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The highly controversial and high-risk Bakun Dam project in Sarawak, shelved in 1990, made a comeback in 1995, when Ekran Bhd., a publicly listed company was awarded the project without tender. The construction of the RM15 billion dam is the most expensive privatized project in Malaysia to date. At 198 metres high and 300 metres wide, it is touted as the largest hydroelectric dam project in Southeast Asia. The installation of two 648 kilometers long electricity transmission lines between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia will be the longest in the world. Despite claims that the dam will provide the cheapest and cleanest electricity, detractors say that Bakun's power supply will actually be more expensive than the current rates. The 10-year project will cover almost 200,000 acres or fell 73 million cubic meters of forest, and create a lake the size of Singapore. 9,000 Orang Ulu (upriver or interior people) from ethnic groups comprising the Kayan, Kenyah, Ukit, Kajang and Penan will be uprooted from their ancestral lands. Environmentalists argue that the project would entail massive deforestation resulting in the loss of biodiversity of fauna and flora, and aquatic life. Impounding would disrupt local climatic patterns, and produce high levels of greenhouse gases. The entire downstream

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