Penguang: Appointment of community leaders still under Sarawak govt’s purview, not PH’s

Penguang (front, sixth right), Monica (fifth right) and other distinguished guests hold the rolled mat up, which is a component of the ‘ngiling bidai’ ceremony.

BAKONG, Baram: The appointment of community leaders in Sarawak is still under the jurisdiction of Sarawak government, not the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government as claimed by certain quarters.

Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil pointed this out in his speech prior to the ‘ngiling bidai’ (closing of Gawai Dayak celebrations) ceremony at Rumah Morgan Sandah in Sungai Nipa here yesterday.

“There is no such thing. The appointment of community leaders like councillors, Pemanca, Penghulu, Tuai Rumah, Kapitan and Ketua Kampung, and any matter relating to this, are still under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak government,” he assured the local folk.

Adding on Penguang, who is Marudi assemblyman, also explained to the local community the formation of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), which consists of four former Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak component parties – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

“In Sarawak, GPS is the government and not the opposition, and I am still an assistant minister, not a member of the opposition. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) remain the opposition parties in Sarawak,” he said.

On a separate subject, Penguang called upon the rural community to be more united in their stand and struggle to become a developed and progressive lot.

He said these people, especially those in the coastal areas of Baram comprising mostly the Dayaks, must continue to assist one another and work closely together for the common good.

“We need to stay as one big family so that it’s easier for us to progress and not be easily influenced or taken for granted.

“We cannot afford to live in a divided community – we must live in harmony and always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need to ensure that no outsider could ever disrupt this tightly-knit community,” he added.

Later Penguang, who attended the event with his wife Datin Monica Ukong, announced allocations of RM10,000 from his minor rural project (MRP) grant for the longhouse’s security and development committee (JKKK), and RM5,000 for its women’s bureau.

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