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JKDM without the concurrence of the Sabah government – Joniston

Joniston shaking hands with P170 Tuaran Member of Parliament Chief Liaison Officer Jinik Boliking upon arrival for the Kampung Tiong Ratau Kaamatan Festival on Saturday.

KOTA KINABALU:  It is ironic that the Madani Village Development Committee (JKDM) under the federal ministry of rural and regional development is being extended to Sabah without the concurrence of the Sabah government.

Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said this raises questions about the relevance of the JKDM in Sabah and whether it has political motives, especially since Sabah Umno is no longer part of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-led administration.

He questioned the timing of the initiative, suggesting that if it truly aims to benefit the people of this state, it should have been implemented with the involvement of the Sabah government.

Speaking at the Kiulu Mukim Lembah Kaamatan Festival launch, Joniston also noted the duplication between the JKDM and the existing Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) roles, adding that such an act would divide the people.

“Why do we need two bodies to manage allocations for villages? Wouldn’t it be better to give autonomy to the Sabah government so that we can channel the funds according to the needs in our respective areas?

“Let the federal government channel the funds to the state government, and allocate them to each JKKK to carry out development works in their respective area. That is what autonomy is all about,” said Joniston, who is also the GRS Information Chief.

He said many Sabahans are of the view that the move to set up JKDM tantamount to going against Sabah’s efforts to gain autonomy which even Sabah Umno claims to be fighting for.

Joniston, who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah Information Chief, was responding to criticism following his recent comment on the relevance of setting up JKDM in Sabah, adding that he was just seeking clarification.

“I just wanted to know the rationale of the JKDM move, but they acted like ‘cacing kepanasan’ (feeling the heat). I am also intrigued on why this committee is not extended to Sarawak? Is it because there is no Umno there?” he asked.

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