Penguang (third left) chairs the dialogue with members of the various district councils.
SIBU (Sept 27): A proposal will be submitted to the Sarawak cabinet soon with regard to the appointment of permanent chairman for each district council in the state.
Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government I Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said a permanent chairman of a district council was very important as the duties of district officers today were heavy.
“We have to move forward as the district councils today face more challenges, tasks and responsibilities and we need a permanent chairman to handle all these matters,” he told reporters after the Engagement with Stakeholder PBT Central Zone session held at Sibu Public Library today.
The Marudi assemblyman said the political appointment for the position of a permanent chairman of a district council was necessary to enable the council to provide better services to the community.
Currently, he said Marudi District Council is the only district council that has a permanent chairman.
Speaking further, Penguang said his ministry was also trying to find a way to help increase the source of income for all local authorities considering their increasing responsibilities.
“With the increasing needs of the public today and the authority having to extend its services to the rural areas, all these require spending.
“Therefore we need to find a way to increase expenses considering that we need to take care of the rural areas and face logistical problems,” he said.
Regarding the empty lands that were vested to the council to look after, Penguang suggested that the council further develop them.
As an example, he said the empty land can be used as a parking lot, build stalls or turned into business centres so that it can generate income for the council.
Also present at the event were permanent secretary to the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datu Antonio Kahti Galis, Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting and Sibu Rural District Council chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai.