KOTA KINABALU: Three Penampang residents are seeking a judicial review to determine the validity of a letter of intent related to the construction of the Papar Dam.
The letter, copies of which were issued to two companies that the Sabah Water Department has shortlisted as contractors, was endorsed by the department’s director, Amarjit Singh, whose appointment a court has declared to be illegal.
The three men, all farmers, filed their petition yesterday. They are Dasius Kawang of Kampung Kalanggaan, Mositol Sondigon of Kampung Buayan and Kurunbong, who gave only one name, of Kampung Kionob.
The three signed a statement in which they said: “We are left completely in the dark. We are worried about our future. We have families, houses and farms.
“Does the government want us to be refugees in our ancestral lands? We have no choice but to apply for a judicial review as none of the elected leaders wants to see us.”
The Kota Kinabalu High Court last August declared Amarjit’s appointment illegal on grounds that only a senior civil servant could hold the post of the water department’s director.
But Amarjit, who was an engineer in the private sector before his appointment, remains in his position.
“He has not only defied the court’s order but also bulldozed the project by issuing the offer to the two companies,” the farmers said in their statement.
The Papar Dam is being pushed by the current Warisan-led Sabah government after it cancelled the Penampang Dam, which was initiated by the previous government.
Activists claim it is the same dam and that the government has merely changed the name.