His Majesty visits Meragang, Kg Tanah Jambu housing schemes
Hakim Hayat, Danial Norjidi, Aziz Idris, Abdul Hakiim Yakof & Wani Roslan

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday joined hundreds of families happily settled in their new homes during his visit following the key plaque presentation ceremony for the housing scheme recipients.

At the ceremony held earlier at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas, His Majesty consented to award some 1,060 people with detached, semi-detached and terrace houses under the National Housing Scheme and the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Schemes for Meragang and Kg Tanah Jambu.

At the National Housing Scheme in Meragang, His Majesty visited the house of government servant Awang Zulkifli bin Haji Mohd Hussain, a ‘karasik’-type house recipient.

Awang Zulkifli and his family formerly stayed at the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) residential government house provided to his wife working with the RBPF. He said they have waited for nearly 20 years to finally own a house they can finally call their own.

“We are very happy to have a comfortable house as the surrounding is very pleasant. We would like to express our gratitude to His Majesty for awarding the house,” he said.

Along the way during the visit to the National Housing Scheme in Meragang, the caring monarch also fulfilled the wishes of many lucky house recipients by accepting their humble invitations to visit their new homes.

His Majesty later proceeded to visit several houses of the recipients under the National Housing Scheme and Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme in Kg Tanah Jambu including a terrace house recipient, Samaniah Haji Samat.

She said she was glad that His Majesty has given her the opportunity to own a house. “I currently live with my daughter and my 85-year-old grandmother. Before this, we were living at my mother’s house in Lambak Kanan. I’m happy with the design of the house and I’m thankful to live in a decent neighbourhood with very helpful and friendly neighbours.”

She however suggested that it would be better if future housing developments came with tiled floors. “I also found that the edges of the walls in my house to be jagged and I consider the sliding doors at the main entrance to my house to be inappropriate as thieves can easily break in by lifting the sliding doors unless the house came with safety grills,” she said.

His Majesty also visited the house of Awang Ahmad Sanusi bin Haji Mohd Salleh, a semi-detached house recipient. Working at the Public Works Department as an engineer and formerly living at a rented government residential house at Sungai Akar, he said, he was happy with the gift from His Majesty. “Alhamdulillah, it feels really different to live in a rented government house and own house. My family and I are very thankful to His Majesty for awarding the house. By looking at other countries, the opportunity to get a house from the government is very remote. Hence, Brunei is one of the fortunate countries.”

Meanwhile, Suprizan Hj Zainiri, one of the occupants of the houses at the Kg Tanah Jambu National Housing Scheme, invited His Majesty to visit his home, and pointed out to the monarch the area just outside his house.

This area is a cliff that leads to a steep slope of land and is dotted with junk and trees that have been cut down, and has been left as it is.

Suprizan told the Borneo Bulletin that the children in the area often play near it and said that it was a hazard to them as the flat land leading to the cliff is scattered with sharp pieces of metal.

He also noted that all it would take is one false step and one could end up falling down the steep slope, and he suggested that a fence should be built around it.

He said that the monarch was kind and listened to his suggestion and had a government officer talk to Suprizan to handle the matter.

His Majesty’s visit to the houses yesterday ended with a luncheon held at The Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong. - Borneo Bulletin (31 May 2013)