I have been wondering if photographers and geographers have been taking photographs and making notes of the areas surround Bakun before the impounding. The area covered by the waters of Bakun will be bigger than the island of Singapore.
Many thousands of Kayans and Penans have been moved to other areas for resettlement - the record of which may be with the Residents' office or Lands and Survey Offices. This "transmigration process" has been on going.
I would like to share with you some beautiful photos taken by my former student now a teacher. This is to record the presence of a great and yet simple fish still available in Batang Rajang at the time being. This fish has been keeping the indigenous people alive for centuries. Will its habitat be disturbed by the new Bakun Dam? It will take years for us to find out. But meanwhile just take the time to share the joy of my friends who had a good catch recently. Water in the Upper Rajang at the moment is very low and the dry season is here!!
Life is still NORMAL for teachers and students in this area. But how will life change in the next twenty years?
This is a very tasty fish - deep fried and its bones would be crispy - you can eat the whole fish bones and all. It can be cooked in bamboo with lots of lemon grass and torch ginger. Or if you have a huge harvest - the fish will keep for a long time salted in the Iban style.
Fish is plentiful and free in the upper reaches of the Rajang river for as long as man can remember- the heritage of the Sarawak indigenous people and a blessing from God.
Poaching is an unknown word amongst the Ibans here. If you happen to ride up a river just tell the headman of the nearby settlement or longhouse politely that you are casting your net or putting a line down as a basic courtesy. You don't need a written permission. Where in the world can you find that?
So here's wishing them the best of life...and great fishing every now and then.
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