Royal seal of approval
By Danial Norjidi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam voiced out his approval to the Bulletin with regards to the new houses built under the Kampong Panaga 2,000-unit National Housing Scheme yesterday.

When asked for the ruler's thoughts on the new houses, His Majesty stopped to listen to the question posed and smiled as he described them as "Very good".

When asked whether the benevolent monarch was happy with them, His Majesty replied, "I am," with a firm nod.

His Majesty shared these thoughts with the Bulletin while visiting the house of Dayang Hartina binti Tamin, at No 29, Simpang 23, Jalan Puragam, which is one of the 2,000 that have been built under the Panaga scheme in Kuala Belait, after His Majesty consented to present the keys for the semi-detached and terrace houses to 650 recipients at the Convention Centre building in Jalan McKerron, Kuala Belait.

Following the presentation, the recipients were unanimous in their gratitude towards His Majesty and the government for their new houses, and were quick to share this with the Bulletin.

One of these recipients was 50-year-old Sabari bin Hj Ahmed, who expressed his appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty's Government for awarding him the home that he has been waiting for since 1993.

Pensioner Ramlah Haji Matassin, 77, who after 18 years of wait, officially received the key to her new home yesterday, said that her late husband applied for it, but passed away 14 years ago.

She urged those who have applied for the national housing scheme to be patient and said that while it does take a while, the government will deliver, before expressing her thanks and gratitude to His Majesty and the government for the house for herself and her children.

Another was Namirah Ya'akub, a 19-year-old student, who received the keys on behalf of her father, Ya'akub bin Hj Awg Apong, who was indisposed.

She told the Bulletin that her father applied for the house between 1993 and 1994, and that her family plans to move in before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

"I'm so happy because we've been waiting for this house for so long," she added.

Another person present as a representative was Siti Nuraini binti Kamal, 26, from Lumut who received the keys on behalf of her mother, Amnah Haji Ajak.

She said that her family was delighted to have a house after applying for it in 1994, and took the opportunity to thank His Majesty and the government for giving her family a new home.

One of the houses His Majesty visited was that of Hamimah binti Haji Abdullah, who happened to get a house directly next to that of her sister, Junaimah binti Haji Abdullah after requesting for it during the balloting process.

His Majesty visited both houses, and Dyg Hamimah told the Bulletin that she felt blessed that both she and her sister now have homes together, for which they both applied at the same time in 1995.

"I would like to send my thanks to His Majesty for giving us this house and would like to wish the ruler an advance happy birthday," she said.

Dyg Junaimah told the Bulletin, "We are so thankful that the government built and gave us semi-detached houses. As a family we are already so close, and with these kinds of houses we can be even closer." - Borneo Bulletin (13th July 2011)