Sabah rejects Putrajaya’s Madani village development committee proposal, says Jeffrey

Deputy chief minister Jeffrey Kitingan says the state does not want an initiative that would confuse and divide the people.

(FMT) – Sabah will not implement the Madani village development committee (JKDM), an initiative by Putrajaya that is aimed at eradicating rural poverty in the state, deputy chief minister Jeffrey Kitingan said.

Kitingan said the state government already has the Village development and security committee (JKKK) initiative and did not want another one that would confuse and divide the people, The Borneo Post reported.

“We reject it. And we will reject it formally. We will also deliver the stance of the state government to the prime minister (Anwar Ibrahim) on the 31st (of May),” he was quoted as saying.

Kitingan went on to say that as a member of the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) technical committee, he had personally asked for the initiative not to be implemented as it was not being implemented in Sarawak.

“Let it be implemented only in Peninsular (Malaysia).”

He also revealed that the state government had only discussed the JKDM initiative “informally” and that a formal discussion had yet to be held.

Two days ago, Sabah leaders had questioned Putrajaya’s move to establish JKDM, saying a similar body already exists.

Upko president Ewon Benedick said Sabah had amended the Rural Administration Ordinance for village administration to ensure the state had only one village management body, the JKKK, The Star reported.

Ewon said if JKDM was a national policy it should be implemented nationwide.

“But it is not in Sarawak and some other peninsula states,” he was quoted as saying.

However, Sabah Umno leaders are defending the initiative, which falls under the purview of the rural and regional development ministry. The ministry is led by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also Umno president.