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Objection to Madani Village Development Committee: Sabah to inform Prime Minister
Published on: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
By: Larry Ralon
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Objection to Madani Village Development Committee: Sabah to inform Prime Minister
Jeffrey said the State Cabinet discussed the JKDM informally and decided to formally object as well as convey the State Government’s position on this issue to Anwar when he attends the Kaamatan Festival closing on May 31.  - Bernama pic
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government will formally inform Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of its strong objection to the implementation of the Madani Village Development Committee (JKDM) in Sabah by the Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the State Cabinet discussed the JKDM informally and decided to formally object as well as convey the State Government’s position on this issue to Anwar when he attends the Kaamatan Festival closing on May 31. 

“I myself as the representative of the State Government in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) Technical Committee requested that this (JKDM) not be implemented in Sabah, because it is not implemented in Sarawak. 

“Let this only be implemented in the peninsula.

In Sabah, we already have our Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK), we don’t want to set up another one because it will confuse the people and divide our community which now lives in peace and harmony,” said Dr Jeffrey, who is also State Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister.

The matter was first raised by Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who questioned the rationale of setting up JKDM in Sabah in Umno areas for a start by Umno President Datuk Zahid Hamidi. 

The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) Information Chief said it is ironic to do so without the concurrence of the State Government.

Penampang MP and Kadamaian Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick, who is the Federal Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, confirmed that no decision was made by the Federal Cabinet on the matter. 

Ewon emphasised the necessity of first engaging in discussions and negotiations with the Sabah Government on the matter. 

BMeanwhile, Dr Jeffrey who is also the Chairman of the State-level Kaamatan Festival Main Committee 2024 said the Hongkod Koisaan in Penampang is ready for the State-level Kaamatan Festival celebration which will be officially opened by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin on May 30. 

He said security would be beefed up during the celebration period following the Ulu Tiram police station attack incident in Johor. 

Meanwhile, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice-President, David Ong said the JKDM is a blatant disrespect of Sabah’s autonomy over village administration affairs.

“Sabah has its own Rural Administration Ordinance, which was duly amended and approved by the State Legislative Assembly,” he said. 

“This ordinance clearly recognises only one official village management body – the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK). 

“Any attempt to create parallel village committees goes against Sabah’s constitutional right to self-governance in such local matters.”

He said the JKDM initiative would only cause confusion, overlapping jurisdictions, and disruption to the existing well-functioning JKKK system in the villages. 

“It is unacceptable for the Federal Government to arbitrarily impose their structures in Sabah without consultation and consent from the Sabah government.

“As a party that upholds the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which guarantees Sabah’s autonomy, we demand that the Federal Ministry abort this JKDM plan immediately. 

“Any rural development agenda should be implemented through the state government’s mechanisms, not by side-lining the State.” 

“Attempting to bulldoze the JKDM will only face strong objection from Sabahans,” he said.

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