While we are busy getting ready to celebrate Malaysia’s 50th National Day, which falls on 31st August, and this photo may be one of the most seen on the Internet, we should sit back and look at what we have achieve during the 50 years of stable government under the Barisan National.
A few years back, the role of our community leaders such as the Pemanca, Temenggung, Penghulu, Ketua Kampung, Tuai Rumah, etc. are mostly confine to settle communal conflicts like marriage problems, land issue, etc. Today, these community leaders are the most sought person during the school opening months of January and February because those are the months where parents need the leaders to verify their income, etc. for the school database.
I wonder how the Education Ministry handle this database, but getting this information and having to get it verified and signed by our community leaders is another issue.
For the Miri Division, we can see a long queue at the office of the Ketua Masyarakat or Community Leaders located at in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral. The government should consider relocating the small crowded office with low ceiling, small parking area and manned by a few Tuai Rumah headed by Pemanca Wilson Siang Lim, to a better office (maybe at the Wisma Pelita Tunku located just a few meters away).
With a better office at Wisma Pelita Tunku, the leaders are still near the Native Court at the Residence Office. With ample parking bay at the Lower Ground of Wisma Pelita Tunku, I am sure; the office of the Ketua Masyarakat would certainly deliver a better service to the needs of the growing community in Miri.
Hence, considering the age of our community leaders, who are mostly above 55 years old, a good office is just what we can give back to them for their free services of having to sign our children numerous and repeating school forms year in and year out. (Can’t the Education Ministry refer back to the database, instead of asking parents to fill up the form again and again?)
Note: Wisma Pelita Tunku, Miri is within few minutes walk to the Residence Office, Miri Central Bus Station, The Pensioners’ Community Hall, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and most of all it’s the first high rise building in Miri!