KOTA KINABALU:The government should study the organizational structure of Chinese Kapitans to enhance their effectiveness in serving the people.
Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang proposed that the since the government was studying ways to strengthen the Native Courts, they look into the Chinese community as well.
Teo said this during a courtesy call by Chinese Kapitans from all over the State, including Tawau, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Lahad Datu, Inanam, Tenom and Kota Kinabalu here recently.
He also said the Kapitans in Sabah have organised a working visit to study the organizational structure, operations and job scope of the Chinese community leaders in Sarawak.
He said some Chinese Kapitans reported that they have been invited to attend the Native Court proceedings when there were cases involving Chinese affairs.
However, Kapitans were actually not suitable and should not get involved in native customs in the State, he said.
On another note Teo commended the Kapitans for their hard work in serving the people, adding that a Kapitan was an important responsibility as the leaders served as a bridge between the government and the people to ensure government policies were disseminated to the people while the people’s needs were channeled to the government.
Kapitan Yap Kin Vun,in concurring with this statement said the Chinese community leaders in Sarawak are referred to as Kapitan, Malay, Melanau and Bisaya leaders as Ketua Kampung, Dayak and Bidayuh leaders as Tuai Rumah and Native leaders as Tua Uma.
Each of the four major ethnic group leaders has their own organizational structure that is independent of each other.
For instance, Chinese community leaders are headed by Temenggung, who is then assisted by Pemanca and Penghulu, all of them operating as an independent government unit.
In contrast, Yap said both Chinese Kapitans and bumiputra village chiefs in Sabah are under purview of OKK despite the difference in race and culture, which sometimes caused disagreements, Yap said.
After comparing the different systems in Sabah and Sarawak, Yap said the Chinese Kapitans have agreed that the Sarawakian system was better as it enabled community leaders of different ethnicity to carry out their duties more effectively and professionally.
Also present at the courtesy call were political secretary to the minister Peter Chong and liaison secretary to the minister Albert Kok. – By Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah