Several government-appointed village and community chiefs in Sabah have not been not paid their monthly allowances for almost a year.
TUARAN: In contrast to the state Government’s assurances that the Sabah economy has never been better, many village chiefs or Ketuas Kampung (KK) here are complaining quietly that their monthly allowances have not been paid for many months.
One village chief, who declined to be named, said he has not received his allowance for ten months. When asked if his situation is common, he said all teh other chief that he knew in this district also have accumulated unpaid allowances.
“Some are lucky that they are unpaid only for the last four months, but many like me have not been paid for almost a year now,” he said.
Also facing similar problems is a Chinese community chief. He claimed that he had had not been paid since he was appointed to the position eight months ago.
“It is very frustrating but I keep holding on to the post to be loyal to my assemblyman,” he said, also wishing anonymity.
STAR Tuaran divisional chairman, Edward Linggu finds the situation perplexing.
He said the federal and state Governments have been giving glowing reports of the economy and announcing various huge projects in Sabah, which seems to indicate there is no problem with funding.
“But obviously, the government is facing a serious cash flow. Otherwise why would small allowances of RM450 for village chiefs be so difficult to pay, and for almost a year now?
“Is this indicative of the real situation of the government’s finances?” he asked.
Aged also waiting
Linggu, who is also the party’s state information chief, challenge the three assemblymen for Sulaman, Tamparuli and Kiulu, as well as the MP for Tuaran, to explain the embarrassing failure of the BN government to fulfill their responsibilities to their village chiefs.
“It is sad that the KKs (village chiefs) have to tolerate the situation because of their loyalty and because they are hanging to the hope that the arrears of their allowances will be paid in one lump sum soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Inanam, STAR state deputy chairman, Daniel John Jambun confirmed that village chief in his area also faced the same problem.
“And not only that, many elderly people have complained to me that their old-age assistance allowances have not been paid to them for many months, some more than a year,” he said.