Why are Sarawak community leaders, headmen banned from attending federal functions? PKR asks GPS

KUCHING, Sept 18 — The ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should explain why it is banning community leaders and headmen from attending official functions of federal ministers in Sarawak, state PKR vice chairman Voon Shiak Ni said today.

She said the GPS ministers have been silent on the ban since it was imposed last year.

“They ought to be reminded that the directive is actually dividing and depriving the people from receiving information on all the federal government initiatives and policies,” Voon said.

“Further, they also need to explain why the longhouse chiefs who were duly elected by their followers, but were rejected by the GPS state lawmakers, who then appointed their own supporters to lead the longhouses,” she said.

Voon was responding to Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who earlier today, warned Pakatan federal government against appointing chiefs of longhouses where there were already ones appointed by the state government.

Uggah had said having two chiefs in a single longhouse would create chaos and break-up in the longhouse community.

He was responding to an announcement made by Deputy Minister of Rural Development Sivarasa Rasiah that the federal government proposed to appoint Dayak longhouse chiefs.

Voon told the GPS ministers that the Pakatan government’s initiative to introduce the Majlis Pengurusan Komuniti Kampung (MPKK) or Village Community Management Council in Sarawak is to use it as a channel to reach the people in the longhouses and the rural area.

“Is there anything wrong here?” she asked, referring to protests by GPS ministers, including Uggah, and lawmakers against the extension of MPKK to Sarawak.

She said the people’s welfare and interests should be above any form of politics, adding that the federal government wants to make sure that its policy on shared prosperity reaches all levels, including the rural villages.

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