PBDSB: SS directive undemocratic

Bobby William

KUCHING, Oct 18: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) is questioning the state government’s motive on prohibiting community leaders to attend any federal functions or programmes.

The party released a statement in response to an internal memo, allegedly issued by the State Secretary which has gone viral on social media recently, which prohibits community leaders from participating in or attending functions or programmes not sanctioned by the state government.

The party’s information chief Bobby William said such a directive is against the democratic principles of freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of choice for community leaders.

He also claimed that the directive also violated the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance 2004, where Section 8(1) states that community leaders and/or tribal chiefs are strictly prohibited from having a position in any political party.

“With regards to the latest directive by State Secretary (Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani) which prohibits the involvement of any community leaders and also heads of society in joining or participating in any non-governmental events and programmes, it has created quite a stir in all tribal indigenous communities and society.

“This directive which was from the State Secretary on behalf of the state government was issued based on which provision of the law? Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has to be more specific on such a matter.

“Do all community leaders and/or tribal chiefs fall under the definition of civil servants? Is there any clear provision at all in the related laws or the directive issued?” questioned Bobby.

He said if the directive given was under a party constitution to its members, then it would be a totally different scenario altogether but to issue such a directive to community leaders and/or tribal chiefs seemed akin to admitting that all community leaders and/or tribal chiefs were indeed civil servants and holding profitable positions as well as positions in GPS component parties.

“As such, is the State Secretary giving a correct directive according to the current provision of the law? Or do they (GPS) blatantly and intentionally go against the Section 8 (1) of the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance 2004 because they are the authority which empowers them to do so, based on their own discretion for being the ruling party in Sarawak?” asked Bobby. — DayakDaily