Saturday, August 30, 2008

Village heads barred from using Selangor facilities - Star


Selangor village heads appointed by the federal government three months ago have been barred from using state-owned public facilities that include multipurpose and community halls.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that the state government has barred the 362 federal government village head appointees from using the public facilities to hold festive gatherings or to meet the people.

“Our reason is simple, we do not recognise the federal government appointees under the Village Safety and Development Committee - Federal (JKKKP) as we have our own appointees under the Village Safety and Development Committee (JKKK),” he said.

On Saturday, Khalid handed 366 appointment letters to village heads, mostly graduates chosen by the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government to represent the Klang, Petaling, Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat, Sepang, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor districts.

He added: “We expect our appointed village heads to outperform the JKKKP in providing efficient community service to all irrespective of political affiliation, race or religion thus the JKKKP will become irrelevant.

“The appointment of village heads by the federal government through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry is against the state’s administration regulations as the appointment of village heads comes under the purview of the state government.”

JKKKP was only implemented in the PR government run-states after the village heads gave up their positions so as not to serve under a non-Barisan Nasional coalition.

All of the village heads were then placed under the JKKKP in four states (Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor) to ensure effectiveness in the implementation of federal government projects at the village level. Khalid said that the state decided to appoint its own village heads for a six-month probation period before confirming them because it wanted representatives who would conduct themselves without bias.

“We can’t afford to have 362 village heads who are adamant to serve members from one party only due to their affiliations. One point that I would like to make clear is that the 362 federal appointees were given a choice to continue but they were adamant to quit,” he said. He added that the current appointed state village heads have a social obligation to serve the villagers irrespective of their political standing and their RM450 allowance is from the public’s purse. Khalid said Kampung Seri Jambu and Kampung Sungai Batu in Hulu Langat are the only two villages that still don’t have a village head as the state government is in the process of getting committed candidates.

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