Sabah govt backbenchers want PM to intervene in JKDM issue

Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob.

KOTA KINABALU: A call has been made for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's intervention regarding the controversial introduction of the Madani Village Development Committees (JKDM) in Sabah.

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Sabah Pakatan Harapan Government Backbenchers Club (BBC) chairman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, urged Anwar to advise Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to withdraw the appointment of JKDM.

He argued that this scheme was not a Federal Government policy presented in Parliament for the approval of expenditure.

“The use of public funds to provide allowances for this position is politically motivated and wasteful, contradicting the Prime Minister's plan to promote a unity government, inspired by the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong, especially after the 15th General Election resulted in no simple majority among the competing parties," Yusof said in a statement Thursday (May 30).

Yusof also questioned why JKDM was only introduced in Sabah and not in states like Penang and Sarawak if it claims to be a federal government policy.

“In Sabah, this move contradicts the decision of the state government during the 16th state legislative assembly in November last year, which endorsed amendments to the Sabah Rural Administration Ordinance that empowers the state government to appoint and manage the administration of the village committees through the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK).

“The JKKK is already fulfilling its administrative role in various aspects of governance, such as security and development for village progress,” he added.

Yusof argued that apart from violating the Sabah state Constitution, the formation of JKDM also confuses the grassroots.

"Besides the village head, the management and administration at the village level are under JKKK, which ensures the needs and safety of the village.

"If JKDM is appointed, it will lead to overlapping powers, functions, and duties, potentially causing tension and complicating management at the district office, district council, and municipal council levels,” he explained.

Yusof asserted that Sabah BBC GRS-PH members oppose any parties, whether from outside or within the state, that intend to divide and disturb the harmony that the current government has rebuilt after the collapse of the Barisan Nasional government in 2018.

“We ask the state government to take a firm decision not to recognise the establishment of JKDM and request the federal Cabinet to cancel all its appointments in Sabah,” he concluded.

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