Sarawak Energy assures well-being of locals, employees involved in Baleh HEP remains top priority

Posted on 18 Mar 2024
Source of News: https://dayakdaily.com/sarawak-energy-assures-well-being-of-locals-employees-involved-in-baleh-hep-remains-top-priority/

KUCHING, March 16: Sarawak Energy assures that the well-being of the local community, employees, and workers engaged in the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) remains its top priority.

Sarawak Energy, in a statement today, said that in anticipation of potential changes in the project’s course, the company is closely collaborating with the relevant stakeholders, including the Sarawak Labour Department and Sarawak Immigration Department, to proactively manage the situation in line with its objectives to complete the project successfully and as scheduled.

This statement came in responding to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak Kapit Branch head Khusyairi Pangkas who highlighted that approximately 190 local workers have been allegedly retrenched or terminated by the main contractor of Balleh Dam project, causing inconvenience to the livelihood of the affected employees and their families.

Based on information given by affected workers, Khusyairi was made to understand that the main contractor’s contract was allegedly terminated by Sarawak Energy, which would lead to a change in business operations, whereby the new employer may not offer to continue employing the present employees.

While recognising the company management’s prerogative to terminate the service of its employees, PKR Sarawak underscored the importance of compliance with the Sarawak Labour Ordinance to ensure fair treatment of affected employees.

Khusyairi also advised retrenched employees to seek advice from the Labour Department as well as Malaysia Social Security Organisation (Socso) in claiming Employment Insurance System (EIS), which provides temporary financial assistance for up to 6 months for each retrenched employee.

Sarawak Eenergy emphasised that efforts are also underway to ensure a smooth transition for local workers, with a focus on maintaining employment continuity where possible.

“Sarawak Energy acknowledges the concerns currently surrounding the development of the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP).

“As challenges are being addressed, members of the public are advised to avoid speculation and spreading of false news. Sarawak Energy will release further details in due course,” it said.

Sarawak Energy said it is prepared to address any potential community concerns and will provide support and guidance to navigate through any challenges.

It also said that the company has a published public grievance mechanism site with guidelines to assist stakeholders in raising their concerns about the Baleh Hydroelectric Project.

“The system was set up to ensure comments, feedback and grievances are addressed in a fair, transparent, and timely manner in line with Sarawak Energy’s international best practices,” it added.

All concerns can be emailed to Baleh.hydro@sarawakenergy.com, or interested parties may contact the Baleh HEP Grievance Mechanism Administrators through the special helpline at +6019 882 8641, visiting its website or by visiting the Baleh Information Centre at Sarawak Energy’s Kapit SESCO Regional Office to report any grievances. — DayakDaily

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