Lift ‘mining lease’ on land in Bau to enable more development, says Tasik Biru rep
Posted on : 31 Dec 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (third right) shares a light moment with local community leaders in Bau (left) after they present the memento — a gold nugget — to him. Seen from right are Abdul Karim, Manyin and Henry. Photo by Roystein Emmor

BAU (Dec 31): Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Jinep has urged the Sarawak government to lift the ‘mining lease’ imposed on certain areas in Bau to pave the way for new development for the district.

According to him, gold mining activities in Bau, which started way back in 1820, had come to a complete halt in 2014.

“Despite the cessation of gold mining activities in Bau, a vast tract of land in Bau is still under the mining lease, making these lands impossible to develop.

“These lands hold great potential to be developed as residential areas, tourist attractions including hotels, resorts and even golf courses to support the development of Greater Bau,” he said before Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the Bau Bicentennial Celebration 2020 in the Tasik Biru Square here today.

According to Henry, Greater Bau comprises not just Tasik Biru but also Siniawan, Buso, Krokong and other areas.

He said the locals in Bau wished to see more new development planned and implemented in the district.

As such, he called on the chief minister to lift the mining lease imposed on the land in Bau so as to see further progress in terms of development in the district.

He said the environment and nature in Bau ought to be preserved with new projects injected to give a boost to the tourism development in the area as well as for the benefits of generations to come.

“We want Bau to be the epicentre of Sarawak’s eco-tourism industry capitalising on the tourism belt of Santubong/Bau/Sematan presenting endless potential to be developed as the eco-tourism capital of Sarawak, leveraging on digital technology,” he added.

Touching on the history of Bau, he said the first gold mine in Sarawak in the year 1820 was started by the Chinese from Sambas in Kalimantan who migrated to Bau in the early 19th century.

He said they started antimony and gold mining activities in Old Bau as early as the 19th century and established a settlement called Mau San at that time.

“That settlement became known as one of the oldest and richest settlement in olden day Sarawak as it has its own kingdom and currency.

“It was during those years that active trade and commerce in Bau, developed between the Chinese miners and the local native people, the Dayaks as they were known then (the Bidayuh today) and the Malays,” he said.

He added that history had recorded that the Bidayuh and the Malays first settled in Bau around the 1600s, with the Malays settling along the riverbanks of Sarawak Kanan while the Bidayuh settled in the interior.

“Today marks the last day of 200 years history of Bau. We will start a new page for Greater Bau as we usher in the new year tomorrow.

“As a community, it is us who will decide our path, it is for us to choose our destiny, it is us also who will decide where we want to be in the next 200 years,” added Henry.

Among those present were Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong and Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.