KUCHING, Aug 19: The Kampung Quop Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) will seek legal advice against those who try to tarnish its reputation.
Responding to the allegation that 11 families have been living without electricity for the past two decades, village chief Bonita Andrew said claims by Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Programme (Hidup) president George Young Jr were made without checking nor consulting with relevant authorities and the village JKKK.
It was understood that some of the families involved were from other areas in Padawan, but resettled at Kampung Quop on rented land sometime in the 1990s.
Bonita and the current JKKK took over the village leadership on Aug 1, 2019.
“These allegations that we did not help them are not true. First of all, these families are not originally from Kampung Quop. When they came here, they rented the land from the owners and built their house. However, until today, the landowner refuses to give consent for these people to apply for electricity for the reason that it was supposed to be only a temporary stay.
“When we checked and asked some of the families, they told us they don’t need any help,” Bonita told DayakDaily yesterday.
Explaining further, she said there is a proper process for group electricity application under the Rural Electricity Scheme (RES), which is through the JKKK before forwarding the application to their assemblyman.
“However, this RES is not on a yearly basis. If they missed out the application this time, they will have to wait for the next round.
“You must bear in mind, Kampung Quop is not the only village that our government has to look after. There are many villages and therefore we have to take turns.
“Our government and elected representative have been very helpful over the years by providing village projects and assistance. We are thankful but we must also understand that this village is not the only one that needs the attention,” she pointed out.
Referring to its records, Bonita said ever since the current JKKK took over one year ago, they did not receive any applications for electricity supply.
JKKK Kampung Quop deputy chairman Matthew Spencer said any grievance should be lodged by consulting the village committee.
“We do not close an eye to any villagers. These families should check with the JKKK and be specific with their claims on the dates that they tried to apply for electricity,” Matthew, who is also the in-charge of village development and infrastructure bureau advised.
Meanwhile, JKKK member Moding Munan who is in charge of the village law and agriculture bureau said they have a way to identify their villagers through its registry records.
“We have rules in our village. Those people whose names are not in the registry are not the rightful ‘citizens’ of the community.
“We also have ‘permanent residents’ in our village which they must abide to the rules like everyone else. This include those who want to buy the land in this village, whereby they must go through proper and legal transaction,” Moding explained.
He added that the families who claimed that the current JKKK is ignoring their plight is akin to ‘cutting the tree from the top’.
“We will seek legal advice with regards to George’s claims and (give) a reminder of how he should not simply accuse the committee of being heartless,” Moding said. — DayakDaily