KOTA KINABALU, Tuesday, 18 September, 2018: The revelations by Parti Warisan leader Darell Leiking that district councillors, village heads and Village Community Management Council (or JKKKs -Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung) have yet to be appointed are shocking, said Secretary of Gabungan Sabah (United Sabah Alliance), Edward Dagul today.
Edward, who is the secretary of Gabungan Sabah, was referring to the news of the Penampang MP, Darell Leiking, expressing concern that more than four months after the general elections, councillors of local authorities all over Sabah and the few thousand village heads and village development committees who have been sacked by the government are still not replaced by new appointments.
Edward said he agreed with Darell Leiking, who is also federal minister for International Trade and industry, that the absence of councillors and village heads have raised concerns among the people.
“The local government machinery has grounded to a standstill. No licences can be issued, no development plans and no building plans can be approved, and no occupation certificates for completed housing and commercial or industrial projects can be issued as local authorities cannot proceed without councillors. The stoppage of government machinery at the district level is already causing a huge negative impact on the economy. And this is only the beginning. Things will get worse before the local government machinery can recover,” lamented Edward.
Edward also expressed dismay at the absence of village heads a result of which village and traditional events and marriage solemnisations cannot be held. Welfare and education needs of villagers who need the endorsement of village heads cannot be attended to because there are no village heads.
“What is the point of proposing to appoint “temporary Ketua kampung” as proposed by Assistant Minister for Law and Native affairs, Janie Lasimbang, who is also the assemblywoman for Kapayan,” asked Edward. What is so difficult to appoint village heads?
“Coupled with the disillusionment among civil servants over the unprecedented political appointment of politicians to head government departments such as the Water Works Department and agencies like the Sandakan Municipal Council, the absence of councillors and village heads has caused a paralysis of government”, said Edward. “What are the ministers and assistant ministers so busy with? There is also talk that the assemblymen have not been paid their salaries and allowances. All these paralysis of government point to the incompetence of the government today.