Two new district councils for Sabah?

Hajiji (left) patronising a hawker stall while Norfaizah (second left) looks on. (Sept 28)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah may have two new district councils for Tongod and Telupid soon.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the state government was still studying the possibility as there were criteria that need to be fulfilled.

“The study may take a little time as certain criteria such as total population, economic activities and revenue collected has to be fulfilled before a District Council can be created,” he said at the launch of the Tongod District Hawkers and Petty Traders Association cum Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration.

"Even after the state government gives the nod, the Federal Government still needs to concur as it involves allocations and so on," he said, adding that at present, local authorities in Sabah receive allocations from both the state and federal governments

Tongod, some 254km from the city, became a full district a few years ago and is under the Kinabatangan District Council, local government-wise.

As for Telupid, 195km from the state capital, it was upgraded from a sub-district to full district this year.

It is under the Beluran District Council.

Before they became full districts, Tongod was a sub-district of Kinabatangan while Telupid was a sub-district of Beluran.

Meanwhile, Hajiji who is chairman of the State Hawkers and Petty Traders Consultative Council, advised hawkers and petty traders in Sabah to register as members of their respective district associations.

He said members will enjoy various benefits such as insurance coverage and loans offered by the government channelled through the associations.

Those wanting to register have to be Malaysian citizens and possess trading licences.

"Ever since the formation of the Consultative Council, we have registered more than 10,000 members statewide and hope to have 30,000 members in five years' time," Hajiji said.

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