Orang Ulu leaders against setting up of MPKK

Elizabeth (centre) in a photo call with members of the Council of Elders from Baram and Belaga as well as other community leaders present at the meeting.

MIRI: A meeting between Council of Elders from Baram and Belaga on Saturday reached a consensus to oppose establishment of the federal government-proposed Village Community Management Council (MPKK) in Sarawak, especially in Orang Ulu villages.

“We do not agree if the MPKK is established in the Orang Ulu areas. This disagreement is due to the following reasons – it is believed that there is a political element in the formation of MPKK, and the establishment of MPKK could threaten unity, relationships and peace within the villages.

“The establishment of MPKK is risky as it could also affect the sustainability of our customs, thus bringing more harm than good. The JKKK (village security and development committee) at this time is very relevant and quite good,” Kayan paramount chief Temenggong Elizabeth Deng, who is the council chairwoman, told reporters after the hour-long meeting at Dynasty Hotel here on Saturday.

“Results from meetings with village leaders also found that all have disagreed for MPKK to be set up in the Orang Ulu areas.

“If Pakatan Harapan really wants to channel the allocation, they can use the existing channel through the JKKK and there is no need to set up the MPKK,” she added.

Also present at the meeting were Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (Mais) Orang Ulu Ethnic Research Section head Ding Seling and about 17 village chiefs and community leaders from Baram and Belaga.

Elizabeth said the second thing agreed on in the meeting was to propose for the government to pay tribute to community leaders who have served for 10 years and more.

“This could be given in the form of one-off honorarium and recognition by medal or award,” she added.

The meeting also suggested for amendment to the Interpretation Ordinance 2005 to recognise three Orang Ulu ethnic groups – Berawan, Kiput and Saban – as Bumiputeras.

She pointed out the Berawans and Kiputs were verbally referred to as part of the Kenyahs, while Sabans as part of the Kelabits.

“We want all three ethnics to be included in the list of Sarawak’s Bumiputera like other ethnic groups,” she added.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2019/10/07/orang-ulu-leaders-against-setting-up-of-mpkk/