Appointment of community leaders up for review
Posted on August 5, 2012, Sunday
KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak has taken the initiative to take a relook at the community leader appointment system practised in the state with the aim of coming up with a stronger version for the benefit of the people.
Its president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said yesterday that PRS would set up a committee, to be headed by its vice-president Datuk John Sikie Tayai.
The main aim of the committee would be to come up with an appointment system which better reflects the ethnic composition of an area. This would involve taking a close look at the criteria for the appointment of community leaders such as temenggong, pemanca, penghulu, ketua kampung, ketua kaum and kapitan.
Masing said community leader issues represented two major issues discussed during its supreme council meeting held here yesterday.
“We want to form a committee to find out the criteria for the appointment of community leaders. Once the survey is completed, we (PRS) would then forward our proposals to the state government.”
He pointed out that the present system had some weaknesses. For instance, some areas with only 20 families were given a ketua kaum (village head), while some areas with a huge population were also given a ketua kaum only.
“In Kapit division, for example, the Iban community are entitled to only one temenggong even though it is basically a big Iban area.
“There are Malay, Orang Ulu and Chinese there (in Kapit) of course, but overall the Iban community is the majority. However, they are only entitled to one temenggong.”
Sikie, who also spoke to the press, said the present community leader appointment system was established during the White Raja era!
“The committee which I will be heading will consist of eight other members,” said Sikie. He added that the committee would meet soon to fine tune the tasks entrusted to them, including coming up with a deadline. We will most probably work closely with the district office to complete this survey.”