JKKK empowered to safeguard communities, areas

Uggah addressing the launching of the State Community Policing Programme at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

KUCHING, Aug 7: Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) in Sarawak have been empowered to take responsibility in protecting their respective communities and curb Covid-19 in their areas.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas pointed out that with the State Community Policing Programme launched today, nearly 7,000 JKKKs will take on greater roles to safeguard their respective communities and areas.

“To enhance the federal government initiative, the state government decided to launch the community policing programme in line with the principle, ‘Help yourself, Help Your Family, Help Your Neighbours, Help Your Community. We Take Care of Ourselves, Take Care of Sarawak, Intu Sarawak’.

“The federal government allowed the state government to use JKKK, which in Peninsular (Malaysia) is known as Federal Village Community Management Council (MPKKP),” he told reporters after the launching of the Community Policing Programme by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

On the level of authority of JKKK under the community policing, Uggah, who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said they cannot make arrests but to report to the relevant authorities for action to be taken.

This strategy, he pointed out, is also appropriate to address various other disasters not related to Covid-19, including dengue outbreak, malaria, rabies, drugs abuse and security issues especially related to border and coastal control as well as natural disasters like floods, fire and landslides.

“As such, the programme will cover the roles and responsibilities of community leaders in managing diseases and social disasters.

“As we face the Covid-19 threat, we want all communities to play their roles seriously. We want JKKK to keep an eye on their communities and areas and work closely with agencies including the police, anti-drug agencies and Health Department,” he added.

Uggah, also urged JKKK to keep watch on any suspicious persons including illegal immigrants in their communities as they could be carriers of the virus.

“The village area is not so big so if there’s anything happening or unknown persons, they will know. They can use their network,” he said.

To prepare all leaders at the grassroots level to take a more effective role, he revealed that SDMC has held a series of Trainings for Trainers Programme at all 12 divisions since July 21 to 29.

“About 500 people have been trained including staff from Resident and District Office, police, Health Department, Unity Department, Veterinary Service Department and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“The trainers will later hold workshops organised specifically for JKKK members at village and longhouse level according to the standard operating procedure (SOP) for meeting and public gathering,” he explained.

Meanwhile, this State Community Policing Programme is in line with the federal government’s Covid-19 exit strategy.-DayakDaily