Sultan presents house keys to 164 citizens
By Danial Norjidi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam made dream come true for 164 locals by consenting to present them with the keys to their new homes under the National Housing Scheme and Skim Tanah Kurnia Rakyat Jati (STKRJ) or Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme yesterday.

The 164 recipients, of whom 83 were awarded "standard" houses in Kampong Rimba under the National Housing Scheme and another 81 were given "Type D" terrace houses under the Kampong Sungai Buloh STKRJ Scheme, officially received the keys to their new homes from His Majesty in a ceremony held at Dato Mohd Yassin Primary School in Kampong Mentiri.

Before the recipients went on stage to receive the plaques with their keys from His Majesty, Brunei-Muara District Officer, Haji Jamain bin Momin, spoke.

While thanking His Majesty on behalf of all the recipients, he said that the gift His Majesty was awarding them "will give them a much more comfortable life and improve their living standards".

After presenting all 164 of the recipients with their house key plaques, the monarch toured the school accompanied by the Principal, Cikgu Hajah Sarimah binti Haji Bakir.

His Majesty interacted with the students and teachers, and viewed the school's facilities.

His Majesty later visited the village head of Kawasan 1 in Kampong Mentiri before going to Sultan Sharif Ali Secondary School (SMSSA) in Kampong Salambigar, where the school's Principal Hjh Zaliha binti Hj Dollah led the ruler on a tour around the school's various facilities.

His Majesty was seen speaking to the students and teachers, asking them questions and showing a genuine interest in how things were at the school. His Majesty was presented a painting of a mosque by Year 10 student Abdul Faed bin Haji Ramlee.

His Majesty also appeared to thoroughly enjoy a cultural performance by the students, who showcased traditional dance and music.

His Majesty later toured the school's Nurkasih Centre, where special education is conducted for the students who need it. His Majesty spoke to a number of students, including 12-year-old Md Syazwi bin Abu Bakar, a student who has speech impediment.

Md Syazwi was visibly happy to meet the monarch, and while he was unable to communicate, his sister, Safwanah binti Abu Bakar along with his teacher Liza were on hand to answer His Majesty's questions.

After leaving SMSSA, His Majesty visited the STKRJ housing scheme in Kampong Sungai Buloh, where the ruler visited about 20 houses in the area, spoke to the residents, and checked to ensure that they were happy with their homes. His Majesty's next stop was the National Housing Scheme in Kampong Meragang, where the ruler was briefed on the projects that are currently under way as well as the proposed high-rise apartment housing by officials from the Department of Housing Development, including the Acting Deputy Director of Housing Development, Hjh Aisah binti Hj C A Mohammad.

This was followed by a visit to various houses in Kampong Rimba National Housing Scheme, including the homes of government officers and staff as well as recipients of 'Standard' houses.

During his visit to the area, many of the residents rushed to invite His Majesty into their homes, where the Sultan once again showed his care for his subjects by asking if they were happy with the conditions in which they were living, and how long they had waited to be awarded their new homes.

His Majesty then proceeded to the Hadfa Recreational Park, which is part of the Agricultural Development Area of the Rimba Phase 4 Horticulture Centre, where he was received by proprietor Hjh Halus binti Hj Karim, who led His Majesty on a tour around the park.

His Majesty's visit concluded with a santap at the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong. - Borneo Bulletin (18th March 2011)