MIRI: The state needs to review the current policy on the appointment of grassroots community leaders such as penghulu, pemanca and kapitan.
Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said he would bring a proposal for the review to the state Cabinet soon.
“At the moment, appointments to the post of community leaders are done on an ad hoc basis.
“There is no standard rule based on the population ratio.
“For example, Miri City has a population of 350,000, but there are only 28 community leaders appointed by the government to posts like penghulu, ketua kampung, pemanca and kapitan.’’
These are government-appointed posts, and those holding them are considered part of the grassroots administration in their respective areas.
Dr Sim said Sibu town, with 200,000 people, has more than 130 community leaders.
“This sort of situation does not make sense.
“There must be a standard format whereby community leaders are appointed based on the current population ratio and racial composition,” he said.
Dr Sim, who is president of the Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP). said this during dialogue sessions with leaders and members at the Bintulu, Batu Niah and Lambir branches.
He was accompanied by SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin and Information chief Adam Yii.
Among the other key points Dr Sim raised were the need for top party leaders to visit branches.
“We must be in constant touch with our party members at the grassroots.
“This is part of our commitment to serve members and the public after elections.
“We must listen to their grouses at the district level, especially people living far away from cities and towns.
“Branch leaders must keep us updated on the latest issues and find ways to deal with problems highlighted by the people in their respective areas.
“When we wear our party uniform in public, it must stand for good service to the rakyat,” he stressed.
Dr Sim also presented financial allocations from the party’s central funds to the branches to carry out social programmes at the district level.