Upko Steps Up Objections To Federal Meddling

KOTA KINABALU: Another Upko leader has spoken out against what the party perceives to be federal government meddling into the state’s autonomy.

Upko Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang (picture) said the federal government’s move to rebrand the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) was clearly disrespectful towards the state government’s authority over village administration matters.

Saang said the replacement of the MPKK with the Federal Village Development and Security Committee (JPKKP) will cause overlapping of functions and work, adding this will only divide the village communities.

“The existing village administration system in Sabah is good enough and does need a rebranding for the purpose of improvements,” he said, in a statement here today.

“Maybe it’s time for the federal government to focus its attention on the nation’s economic recovery after the effects of Covid-19.

“The federal government should respect the state government’s autonomy including appointments concerning village administration.”

State Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick, who is Upko vice president, had previously lambasted the rebranding and described it as unhelpful for nation building.

He said the village administration body was a state affair all this while and that any proposal to create a federal body like the JPKKP was a breach of the state’s autonomy.