The system of `community leaders’ in Sarawak are strange positions: they are selected by the BN, paid allowance through the government and put under obligation to campaign for BN, which coincidentally also help to secure their positions. Many problems with such `community leaders’.Firstly if they are civil servants they should remain neutral as all civil servants are supposed to be. If they are political appointees they should not be paid by the public’s fund. Actually the appointment of such `community leaders’ who put the party ahead of representing their own community, destroy the pre-existing system of selecting the community leaders in Sarawak-turning these appointees into BN’s campaigners -often at the expense of the community themselves. For the sake of fairness the system of appointment should be returned to the pre-existing system ASAP! Below is a news cutting which embody the problems of party-appointed `community leaders’ who feel obliged to campaign for BN even before election start!
Be cool and pragmatic, Lun Bawang community told
Posted on August 6, 2011, Saturday(Borneo Post)
LAWAS DAMIT: The small Lun Bawang community must be rational and refrain from playing political games as the wrong move would be detrimental to their overall development.
Lawas Member of Parliament Datuk Henry Sum Agong, a Lun Bawang from Long Tuan, said the government had done much for the community in the socio-economy and political arenas, and as such the people should be appreciative.
“Playing political games among ourselves will only split and weaken us,” he said at the launching of a gravity-feed water supply system at Kampung Peruan, near Long Tuma, yesterday.
Among those present were village chief James Noah Padan, Pemanca Kading Silo and Temengong Paris Kaya.
Henry told those present that the creation of the Ba’Kelalan state constituency and the Lawas parliamentary constituency many years ago was due to leaders such Bukit Sari assemblyman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan out of concern for the Lun Bawang community.
Ba’Kelalan used to be a BN stronghold. Its assemblyman was Datuk Dr Judson Sakai Tagal who won the seat in 1996 and managed to retain it uncontested twice before he died in a helicopter crash in July 2004. His private secretary Nelson Balang Rining managed to win the ensuing by-election and successfully retained it in the 2006 state election.
But in the April 16 state polls, state PKR chief Baru Bian, whom Nelson defeated in 2006, emerged victorious when the BN fielded newcomer Willie Liau.
“We (Lun Bawang) should be rational in our thinking and appreciate the various forms of development, such as provisions of better roads, healthcare and water supply, which have helped make our lives better.
“We must not be blinded by the delivery of one or two water tanks by certain quarters and forget about the huge contributions by the government,” he said.
Kampung Peruan, which has 36 households, now enjoys round-the-clock electricity and gravity-feed water thanks to the Ministry of Rural Development and Regional.