Wednesday, December 8

PKR chief questions integrity of village chiefs

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KUCHING: State PKR chairman Baru Bian yesterday questioned the manner in which Tuai Rumah (headmen) were appointed and their integrity when executing their duties.

“Nowadays, tuai rumah can be easily manipulated as their appointments are determined by the state government,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Baru said the role of tuai rumah nowadays was not only confined to administrative work entrusted to them but somehow went beyond the jurisdiction.

He was responding to claims that some tuai rumah were working in cohorts with plantation and timber companies who grab NCR lands.

“They are not allowed to do that. Once again, I must say that the trust given to them is purely for village administration and not to sell proprietary rights.

“This is not a good practice at all and creates fear in the people on the ground,” he said.

He added that they should be persons of high integrity and trust, of high standing in society and have deep knowledge on customs and traditions, for which their views were much sought after, pointing out that the post of tuai rumah used to be hereditary.

Instead they are now the ‘eyes and ears’ of the BN government, judges, law enforcers, tax collectors, consultants and chairmen of village security and development committees through which government funds are channelled.

On another matter, Baru said the state PKR leadership would call a meeting in Sibu on Sept 10 to discuss further preparations for the 13th general election, which would be attended by leaders from all 28 PKR branches across the state.

“We have decided to rotate our meeting place to enable other PKR branches to have the opportunity to host the meeting,” he explained.