GPS reps denounce Putrajaya’s looming village management council

GPS’ Bukit Simuja State assemblyman John Ilus said there is no way the Village Community Management Council can help to unite the people. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
GPS’ Bukit Simuja State assemblyman John Ilus said there is no way the Village Community Management Council can help to unite the people. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Nov 8 — The extension of the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) to Sarawak was a frequent topic among Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state lawmakers in their debate of the state’s 2020 budget today.

They claimed that the extension of MPKK was to divide, cause conflict and infighting among the rural communities, especially in the Iban longhouses and villages.

“Why must the PH federal government bulldoze the MPKK into the mainstream of our grassroots administration and organisation when we already have the JKKK (Village Security and Development Committees) in the longhouses and villages?” asked John Ilus (GPS-Bukit Simuja).

He said there is in no way the MPKK would help to unite the people since it is political in nature.

Allan Siden Gramong (Machan) said MPKK must be rejected outright and never be allowed in Sarawak.

“It is a political tool to be used as a wedge to split and divide the people living in the kampungs and longhouses.

“The intention of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government to set up MPKK in the state touches the nerve centre of our adat and culture, which has always be responsible for upholding peace, harmony and order in our society,” he said.

Siden claimed the MPKK would destroy the very core of the social and cultural fabric of the rural communities.

“It will bring chaos and confusion leading to misunderstanding and consequently the break-up of longhouses.

“The long term effect of such a situation cannot be quantified in dollars and cents. It is a ‘No’ to  MPKK. The risk is too high to take,” Siden said, adding that he welcomes an allocation of RM100 million under the state Budget for JKKK.

Datuk Mong Dagang (Bukit Begunan) said there were no valid reasons to extend the MPKK to Sarawak, saying that it would do more harm than good to the rural communities since it is a political tool to serve the PH’s political agenda.

He said if the PH federal government is sincere to help the rural communities, then it should channel development funds to JKKK, which has functioned smoothly and efficiently until today.

“Another committee such as MPKK will create frictions, uneasiness, suspicion and misunderstanding among the local community and will eventually split them,” he said.

He said if the PH federal government wanted to see a peaceful, united, harmonious and prosperous society, then it should refrain from implementing MPKK in longhouses and villages.

Martin Ben (GPS-Kedup) called on the state government to strengthen the JKKK system in the light of attempts to split the rural communities and to create barriers between them and the GPS state government.

“An empowered JKKK will help them focused on the many socio-economic opportunities that the GPS government is creating for them to improve their wellbeing, instead of being sidetracked by foreign and alien policies forced unto them,” he said.

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