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IPOH, March 24 — Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) will hold discussions with the interest groups on the construction of the Nengiri hydroelectric dam in Gua Musang, Kelantan which was objected to by more than 3,000 Orang Asli in the area.
TNB chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said they would provide detailed information on the project to the interest groups including the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa).
He said the project had been in the works for eight years and various aspects regarding the construction of the dam were taken into consideration before the project was approved this year, adding that construction would commence in March next year.
“So, of course, one of the components that TNB takes into account is the Orang Asli people and the community there,” he said adding that they have all the information regarding the number of affected residents as well as the affected areas.
He said this to reporters after attending the state-level “Ceria Ke Sekolah” back-to-school programme where he handed over a contribution worth RM380,000, here today.
Also present was Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad.
The media reported on Monday that more than 3,000 Orang Asli from 17 districts and hundreds of villages in Kelantan objected to the construction of the hydroelectric dam saying that it would destroy 5,384 hectares of customary land and the Orang Asli territory.
The Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages (JKOAK) chairman, Mustafa Along said in a statement the Nenggiri hydroelectric dam project would affect 1,185 people from 217 families who would be relocated to Kampung Kuala Yai, adding that 18 villages or Orang Asli settlements would be submerged. — Bernama