His Majesty launches monument for Meragang Housing Scheme
Danial Norjidi

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to launch a monument at the Meragang National Housing Scheme yesterday.

The monument was launched during a visit by His Majesty to the housing scheme, after having consented to the presentation of keys to recipients of houses in the area.

The monarch officiated the launching of the monument by signing a plaque placed a few metres in front of it.

The man who designed the monument, Zaem Rosli, told the Bulletin that it was built to officially mark the completion of the Meragang National Housing Scheme.

“The sculpture being shaped as a key is symbolic of the keys that the occupants of the houses here receive, and is there to symbolise the opening of the houses here,” he said.

The monument is also meant to symbolise the 60 years in which the National Housing Scheme has been carried out, and is also there to reflect the completion of the presentation of keys to the recipients and occupants of the houses under the Meragang Housing Scheme.

Zaem, who is an architect at the Housing Development Department, explained that the placement of the monument also holds significance.

“This monument is placed in the centre of a roundabout facing the entry from the Muara-Tutong Highway, to welcome those arriving, and the end of the key faces towards the houses themselves, so as to act as a sign, indicating the direction in which the homes are.

“The idea to build a key as a monument came from the thinking that, to enter a place, or to unlock a door leading elsewhere, you always need a key. This is the key to the Meragang housing area.”

The monument, which he said cost an estimated $100,000 to complete, was built using galvanised iron as a frame, and was then finished with stainless steel, taking three weeks to complete.

Etched on the monument in Jawi are the words, “Perumahan Negara Meragang”, translated to “Meragang National Housing” in English.

Before consenting to officiate the launch of the monument, His Majesty visited the residence of the Penghulu of Mukim Serasa, Major (Rtd) Awg Hj Johari bin Hj Abd Razak. There, His Majesty spoke to the Penghulu, and the two discussed the quality of the houses in the Meragang area, with the Penghulu having described them as being first class with a good setup in terms of its environment.

Speaking to the Bulletin, the Penghulu said His Majesty asked if there were any problems with the area, to which a point was put forward saying that there was a need for a community hall, which would be able to serve both administrative and recreational purposes.

A pesambah in the form of a parang was also presented by the Penghulu to His Majesty, before the monarch toured an exhibition that had been set up outside the house.

On show at the exhibition were various food products made and packaged by the Masjid Lama, Pekan Muara, Sabun and Pelumpung Village Consultative Council as part of the ‘One Village, One Product’ initiative.

Among the products were banana chips, which also came in various flavours including those of pandan, durian, Milo and corn. Also on show were prawn crackers, fish snacks, fish nuggets and fish balls.

His Majesty was also given a live demonstration of how the prawn crackers are cooked. The exhibition also featured the Penghulu’s large collection of parangs. - Borneo Bulletin (31 May 2013)