MELAKA: History was made here with the appointment of the first woman village head in the Portuguese community, but it was not welcomed by everyone.
Malaysia Portuguese Eurasian Association’s president Michael Singho claimed that Jacinta Lazaroo’s appointment was against the wishes of the community.
“The village head should be elected through a balloting process.
“We don’t want outsiders or even the state government to intervene in community matters,” he said yesterday.
The recent appointment of Lazaroo, 55, as the head of the Portuguese Settlement’s Village Security and Welfare Committee was consented by Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment committee chairman Tey Kok Kiew.
However, Singho claimed the appointment of Lazaroo did not take the community’s feedback into account.
“We call on the state government to allow residents of the Portuguese settlement to elect their own leaders,” he said.
Save the Portuguese Community (SPCAC) action committee chairman Martin Theseira said JKKK chiefs for villages and the settlement were political appointees even during the administration of the previous government.
He urged the detractors to work with the new leadership to strengthen the community’s unity.
“Even at the federal and state leadership, there are changes at the top, so give us the chance to have new faces in the settlement.
“Lazaroo and her team had organised the San Pedro festival successfully despite earlier protests.
“And our intention is to make the settlement more significant as a tourist attraction,” he said.
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