KUCHING: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) can expect exponential growth in its revenue in the coming years, said Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He noted that more development would be taking place in Batu Kawah and Batu Kitang in the future and MPP could collect more revenue from rateable holdings and assessment rates.
“I am confident that your revenue will grow exponentially because there will be so much development coming in.
“Batu Kawah and Batu Kitang will see much more development and they will no longer be a poor area,” he said after witnessing the swearing-in of MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang, deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim and 30 leaders of state Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties as councillors at the Chamber Hall of MPP Building here yesterday.
While pleased that MPP had charted out its five-year strategic plan, Dr Sim believed the transformation initiative would be successful if everyone at the council played their role.
Despite so, he reminded the newly sworn-in councillors not to forget “your core business is still rubbish, drain, road and street lights.”
“We do not want to hear any complaints about your core business (garbage collection, etc). And do not say that money is not enough. I will do my best to help you all. If I cannot help, there are so many BN YBs (elected representatives).”
He said it would be timely for MPP to make “engagement and empowerment of residents” their guide when striving to deliver quality services to the community.
“Engage the people and empower them, give them the authority and money, and make them part of MPP. For example, the cleaning service at Stutong Market, MBKS gives it to the hawker association and this is empowerment. Think along that line.”
Dr Sim also encouraged MPP to involve schools in their community programmes, reasoning that “it is easier to change when you’re young.”
He said those who had been sworn-in as councillors must make their names and contacts available to the local residents.
“I do not want people to come to me and say ‘I don’t know who my councillors and community leaders are’. People need to know who their councillors are and how to contact them.
“I also want all councillors to know one thing – whatever it is, do not point a finger at your fellow councillors. You are one team, all are MPP councillors. It is a collective decision when you make one.”
He also asked them to think of what MPP would be in 20 years’ time. He even asserted that councillors were supposed to form policies instead of highlighting problems, a job that almost anyone could do.
“Everybody can complain about rubbish and street lights but they cannot pass policies. Only you can. When you create policies, think outside the box, think Blue Ocean.
“Councillors are part of the state government and I hope you can differentiate between paying attention to and administering MPP. I will continue to give you support.”
Dr Sim therefore pledged to make himself “accessible to you but not available”, meaning councillors could reach him via mobile phone, mobile applications and email but he would not be able to be present at all times.
“I hope you will work with me, not for me; work for the people of MPP area. We will also invite BN YBs to MPP meetings so that we have coordination so as to avoid duplication.”
Of the 30 councillors, 11 are from Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) – Ahkim Sarok, Chai Sheau Lin, Chen You Fatt, Jong Nyong Khoon, Jimson Jium Sungong, Jong Tien Kiong, Lai Chien Wei, Shirley Phui Siat Lan, Tnay Li Ping, Yap Yau Sin and Yeo Eng Kuang.
Ten represent Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) – Bronnie Marshall Benedict Poris, Henry Raud, Kamaruddin TSDS Su’aut, Pauzy Baijuri, Kassim Was, Kepel Sumeb, Michael Chin Apau, Rabian Kipli, Sahferi Tambi and Wan Hashim Wan Sulaiman while four are from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) – Apriler Payan, Lau Ting Ping, Sehat Sanub and Vincent Richard Rindas; three from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) – Edring Maku, Sabastian Sakoi Senyau and Stephen Ang Teck Chai; and two from United People’s Party (UPP) – Paul Akiu Banat and Wadel Boyod.