By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, July 23: As Sarawak wages its battle against Covid-19, a total of 758 councillors in the State had their service further extended for another term effective July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who witnessed the virtual swearing in ceremony today said, the extended term of service was very important because the councillors are also considered as frontliners to the community.
“You have to inform the people what is going on particularly the policies of the government in order to uplift their living standard while at the same time to provide a lot of amenities required by the community.
“In this instant, I think you (councillors) have done your job quite well in disseminating information on the danger of Covid-19, and you have worked together with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) so much so that you are able to contain the spread of Covid-19 through various approaches undertaken by the government.
“With that synergic effort between the councils and the administration, we are able to reach out to the people particularly when we are undergoing vaccination programme to our target groups,” he said.
Despite not knowing when the pandemic would end, Abang Johari believed that there are signs showing that the State will be able to control this pandemic and subsequently reopen its economy.
“Therefore I hope the local councils will also have policies to assist the community under their respective jurisdiction including the micro businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Therefore, do take the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategies (PCDS) 2030 announced yesterday (July 22) as a guideline for the local councils to play their respective roles so that we can rejuvenate our economy,” he added.
Abang Johari also mentioned that the government through the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) will place an Internet centre in areas of Village Development and Security Committees (JKKKs) and under the local councils in efforts to provide better service to the people.
During the event, Miri City Council (MCC) mayor Adam Yii Siew Sang led the reappointed councillors to recite the Corruption Free Pledge and Integrity Oath.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Housing (MLGH) Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian hoped that with the extension of term of service for the existing councillors, they will carry out their duties with dedication to ensure that the service delivery to the people within the local jurisdiction of respective councils will be continued, without interruption.
He said during this Covid-19 pandemic, local councils are being acknowledged as one of the frontline agencies fighting Covid-19 in the State.
“I would like to convey my utmost appreciation to the 26 councils in Satawak including Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) for your contributions and sacrifices in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. I believe when we are united and work together as a team, with our aggressive vaccination programmes, we will win and succeed to achieve the herd immunity to protect all Sarawakians,” he said.
Dr Sim reminded that prompt actions taken by councillors relating to the issues or problems raised by the local community will reflect the sensitivity and attitude of councillors in resolving the problems or matters raised especially relating to council’s services.
Additionally, he said councillors must avoid circumstances that are detrimental to their image and appointment as councillors. As such, they are strongly advised to avoid being involved in doing business with the council.
Also present were State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, MLGH assistant minister Datu Dr Penguang Manggil and MLGH permanent secretary Datu Antonio Kahti Galis. — DayakDaily