By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Oct 23: The Sarawak government is merely responding to actions of the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government, when issuing a directive prohibiting community leaders from attending functions not recognised by the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said it was Pakatan who first “played foul” with the state government-led Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), when federal agencies such as the Information Department no longer provide its services to the state government.
After the May 9 general election, Putrajaya has also dissolved the Special Affairs Department (JASA) and the state government could no longer utilise the services of the Community Development Department (KEMAS).
He also raised the directive from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, issued after GE14 last May, which suspended all administrative matters pertaining to village development and safety committees (JKKK) including appointment of members and payment of allowances.
“They (federal government) issued a letter on May 17, 2018, informing us that all matters regarding to JKKK has been suspended.
“It is within our rights to reinstate the JKKK, it is important that the village committees have the rights to know on what is going on between the state government and federal agencies in Sarawak.
“We are not the ones who started it,” he said after witnessing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between the Regional Corridor Development Authority and Agrobank at Penview Convention Centre here today.
On Oct 11, a circular signed by State Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Ghani was distributed to the Resident’s Offices in the state’s 12 administrative divisions, prohibiting community leaders from attending events and programmes not organised by the Sarawak government, including bodies not recognised by the state.
Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister added that allowances of te community leaders and village chiefs were paid by the state. Previously, both the state and federal governments contributed to the allowance.
He also touched on the issue of GPS lawmakers not being allowed and no longer invited to attend school functions in some areas in the state.
“GPS elected representatives would need to have permission to attend school functions.
“It is unfortunate because we are helping with the schools, the students, and we want our YBs be given the opportunity to communicate with the schools, especially concerning problems and issues of the schools in their constituencies,” Uggah said. — DayakDaily