Tuesday, March 2

Members of Sabah’s district councils to be increased


SEMPORNA: Membership of all district councils in Sabah will be increased, including  appointment of professionals to ensure effectiveness of the work system of the local authority, said the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong.

Jaujan, who is also the Housing and Local Government Minister, said the matter was being discussed with the permanent secretary as well as members of the ministry.

“For example, for the 24 district council members, we will add another six, making it 30 councillors.

“Look at Tawau, the urban areas are wider and if the number of councillors remain at 24 they will lack the ability to carry out their duties as best as they can,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the swearing-in of 18 new faces to the Semporna district council here yesterday.

In the meantime, he said, the appointment of professionals, especially in the construction field, architects and engineering as district council members is believed will help accelerate the various development processes in the district.

“For this development, which involves legalities we need these professionals.

“Through the appointment of professionals, the local authorities can handle the complaints of the people, for example related to development plans that are slowly processed as there is no

expertise in the local authorities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jaujan said the collection of quit rent arrears in Sabah was critical following the ineffective approach of the district council administration, including the people’s sensitivity on the role of paying quit rent.

He said the tax payment was not for the use of the district council but would be returned to the people through local development. — Bernama