KOTA KINABALU, July 3 — Sabah has yet to reach a final decision on the controversial Papar dam project that has been in the works for decades.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said that there has yet to be a decision on the project which was recently highlighted again by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a Facebook post yesterday.
“It has yet to be decided,” he said when asked about the status of the project at a press conference today.
The dam is a controversial project as its origins began as the Kaiduan dam in the Ulu Papar river, in Penampang, threatened to displace hundreds of villagers who did not want to give up their ancestral land which will affect their socio-economic livelihood.
Several representatives of Parti Warisan Sabah and Pakatan Plus had promised to scrap the project if they came into power after the last general and state elections but it was later argued that they had merely renamed the project as the Papar dam after moving the site of the proposed project upriver and into the adjacent constituency.
Yesterday, Najib said on his social media account that a RM3 billion project was awarded to a company called Wira Syukur.
“In one and a half years after they came into power, the Sabah government had awarded the RM3 billion project to the Wira Syukur company,” he said adding that the company was a shareholder in the same Penang underground tunnel project he has been highlighting.
Previously, Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony had said that the project will proceed as planned this year after moving the site.
The Papar dam was supposed to be constructed to end the acute water shortage in Sabah’s west coast by 2024 in Kampung Mondorongin, Papar.
It was initially scheduled to begin this year and when completed, will have the capacity of producing a billion litres of water a day and produce hydroelectricity.