|Development and modernization is not always a good thing and it’s proven true for the indigenous people in Baram, Sarawak. Baram is home to many ethnic minorities of indigenous people known as “Orang Ulu” who include Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Punan, Penan and Saban tribes. They live in remote inland forests and have always lived in harmony with nature for generations.
In the near future, three tribes (namely Kayan, Kenyah and Penan) will face the biggest challenge to their living environment. They will be uprooted from their homeland and their unique cultures are likely to be destroyed. The Sarawak state government continues to ignore the protracted protests of the local indigenous people by bulldozing to build 12 huge dams by 2020 under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). One such dam, the Bakun Dam, is as large as Singapore. Four huge dams have been erected and have displaced tens of thousands of indigenous people. Many have since lived in abject poverty. They also face cultural extinction after entire communities have been uprooted from their lands.