Bandar Seri Begwan - Another three underprivileged families in the Brunei-Muara District received housing aid yesterday under a project run by a committee under the coordination of the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The project is fully financed by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) through the Zakat Fund.
Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Awg Yahya bin Hj Idris, as Co-Chairman of the House Aid Construction Committee for the Poor and Destitute, was present to hand over the housing aid certificates to the recipients in separate ceremonies held at their new homes in Kg Sabun, Kg Mentiri and Kg Pulaie.
The first recipient was 54-year-old Dyg Lamiah binti Hj Ibrahim. The ceremony was held at her new home located in Kg Sabun.
Dyg Lamiah, a full time housewife, in an interview expressed her gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty's Government for showing concern for her wellbeing, especially through the provision of the new home.
"We have stayed together with my sister for almost 21 years since 1993 at the old home located in Muara Town before moving to the new house about a week ago," said Dyg Lamiah.
"I am happy that we now have a proper place to call home," she said, adding that her husband who works with a private company only earns B$570 per month.
Dyg Lamiah also shares the home with her 22-year-old son with special needs, who also receives an allowance from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) for B$250 per month.
At the event yesterday, she also received contributions in the form of basic food supplies from JAPEM.
She received a house with three bedrooms (Type B2). The new house was equipped with a comfortable living room, kitchen, rest rooms as well as electrical fans throughout.
From Muara, the permanent secretary and other officials proceeded to Kg Mentiri to the house of the second recipient, Dyg Hjh Hasni binti Hj Mail.
Prior to receiving the housing assistance the recipient, along with her two children and a son-in-law, had been living temporarily in her sister's house after their own house was damaged by fire.
A widow whose late husband passed away about a year ago, DygHjh Hasni lives on the B$50,000 financial assistance for five years from MUIB, with the amount of B$830 banked in to her account. But according to her, the allowance has stopped since a month ago and she is still waiting for the relevant party to come back to her on this matter.
That put aside, Dyg Hjh Hasni took the opportunity to express her gratitude particularly to the monarch for his consent and concern as well as to the relevant government agencies for attending to their need of having a roof over their heads.
Yesterday's certificate presentation concluded at the house of Dyg Asnah binti Hj Hashim in Kg Pulaie.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Dyg Asnah expressed relief that her family can now live in a better living environment, as previously she and her family of 16 had to stay in a house belonging to her sister.
Dyg Asnah also said that this was the first time that her family received any form of assistance from the government, and expressed her gratefulness to His Majesty and to His Majesty's Government for the generosity in providing them a place they can now call home after 25 years of living in a "borrowed" space.
Her family comprises her husband, six children, two of whom are still schooling, four daughters-in-law and three grandchildren, all of whom are staying with her. Her Malaysian husband, who was previously attached as a Special Grade driver at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, has now retired.
The ceremony at each house began with the mass recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, which was followed by the presentation of the housing aid certificate by the permanent secretary and basic necessities by an officer from JAPEM.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin