Souncillors urged to be proactive

Datu Dr Penguang Manggil
Sempurai Petrus Ngelai<br />
 Sempurai Petrus Ngelai

SIBU: Councillors should always be on the move and be engaged with the public in order to tackle problems that might crop up before they snowball into a complaint.

By being constantly on the ground as the eyes and ears of the govrenment, they will be able to know the problems first hand and not wait for the public to complain.

The advice came from Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.

“If they are proactive – those unnecessary complaints will not appear in the media,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

As such, Penguang encouraged local councils, especially those with zone committees, to provide contact numbers of councillors to make it easier for the public to get in touch with them.

“The public should have their telephone contact numbers so that if there is anything, the councillor in charge of a particular zone can be contacted.

“If it is only a minor problem, hopefully, it can be resolved at local level without bringing it up to the full council meeting,” he added.

He also stressed that meet-the-people sessions should be made more frequent.

“Any activity carried out these days should have people’s participation, in that way, the activity will be more sustainable. Engagement and empowerment are extremely important to ensure the success of anything you do,” he pointed out.

The Marudi assemblyman said this when asked if the newly launched third edition of the guideline for councillors would help enhance their service delivery.

The guideline was launched by Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian during the opening of a seminar for councillors in Kuching recently.

Penguang explained that the guideline was not a new one but a revision to re-emphasise councillors’ roles and responsibilities.

The book, he added, incorporated the new dimension in a council’s jurisdiction or duties and responsibilities to meet the ever changing needs and demands of the public.

“Well, it serves as a reminder for one and definitely, it will enhance their (councillors) understanding of their duties and service delivery,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai said the guideline will help new councillors to understand their role as councillors and the law as well as the ordinance governing the councils.

“It is also good for the councillors to equip themselves with the dos and don’ts in order to discharge their duty as the eyes and ears of the government of the day,” Sempurai said.