The new community mediators: police and local government officers

The community mediators programme run by the National Unity and Integration Department will have its functions extended to police and local authorities starting this year. The programme was drafted in 2009.

Police and local government officers, whose daily jobs revolve much around community affairs, will be invited to attend the mediators’ classes, said the department’s public affairs officer, Nur Suriati Madianuddin.

“This is to establish a personal rapport between police officers, local authorities and Rukun Tetangga’s leaders, so that they can communicate easier whenever a dispute arises,” she told Komunitikini.

The course was previously targeted at only Rukun Tetangga leaders in areas that are prone to ethnic tensions, crime and social conflicts.

To date, 400 of RT leaders have been certified as community mediators after undergoing a 25-hour training course.

The training syllabus, according to a source in the NUID (left), has 20-step method of resolving community conflicts, such as identifying the need for intervention, core stakeholders, handling of mediation sessions and case-closing.

Suria said NUID recognises the need for RT leaders to play a role in preserving social cohesion and community harmony.

RAs not invited

Ironically, self-formed resident associations members are excluded from the programme.

Asked about this, Suriati said Rukun Tetangga leaders and NUID Officers are currently the programme’s targets though the department is would like to involve more community leaders.

It was reported that the mediators have managed to resolve 200 community conflicts last year.