Minister: Federal-state cooperation should be enhanced to solve rural problems

KENINGAU: Cooperation and coordination between federal departments or agencies and the state government need to be enhanced in implementing rural development projects, says Sabah Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

He said this was important to ensure the projects were really beneficial and could solve problems faced by the people.

“Implementing rural development projects without coordination with the state government such as the district offices and local leaders would not help solve these problems.

“One example is the building of a suspension bridge in a village in Keningau.

“I had received complaints and visited the bridge and found its location to be unsuitable.

“I am rather worried that it could cause negative reaction from the villagers as the old bridge should have been repaired but was not. Instead, a new suspension bridge was built at another place where there is no river.”

He said this when met at the closing of a management and administration course by the Nabawan Village Community Management Council (MPKK) at a hotel here.

Ewon, who is also Kadamaian assemblyman, said he had relayed the matter to the relevant federal heads of department and brought it up at the state Cabinet meeting, adding that coordination between federal agencies and district offices needed to be enhanced.

“The district offices must be involved in any process to implement projects, no matter if they are small, medium-scale or big.

“Lack of coordination has resulted in small projects like the suspension bridge to be implemented half-heartedly, resulting in the people’s problems remaining unsolved and creating new ones which we have to answer for to the people, ” he said.

Ewon said he understood that the Keningau District Office and the area’s Community Development Leadership Unit Office were not involved in the implementation of the project. — Bernama

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