By Aziz Idris & Liza Mohd
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam visited the houses of some of the recipients in Kampong Lumut and Sungai Liang and several government facilities in Mukim Liang/Lumut after presenting house keys and land grants to 187 people yesterday in the Belait District.
His Majesty first visited the residence of the Village Head of Kampong Lumut II Awang Haji Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad at Kampong Sungai Bakong.
One lucky recipient Pg Alisam bin Pg Haji Aji, has a new picture to hang in the living room's wall of his new house when His Majesty visited his new 'deluxe' type house.
According to her wife, Pg Alisam applied for the housing scheme 17 years ago even before they got married. She was overjoyed to receive the house and was extremely grateful that the caring monarch visited their new home.
The couple has to pay $277 per month for the three-bedroom 'deluxe' type house.
For 40-year-old Hj Naruddin bin Haji Sahari, his 17-year wait finally came to an end after receiving a new 'standard' type house for his family of five.
Hj Naruddin, who currently works with BLNG, used to stay at his father's house in Kampong Pandan. On receiving the house from His Majesty, he said, "This could be the best birthday gift for me," as he celebrates his 40th birthday today (August 10).
Meanwhile, 62-year-old Hjh Hamidah bte Mohtaha expressed her gratitude to His Majesty after receiving a brand new 'standard' type house just in time for the festive season.
For Hjh Hamidah, her application got approved after 22 years and during that time she was living in a government barrack at Lorong-3 Seria with her children and grandchildren. She would use her pension to pay the monthly instalment of the house.
The monarch also visited the houses of Awang Bohari bin Medan, Awang Muhammad Juli bin Abdullah, Awang Abdullah bin Ibrahim and Awang Deen bin Ahad.
All the recipients felt honoured as their homes were selected for the ruler's visit.
During His Majesty's visit to their homes, the ruler spoke to them at length, which reflects the monarch's care and concern for his subjects.
All members of the household used the opportunity to have photo sessions with His Majesty in addition to the monarch receiving 'junjung ziarah' from other recipients in the neighbourhood.
The royal visit continued at Sungai Liang Primary School where His Majesty toured the facilities.
Principal Cikgu Ahmad Sarkawe said, "In the recent public examinations, our school achieved 95 per cent pass which is above the national requirement," he said before adding that the school, built in 1951, currently has 265 students from pre-school until Year Six and has 30 teachers.
During the visit, students of Pra-Wawasan wore their hand-made costume and presented His Majesty with a short performance of 'Three Blind Mice'.
His Majesty later went to the school's canteen to view some of the food items sold there. His Majesty raised the issue on healthy foods that should be sold at the canteen and also to always practise hygiene.
Year Six students, Azrimi bin Noazhar and Haezan Jangaran showed off their science skill with the 'Hanging Nails' - balancing six wooden nails on top of a pole - and the 'Untangle Rope's Twist' - untangling the geometry of rope.
Later His Majesty visited the private residence of a recipient, Dayang Hajah Mahani binte Haji Abu Bakar, who has been awarded a land grant at Jalan Pantai, Sungai Liang.
Then, the ruler visited the $3.764 million Sungai Liang Health Centre, which currently caters to the needs of over 20 villages in the area and also extends medical care to residents living in the remote locations like Labi and Merangking.
His Majesty also visited the revamped Sungai Liang Health Centre, which started operations in 1936.
His Majesty wanted to know whether the centre has adequate dieticians to attend to the patients in the area.
Siti Khairani Hj Ramlee, a Dietician Officer, who makes weekly visits to Sungai Liang Health Centre according to the health requirements of her patients, said, "Most of my patients, mostly in the Mukim Liang area, come for diabetes checkups and seek medical advice on obesity," she said and added that she also makes visits to Suri Seri Begawan Hospital in Kuala Beliat.
His Majesty also toured the emergency ambulance service provided by the centre. According to Mohd Eddy, Head of Accident and Ambulance Services, currently there is one ambulance, four nurses, two paramedics, five attendants and five drivers working around the clock in shifts.
When asked by His Majesty whether one ambulance is enough to accommodate the growing population of Mukim Liang, Mohd Eddy said, "There is also an ambulance on standby from Suri Seri Begawan Hospital that can provide assistance in case of emergency cases."
After touring the facilities at the health centre, His Majesty visited the residences of Dayang Mariam binte Haji Daud and Dayang Norlelawati binte Abdullah Yap, who are both land grant recipients.
Later His Majesty headed to the residence of Penghulu Mukim Liang Awang Haji Abd Hamid bin Haji Mumin in Kampong Lumut before ending the visit at the RBAF Third Batallion Lumut camp for a luncheon.
- Borneo Bulletin
(10th August 2010)