Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: What is wrong with disseminating information from the state government to the rakyat (people)?

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah stated that since Ketua Masyarakat (community leaders) and Ketua Kaum (village chiefs) were grassroot leaders, it was their duty to disseminate information on the government’s initiatives and development plans to the rural community.

She explained that some of the information included welfare assistance and how to apply for it, grants for micro entrepreneurs, Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) for Sarawakian children born from January this year and Special Annual Grant (GTK) for registered kindergartens and preschools.”

Fatimah Abdullah

“The information delivered will benefit our people, especially the poor, the disadvantaged and the needy,” she said, adding that the GTK would benefit Sarawak children in their foundation years irrespective of who and where they were.

“There is nothing political about all this,” she said when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.

She was responding to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak secretary Vernon Kedit who alleged that the state government led by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) had been using and controlling the Ketua Masyarakat and Ketua Kaum in delivering information and manipulating votes from the rural community.

Fatimah added the only reason GPS disagreed with the establishment of the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) proposed by the federal government because the whole idea could cause disunity among the people.

“By doing so, the federal government will create a situation whereby in one village or in one longhouse, there will be two leaders. That is divide and rule.

“This will cause disunity, disrupt peaceful and harmonious existence in the community.

“Peace and harmony are what the Sarawakians treasure and cherish thus, it must be upheld at all times,” she added.