By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Oct 21: Pending enforcement of the Community Leaders And Headmen Ordinance 2000, the appointments of the community leaders come under the purview of the Local Authorities Ordinance 1954.
This is stated in the existing government circulars and directions issued by the Chief Minister’s Department where the State Secretary is the appointing authority.
In pointing this out, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said, it was imperative for those appointed as community leaders village security and development committee (JKKK) chairmen and secretaries to cooperate and work together with the government of the day, including the elected representatives.
“Under the existing circumstances, the appointments of the community leaders are done by the government of the day following the democratic election processes except for the Orang Ulu Community.
“The process involves very rigorous procedures and committees headed by the resident with the district officers and the elected representatives of the government of the day as members.
“It is only logical that the community leaders and hence the JKKKs should toe the line of the government of the day so as to facilitate the implementations of government policies, programmes and activities,” Penguang told DayakDaily here today.
He reiterated that since Sarawak is under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), community leaders are expected to work with GPS State government and its elected representatives.
“Sarawak is currently under GPS. So how can we expect other opposition parties such as PH (Pakatan Harapan) and PSB (Parti Sarawak Bersatu) to appoint their own community leaders?” he asked.
Penguang, who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) vice-president and Marudi assemblyman pointed out that when PH was in power, it tried to implement the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) and at the same time had told federal government agencies in Sarawak to boycott GPS functions.
“So, how can PH representatives and supporters think otherwise when they did it themselves when there were in power for 22 months?” he asked.
Penguang was rebutting Dayak National Congress (DNC) president Paul Raja for questioning the current practice whereby community leaders and JKKK chairmen and secretaries are required to toe the line and work together with GPS government and its elected representatives. — DayakDaily