‘Federal govt has allocated RM35 mln for community leaders’ allowances’

Baru Bian

KUCHING, Oct 23: The federal government under Pakatan Harapan (PH) has allocated a budget of RM35 million for the payment of allowances and salaries of all Ketua Mesyarakat all over Malaysia through the Rural Development Ministry.

State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian said in Sarawak, the total amount disbursed, when evened out, comes to about 70 per cent of each individual Ketua Masyarakat’s salary.

“For next year, the PH federal government has agreed to continue this practice for Sarawak despite Sarawak not being under a PH state government.”

“RM35 million has been allocated for this purpose and will be tabled in the upcoming Budget.

“Nevertheless, the PH federal government wanted to make it very clear that the budgetary support allocated by the PH federal government to the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government can only be paid by the Sarawak GPS government to those Ketua Masyarakat who have been democratically elected by the longhouse or village residents,” said Baru who is also Works Minister in a statement today.

He said, current Ketua Masyarakat like Tuai Rumahs who were not democratically elected by their longhouse residents but were unilaterally and politically appointed by politicians and GPS elected representatives against the wishes of the longhouse residents cannot receive the 70 per cent portion from the PH federal government allocation.

“I want to make this crystal clear. Longhouse residents may make statutory declarations to report to the (Rural Development) Ministry if the GPS government continues using federal funds to pay politically appointed Tuai Rumahs.”

Prior to the May 9 general election, the salaries of the community leaders were shared by both the federal and Sarawak governments.

After PH took over the federal government on May 9, the state government took up the responsibility of paying the full salaries of the community leaders.

The duration of new appointment for a Ketua Masyarakat and Ketua Kaum (headman) is four years. They can be re-appointed for two years’ extension and one more year for final extension.

For the post of Temenggong, their monthly allowance is RM1,600 with an annual increment of RM40 and maximum pay of RM2,160.

A Pemanca’s monthly allowance is RM1,300 and annual increment is RM30 while maximum pay is RM1,720.

A Penghulu is paid RM1,100 monthly with an annual increment of RM20 and maximum pay of RM1,380.

For Ketua Kaum which includes longhouse chiefs or headmen, the monthly allowance is RM900 where there is no annual increment. — DayakDaily