KUCHING, Nov 11 — The main objective of Section 3 of the Local Authorities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 is to allow local authorities to acquire and use native lands for the purpose of exercising its duties and functions under the ordinance, says Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He says among their duties are implementing any work, project and scheme within the jurisdiction of local authorities.
“These include public playground, public libraries, markets, sport centre, nurseries or any other public amenities as allowed by the ordinance,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Sim was clarifying the need to amend Section 3 of the Local Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which would give native status to local authorities listed in the Schedule for all purposes under the Land Code.
Dr Sim, who had tabled the Bill at the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Monday, said opposition members in the august House had attempted to portray the amendment as ‘allowing local authorities to venture into commercial businesses over native land’.
“This was never the intention of the government. The good intentions of the government to bring more development to rural areas and providing better facilities and infrastructures should not be politicised.
“More development to the rural areas will enable local authorities to provide better services to the ‘rakyat’ (people),” he said.
The State Legislative Assembly passed the Local Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on Monday. — Borneo Post Online