LABUAN: Twenty-seven village chiefs took their oath at a swearing-in ceremony at the Labuan Grand Dorsett Hotel yesterday.
Eleven of them were newcomers while the rest were re-appointed for the 2011-2012 term of office.
Those new village heads are Awang Kalong Haji Said (Batu Manikar), Khalidin Haji Mat Ali (Bebuloh), AhadAhmad (Durian Tunjong), Hussien Salleh (Gersik/Saguking), Kasdi Kurdi (Kerupang/Nagalang), Nordin Ahmad (Lubok Temiang), Osman Matusin (Patau-Patau 1), [email protected] Mohamat (Pohon Batu), Chew Chin Hui (Sungai Keling), [email protected] Tamin (Sungai Labu) and Sulong Omar (Tanjung Aru).
Disclosing this at the swearing-in ceremony, Labuan Corporation chairman Dato Ahmad Phesal Haji Talib said the appointment of the new village heads was based on their capability, health and leadership quality.
“The selection of the new village heads this time was done thoroughly where Labuan MP Datuk Yussof Mahal, Umno Division chief Datuk Yunus Kurus and myself chose the right candidates based on the proposed name list.
“The appointed village heads must perform their duties with accountability to bring progress their respective villages as well as to serve their villagers well,” he said.
Ahmad Phesal added that the village heads were supposed to be always sensitive to the government’s aspirations to turn this island into a developed, beautiful and cheerful island towards 2015.
“The seven Ps concept must be fully understood by the village heads as guidelines for them to develop this island further.
“The seven Ps are Pembangunan (Development), Perumahan (Housing), Penguatkuasaan (Enforcement), Pengangkutan Bandar (Town Transportation), Penyelenggaraan (Maintenance), Penjaja dan Peniaga (Business Community) and Prihatin (Caring).
“From my observation, in this globalization era, there are several business potentials that could be developed in several villages here to enhance the local economic well-being as well as village development,” he said.
Ahmad Phesal cited Kampung Tanjung Aru, as an example, which has potential to be developed as seafood business centre, Kampung Sungai Keling as Industrial centre and Kampung Pohon Batu as recreational centre.
“The village heads need to be creative and innovative to realize what they want to achieve for your villages and of course with some government allocation for the purposes,” he said.
Meanwhile in a press conference. Ahmad said that Labuan Corporation was now focusing on the island’s landscaping and maintenance, while slowing down government development projects most of which werenot well maintained.
“I am taking Labuan Botanical Garden, as an example here, where it needs to be well-maintained and to be on par with the Singapore Botanical Garden standard.
“Labuan Corporation will focus more on landscape development to make this island more beautiful and I also hope the private agencies could work together with us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yussof urged the village heads to be responsible in their day-to-day duties.
“The village heads need to help their villagers find a way to increase their income, to develop their community toward progress, to be competitive and to help the government achieve its agendas.
“It is very important for them to build strong teams in their villages for effective management and to ensure the well-planned development projects provided by the government could be carried out successfully.
“Your position as village head is noble in the eyes of the society. Therefore, you are appointed as village heads because you are responsible to maintain the mutual ties between the government and people,” he said.
Yussof said, as village heads, they must know to differentiate between politics and their responsibilities.
“It is not easy to carry out your duty as village chief as you need to work hard and sometimes you need to seek an alternative source of funds to carry out village’s activities.
“The appointment today is the initial step by the government to recognise your ability to lead your own villages where you need to prove that you can lead with creativity and wisdom to help the countryachieve a developed nation status by 2020.
“It is an appreciation for me for being able to work together with the newly appointed village chiefs to make this island progress further,” he said.
Among those present at the ceremony were Labuan MP Datuk Yussof Mahal, Labuan Corporation deputy chief executive officer Haji Jusoh Haji Salleh, Labuan Corporation Advisory Council chairman Datuk Yunus Kurus and Labuan Corporation Advisory Council member Dato’ Harris Annuar Tan.