KUCHING, Sept 18: Saratok MP Ali Biju has clarified that the federal government has no intention to appoint another tuai rumah or ketua kampung as opposed to one appointed by Sarawak government.
He said only an officer or appointee will be engaged to liaise with the federal government.
“Contrary to their (Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing) statements, the Federal government is not going to appoint another tuai rumah/ketua kampung.”
“The proposed appointment is under the existing Pengurusan Komuniti Kampung (MPKK) structure. This officer/appointee will liaise with the federal government, keeping in view of objectives of comprehensive transformation to produce a united and progressive community as well as to support the government policy within the longhouse/kampung community.
“The said person will also facilitate the dissemination of information in their assigned longhouses/kampungs for federal government initiatives such as Peka40, Bantuan Sara Hidup, PPRT etc.
“This move is a sincere and genuine effort by the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government to make sure that their policies in accordance with the vision for “Shared Prosperity “ reaches all levels including the rural kampung(s),” said Ali in a statement yesterday.
He said since the change of the administration at Putrajaya when PH was voted into power, the federal government has initiated very practical and useful initiatives which would have benefitted the people.
“It is well-known that after the change of government in Putrajaya, the State Secretary on behalf of the State government has issued a directive insisting that the ketua kaum ‘not to attend, be present or participate in any program and approved by the State Government’.
“This instruction is clearly political and in contravention of Section 8 of The Community Chief and Headmens Ordinance 2004 by which they were appointed.
“Be that as it may, it is the intention of the federal government that no one is left behind in their pursuance of the ‘Shared prosperity objective’, and therefore they must not be held at ransom by the state through its manipulations of village administration.”
Ali said ample time has passed for the State to extend their cooperation, the federal government have to move on as they have a moral and legal obligation to carry out their fiduciary duty and ensure their presence are felt at the village level.
“The Federal government now has to utilize the MPKK as a channel.
“Therefore I urge the discerning public to understand the reason to establish the MPKK and not to politicize these beneficial and much needed programs by the Malaysian government.”
Deputy Rural Development Minister Sivarasa Rasiah had reported to say that the federal cabinet decided to revamp and rebrand the Village Development and Safety Committee (JKKK) to Village Community Management Council (MPKK) in June last year.
At Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) opening dinner here recently, Sivarasa had said that the mechanics of the appointment of tuai rumah and community leaders in Sarawak will be worked out by the ministry, and is expected to be revealed some time in January next year.
Sivarasa’s statement has been understood by the media that the federal government will appoint their own tuai rumahs or community leaders in the state. His statement has drawn flaks from several Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders.
“First, I would ask the two of them not to overly hasty in politicizing the issue, and allow me to clarify the recent announcement by the Deputy Minister for Rural Development,” said Ali.
Uggah had issued a statement on Monday criticising Sivarasa for his ignorance of Sarawak’s system of appointing tuai rumahs and ketua kampungs and said that have two authorities in appointing community leaders will disrupt the stability, harmony and solidarity of the 5,000 rural settlements in Sarawak.
Masing on same day also issued a statement pointing out that the Standard operating procedure in electing tuai rumah has been in practice over the years and that the Sarawak government will never allow nor agree for PH government to have two tuai rumahs to administer one longhouse. — DayakDaily