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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Sept 28: The state government will not allow the federal government to carry on with the setting up of Village Community Management Councils (MPKKs) in Sarawak.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that this was like how the British colonised Sarawak back in the days through “divide and conquer”.
“It seemed like the British when they wanted to colonise Sarawak, they divided us. Divide and rule. But then our (state) constitution is very clear that Ketua Kaum is within our rights,” he told reporters after officiating at the state level Women’s Day 2019 celebration at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here this morning.
He was responding to Works Minister Baru Bian’s latest remark that the federal government will proceed with the setting up of MPKKs in Sarawak as planned, with or without the state government’s approval.
“Why should we agree if you touch (infringe) on our rights?” he asked.
Baru had yesterday (Sept 27) stressed that the setting up of MPKK in Sarawak will proceed as planned to facilitate the implementation of the federal government’s projects in the rural areas in Sarawak.
Elaborating that the council’s representatives would be appointed by the federal government, he personally did not see any problem with the move as it was planned for the benefit of the people.
Baru, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman, also doubts that there was a law against it.
“I don’t think there is any law against it, it’s perfectly okay, because the bottom line is that the people will be given information by the federal government, with projects to be implemented for the benefit of the people in the villages,” he said.
He reiterated that establishing the MPKK was not aimed at dividing the community but instead, to help the villagers through implementation of federal projects.— DayakDaily