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Umno agenda again queried: Warisan supports
Published on: Monday, May 20, 2024
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Umno agenda again queried: Warisan supports
Joniston noted the duplication between the JKDM and the existing Village Development and Security Committee (JKKKs), reiterating that it would divide the people.
Kota Kinabalu: The Madani Village Development Committee (JKDM) proposal under the federal Ministry of Rand Regional Development is being extended to Sabah without the concurrence of the Sabah Government, said Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

He said this raised questions, including why it is not extended to Sarawak. “Is it because there is no Umno there?” he asked at the Kiulu Mukim Lembah Kaamatan Festival launch.

He said this suggested there was a political motive as Sabah Umno is no longer part of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-led administration. 

“If Umno truly aims to benefit the people in the state, it should be implemented with the involvement of the Sabah government.”

Joniston noted the duplication between the JKDM and the existing Village Development and Security Committee (JKKKs), reiterating that it would divide the people.

“Why do we need two bodies to manage allocations for villages? Wouldn’t it be better to give autonomy to the Sabah government so that we can channel the funds according to the needs in our respective areas? Let the federal government channel the funds to the state government, and allocate them to each JKKK to carry out development in their respective areas. That is what autonomy is about,” said Joniston, who is also GRS Information Chief.

He said many Sabahans are of the view that the move to set up JKDM is tantamount to going against Sabah’s efforts to gain autonomy which even Sabah Umno claims to be fighting for.

Joniston, who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah Information Chief, was responding to criticism following his recent comment on the relevance of setting up JKDMs in Sabah, adding he was only seeking clarification.

“I wanted to know the rationale, but they acted like ‘cacing kepanasan’ (feeling the heat).” 

Meanwhile, Parti Warisan Vice President Terrence Siambun said Datuk Ewon Benedick as a Federal Minister is subject to “collective responsibility” and should resign for publicly objecting the establishment of JKDMs in Sabah by Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister cum Umno President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

“Maybe Ewon has forgotten that eight of the poorest districts in Malaysia are in Sabah and the state’s sluggish economy is forcing thousands of Sabahans to make EPF Account 3 withdrawal to make ends meet. 

“If having JKDM in every constituency can help expedite upgrading the deplorable state of infrastructure and utilities, Ewon should support this Madani initiative. 

“In fact, this is a very good initiative by the Unity Government to allow its component parties in Sabah, including Upko, an optional platform to enable their members to offer their services to the grassroots. 

“These parties were denied posts in the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKP) by GRS.” 

Terrence also reminded Ewon that hundreds of thousands of Sabahans are concerned with the possible deviation from the original intention and mechanism of the 40 per cent Special Grant by the federal government.

“State Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun confirmed that the State Government had written eight times to the Federal Government without reply on the proposed formula. 

“The formula is already there in the constitution that two fifths of the revenue collected by the Federal Government must be returned back to the State Government.”

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