Community leaders, JKKKs empowered

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING: Community leaders, and Village Safety and Development Committees (JKKK) will be empowered further to play bigger role in their community, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said training would be given to the group to allow them to conduct better community policing in line with the National Security Council’s (MKN) policy for community empowerment.

“Let each JKKK play its role to monitor their community. I was told that there was an incident in Pusa where they managed to capture an illegal after the community leader tipped off the police.

“Even during the movement control order (MCO), the villages had put up a signboard to deny outsiders entry into the villages.

“I think that is their duty, to take care of themselves and their families and this is the spirit that we want to instil in our JKKKs,” he said during the Community Policing Programme launch yesterday.

Uggah said training would be done for JKKKs at villages and longhouses with each workshop attended by 150 to 200 participants, depending on the capacity of the venue along with adhering to physical distancing requirements.

When asked whether the JKKKs now have power to make arrests, Uggah said they could only report any suspicious activities to the police.

“They will now become the eyes and ears of the police, the Anti-Drug Enforcement Agency and the Health Department as they know the people in their villages, for example, if they see a stranger in their village, they must inform (the authorities).”

On the roles of the JKKKs, Uggah said substantial allocations had been given to the group in the last State Budget, and recently they too had been tasked to implement Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) projects in their areas.

“JKKKs can now decide whether any project under RM200,000 would be done by gotong-royong (communal work) or appointing a contractor. Essentially, they are playing a bigger role in their community.

“Back then it was done by the District Office. It was their task to find contractors. Now we involve the JKKKs.”