Sungai Selangor Dam

Orang Asli, Pertak

Sungai Selangor Dam near Kuala Kubu Bharu
The Sungai Selangor Dam, just minutes away from Kuala Kubu Bharu town, was completed in 2002. It was created by flooding a valley containing 5km of the old road to Fraser's Hill, several rivers and two aborigine (Orang Asli) villages; Gerachi Jaya and Pertak. In one cruel sweep by the government, the Orang Asli lost their ancestral land, orchards and homes without consent. To purportedly improve their quality of living, the aborigines were forcibly resettled to sites with 'modern' facilities, electricity and running water. In reality, it was just a method of puppet control by the authorities to monitor them and convert their religious beliefs.
The Orang Asli struggled to adapt with urbanisation; centuries of jungle living and aborigine culture were not easily undone overnight. Some of them chose to retreat deeper into the forest, rather than occupy allocated concrete houses in direct opposition to the rules set by authorities. The plight of displaced indigenous communities is not new in Malaysia, but happening more rapidly as authorities and private corporations work symetrically to plough massive tracts of rainforest for development, palm oil cultivation and building useless dams (especially in Borneo). Today, the Sungai Selangor dam is a picturesque sight for those travelling from Kuala Kubu Bharu to Fraser's Hill along the road. Many visitors stop by for fishing or a photograph beside the edges of this huge lake, framed by dramatic scenery of distant mountains, green valleys and ominous clouds.
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