I refer to the controversy in the appointment of Penampang District Chief.
The appointment of District Chief (OKK), Native Chief (KAN), Native Chief Representative (WKAN), Chinese Community Leader (Kapitan Cina) and Village Chief (Ketua Kampung) is upon recommendation of a State Assemblyman of the constituency in which the District is situated.
The application, upon signed by the Assemblyman, will be certified and commented by Municipal Council Deputy President or District Officer. These officers had to certified whether the applicant is applying to replace someone whose services had been terminated or had passed away.
The next step will be vetting by the Sabah Native Affairs Council director and agreed by the Council's president before being submitted to the Local Government and Housing Minister for approval.
The letter of appointment is, however, signed by the Council's director.
In the case of a District Chief, who is traditionally known as Orang Kaya Kaya (OKK), if he is over the retirement age (56, or 58 years), they normally will opted for the monthly fix allowance of RM2,500.
Those below that age's bracket can be absorbed in the government's salary scale with a monthly basic salary starting from RM2,500. They will be paid more those those under fixed monthly allowance as they will be paid housing allowance and enjoy other perks as of the other government officers.
As it is the Assemblyman's right to recommend the appointment of a District Chief and those under the OKK, it can be safely said that their position is a political appointment. The Assemblyman has the right to recommend for appointment and also have the same right to recommend termination of services.