LABUAN (Bernama) – The long-awaited appointment of village chiefs in Labuan took place yesterday.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad presented the letters of appointment to 26 village chiefs, six of whom were old faces, and three people’s representative council chiefs.
One nominee, for Kampong Pohon Batu, had rejected the appointment.
Khalid advised the chiefs to build trust and rapport with the villagers and engage in less politicking or they might be replaced.
“If the villagers are reasonably unable to accept those appointed, even after two to three months, we may consider (a replacement).
“To me, as they are just appointed, we urge the villagers to give them the opportunity and support to prove their capability to serve,” he told reporters after handing over the letters.
Khalid said disgruntled villagers could report to the Labuan Member of Parliament and Labuan Corporation (LC) for appropriate action in the interest of the villagers.
“However, the complaints must have a basis and should not be merely politically-motivated or racist, which we will not entertain,” he said.
On the appointment of the people’s representative council chiefs, Khalid said an allocation would be given to them for community programmes.
“The amount will be in the range of RM20,000 to RM30,000 and that will be monitored strictly,” he said.
The three people’s representative council chiefs, representing three zones, would be assisted by a deputy, a secretary, a liaison officer and 13 committee members from each zone.
Khalid reminded those appointed to have a “genuine heart” with good intentions to help the people and not use their position as a stepping stone for self-interest or for their political parties.