Sabah to focus on more balanced development between urban and rural areas



KOTA KINABALU (Nov 29): The State Government emphasises a more balanced development between urban and rural areas to ensure that the prosperity is enjoyed by all levels of society in the state.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Jahid Jahim said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday that in order to improve the living standards of the population and development in rural areas, the State Government has allocated RM144.50 million and RM25,764,906 to the Sabah Rural Development Ministry (KPLBS) for next year’s development allocation and operating expenses

“The assembly’s special allocation is also managed by my ministry to ensure that the assemblymen have allocations to implement small projects in the rural areas, at the same time to provide welfare assistance to the people at the grassroots level.

“For this, the State Government provides one RM110 million for the year 2024. For the poverty eradication Program, an initial allocation of RM14 million has been allocated to my ministry,” he said.

Jahid also said the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) cannot be established in squatter areas.

He said the ministry has a policy in the establishment of JKKK, and it cannot be done in squatter areas.
“To establish a JKKK, the village must be registered at the District Office, and has a valid village head or community leader.

“The village also must have a population of 150 people and has more than 30 houses. If the village does not have all the requirements, it must merge with the nearby village,” he said when answering a question from Kukusan assemblywoman Rina Jainal.

To another question raised by Rina and Tempasuk assemblyman Mohd Arsad Bistari on the recipients of Rumah Mesra Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) project who do not have land, Jahid said it can be done with cooperation between various parties.

“For Rumah Mesra SMJ recipients who don’t have land, district officers can request the Community Development Leaders (PPM) in their respective districts to coordinate assistance in order to get a suitable land site.

“It can be built with the cooperation of the village head,” he added.

On the proposal to provide land lots for the construction of houses in groups, Jahid said it will need additional infrastructure and utilities.

Jahid added all assemblymen and Community Development Leaders (PPM) from the government side are invited to attend the District Development Action Committee (JKTPD) meeting.

Constituents under the opposition will be represented at the meeting by PPM.

All opposition assemblymen can obtain development information from the District Officer.

“Their suggestions related to development of their constituency can be also channelled to the District Officer,” he said when answering a question from Gum Gum assemblyman Arunarnsin Taib.

On the related issue, Kadamaian assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick had proposed the JKTPD meetings to be held monthly.