Datuk Ewon Ebin, Minister of Rural Development handing the certificates to Manan Katak, the 'Penghulu' of the JKKK/JKNB Management and Administration Course for N28 Sindumin Sipitang District. He is accompanied by Datuk Ahmad Bujang, State assemblyman for the N28 Sindumin District (second from right).
By : SHALINA R
“This course acts as a magnifying glass for those who are taking part in it,” said Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin at the JKKK (Jawatankuasa Kemajuan & Keselamatan Kampung) & JKNB (Jawatankuasa Kesejahteraan Dalam Bandar) Management and Administration Course Closing Ceremony for N.28 Sindumin Sipitang District held in Beaufort recently.
“I’m sure you have a clearer view of your duties and how to go about carrying them out now than before,” said the Minister of Rural Development of Sabah.
The course has certainly enlightened Jobitah Alai, aged 51, from Kampung Malamam. She was chosen to be the JKKK Chairwoman in her village for the first time this year. She is also the only chairwoman from Sindumin.
“This course has been extremely helpful to me. The topics that have been included in this course have been an eye-opening experience.” She added, “I find the administrative guidance topic to be the most helpful for me as it outlines the responsibilities of the JKKK chairperson clearly.”
No fewer than 12 topics were discussed in the course, which consists of an introduction to Ministry of Rural Development and district administration. The course also addresses health, safety and social issues.
Kampung Ulu Sipitang’s JKKK Chairman, Manan Katak said this year’s course has introduced a new topic, the integrity of the community leaders. Also a senior administrative assistant in Sekolah Kebangsaan Sindumin, 50-year old Manan said, “This highlights the government’s concern in having capable leaders that have great integrity in the community.” This is the teacher’s 3rd year as Kampung Ulu’s JKKK Chairman.
Ewon also said the talk on the topic of Native Customary Rights (NCR) and Communal Title given to the participants by the invited speaker from Sabah Lands and Surveys Department is both timely and enlightening. The information received by the course participants will help them to disseminate the correct information on these topics to the rural communities.
Ewon also urged the JKKK chairpersons and secretaries to carry on with their tasks effectively so that development in their villages can be enhanced and strengthened. “Your duty is to explain to the village communities on the facilities that are provided by the government for the people,” said the Minister.
In addition, the Minister advised all JKKKs to involve the younger generations in their activities and encourage them to contribute ideas that can be utilized to assist in the development of their respective villages.
According to Datuk Ghullam Jalani, Permanent Secretary of the Rural Development Ministry, there are about 5000 JKKK chairpersons and head of villages in Sabah. He said, “This reflects the importance of these grassroot institutions in the government's scheme o things,”
He added, “These courses are very important as the chairpersons are on the frontline representing the government in the rural areas. In Sabah, more than 60% of the people live in rural areas. This makes the JKKK and JKNB institutions very important.”
A topic on environmental protection is also included in the course. About 4 courses on environmental protection are held annually.
Ghullam said, “Natural disasters such as flooding are usually caused by neglect of the environment. Drains that are filled with debris and piles of wood for example can lead to flooding even in villages that have never had problems like flash floods.” He said drains should be cleared on a regular basis.
On cleanliness in the villages Ghulam outlined the steps the ministry would take to improve garbage disposal and upgrade village cleanliness to prevent the spread of various diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
The Kampung Sejahtera Program established 6 to 7 years ago, put 204 villages under its care, focusing especially on those living below the poverty line. Ghullam said these villages require special attention and amongst the many facilities provided are basic social infrastructure and amenities and the Program Sejahtera 1Malaysia similar to the state’s Kampung Sejahtera Program.
Also present at the closing ceremony was Datuk Ahmad Bujang, N28 Sinduman State Assemblyman, who urged all participants to apply the knowledge gained from the course to help improve their villages.
About 60 chairpersons and secretaries, who are mostly former civil servants, living in the Sipitang district and Sindumin took part in the 2-day course organized by the Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) in 10 areas out of a total of 6 districts throughout the state since March. There are around 3000 JKKKs in Sabah. (Insight Sabah)