Putrajaya to extend Kampung Community Management Council to Sarawak, says Baru Bian

Sulok Tawie

Works Minister Baru Bian (left) speaking to reporters during a press conference in Kuching September 21, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie'

KUCHING, Sept 21 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government will set up the Kampung Community Management Council in Sarawak after the state government banned community leaders and headmen from attending official functions of federal ministers last year, state PKR chief Baru Bian confirmed today.

The works minister clarified that PH will not appoint rival community leaders and headmen in the same longhouse or village.

“The appointments of community leaders and headmen come under the purview of the state government under the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance 2004, which we recognise,” Baru said after launching a TVET roadshow organised by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) here.

He said as a lawyer by training, he is aware that the federal government has no authority to appoint the community leaders and headmen in Sarawak.

The council or better known as the Majlis Pengerusan Komuniti Kampung (MPKK) was formed by the PH federal government in place of the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) after the defeat of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the 14th general election.

However, the council has not been extended to Sarawak which still retains the JKKK to manage the development and security in the longhouses and villages.

He said the council will act as a channel for the federal government to bring development projects and disseminate policies to the longhouses.

He claims that the efforts by the federal government to bring development projects and disseminate policies to their people have been hindered, adding that it is unfair for the people who are supposed to be the target groups.

“Therefore, we have agreed to get a channel parallel to what we have in Sarawak, that is, the JKKK.

“The objective is not to compete with the state government, but to overcome the problems of delivering the federal-funded projects ito the people, something which is good and positive,” he said, adding that the federal government also wants to bring development to the rural people of Sarawak.

Baru said PH will adopt the most helpful and beneficial way to appoint the appointments of the council’s committee members and its structure which is applicable to Sarawak.

“What is best in Peninsular Malaysia may not be necessarily good for Sarawak, and in particular, the longhouses and villages,” he said.

He also said the appointments of the council’s committee members will be fair and democratic and it must bring benefits to the people.

He said he does not want the setting up of the council to cause division and confusion in the longhouses.

“As far as I am concerned, I know the conditions in the longhouse because I come from a longhouse. So I don’t want this council to cause division and confusion,” he said.

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