KUCHING, Sept 22 — Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah today asserted that there is no need to extend the Village Management Community Council to Sarawak as it already has its own Village Development and Security Committee.
He said the extension of the council, known in Malay as “Majlis Pengurusan Komuniti Kampung” (MPKK) from Peninsular Malaysia will only lead to confusion and allegedly divide citizens.
“Currently, the committee, otherwise known as Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung (JKKK) in Malay, has shown itself to be an efficient grassroot machinery in the state, especially in acting as the bridge between the people and the government,” Uggah said.
He was responding to yesterday’s announcement by Sarawak PKR chairman, Baru Bian, who is also the federal works minister.
He said that the state government has not been informally informed of any proposal to change the JKKK to MPKK, except through the media.
Uggah explained that when the federal government decided to change the name of JKKK to MPKK, the Sarawak government presented to it that the name of the JKKK be maintained in the state.
“The federal government agreed to give its consent and thus it would not change the JKKK to the MPKK,” he said, adding that the federal government had also agreed not to introduced or form the MPKK in the state.
Uggah, who is also the Minister of Agriculure, Native Land and Regional Development, said the federal government concurred with the state government’s view that another body would only serve to confuse and divide the people.
He also said that federal government recognises that in Sarawak the chairman of the respective JKKK be from the village headmen such longhouse chief, village chief and kapitan.
Uggah also said that the federal government, however, decided to reduce the allowance of each chairman of JKKK to RM500 per month.
“Subsequently, the Sarawak government decided to top up with another RM400 to the allowance as they had been receiving RM900 per person per month under the previous Barisan Nasional federal government.
Baru told reporters yesterday that the Pakatan Harapan federal government would set up MPKK in Sarawak after the state government banned community leaders and headmen from attending official functions of federal ministers since last year.
He had said the council would act as a channel for the federal government to bring development projects and disseminate policies to the longhouses.
He claimed the efforts by the federal government to bring development projects and disseminate policies to their people have been hindered, adding that it was unfair for the people who were supposed to be the target groups.
He explained that the objective was not to compete with the state government, but to overcome the problems of delivering the federal-funded projects to the people, something which was good and positive.