Enhanced Cooperation, Coordination Between Federal-Sabah Needed

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

“For instance, the building of a suspension bridge in a village in Keningau, of which 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 by reporters after officiating at the closing of a management and administration course of the Nabawan Village Community Management Council (MPKK) at a hotel, here, yesterday.

Ewon, who is also Kadamaian assemblyman, said he had relayed the matter to the relevant federal heads of department and at the state cabinet meeting (last Wednesday) and that coordination between the federal agencies and District Offices needed to be enhanced.

“The District Offices must be involved in any process to implement small, medium-scale and big projects.

“Lack of coordination has resulted in small projects like the suspension bridge to be implemented half-heartedly, hence not solving the people’s problems but creating a new one which we have to answer to the people,” he said.

Ewon said he was given to understand that the Keningau District Office and the area’s Community Development Leadership Unit Office (UPPM) were not involved in procuring the implementation of the project.