such a small piece of land? We can't plant enough food for ourselves," said Botai Udau, a senior Penan resettler, "On our old land, we can go hunting and fishing in the surrounding jungle, but here it is hard for us to provide for our families because there is no jungle," he added. NONEThe testimonial by the Penan elder which was in his native language, was translated by Uming Anyit, a younger Penan resettler. Adding to the problem, Botai said, was that the farming land provided for the indigenous community is located almost two hours away from the relocated longhouses and many can't afford to buy vehicles. He added the Sarawak state government has only provided three agricultural officers in a makeshift office - certainly not sufficient to cater to the need of 10,000 people who rely on farming activities. The documentary also highlighted the lack of basic educational facilities for their children and many do not go to school. The community also suffers as a whole due to a lack of medical and transport facilities. During the resettlement period in 1998, the Bakun dam contractor and the state government promised the indigenous people new longhouses, free water and free electricity, but the community regrets they were not kept. bakun dam scale model of completed project 301007"We are now being forced to pay for the cost of the longhouses, electricity and water," said Miku Loyang, a Kayan community member. The original two parts of the documentary were screened on current affairs programme 'Galeri Mandarin Nasional', before the remaining parts were cancelled. Chou denied he posted the videos on YouTube but was all for it as it would allow the public to see the videos. He added that he is planning to reshoot this documentary as he felt the series on the Internet was incomplete and may involve copyright issues with RTM.

Watch the videos from youtube here:

Video 3 :

Video 4 :

Video 5 :

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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