Sultan presents house keys
Hakim Hayat & Khal Baharulalam

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said he was pleased with the growing number of houses being built under the National Housing Scheme and expressed his satisfaction with the overall improvement in quality on the sidelines of his visit following a house key plaque presentation yesterday.

The monarch was responding to a question by the Borneo Bulletin following the conclusion of the ruler’s tour of the National Housing Scheme after consenting to award key plaques to new houses for 1,033 citizens and visiting schools and businesses around the Brunei-Muara District.

The National Housing Scheme was introduced 61 years ago to allow landless citizens to enjoy houses they can call their own and has successfully seen 19,000 houses built across the Sultanate, including more than 14,300 houses under the National Housing Scheme and more than 5,500 under the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme.

Out of the 1,033 recipients who received key plaques to their new houses from His Majesty in a ceremony at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday morning, 390 have been granted houses under the Meragang National Housing Scheme while 164 and 279 recipients were granted with Semi-Detached and Terrace houses respectively under the Tanah Jambu National Housing Scheme.

While thanking His Majesty on behalf of all the recipients during the ceremony, Brunei-Muara District Officer, Awang Haji Jamain bin Momin, in his welcoming speech said the subsidised houses ensure optimal living standards, comfort and security for citizens, and demonstrating His Majesty and the government’s continuous endeavour in improving the welfare of citizens.

Following the house key plaque presentation ceremony, His Majesty visited Pengiran Anak Puteri Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah Religious School in Kg Perpindahan Berakas to take a closer look at the school’s development. The school has a total of 1,050 students attending both morning and afternoon sessions.

His Majesty later visited a local food-processing company, Asli-KTM Sdn Bhd at the Lambak Kanan Industrial Site to take a closer look. The company started its operations in 2012 and is now producing fresh processed food, specialising in various types of noodles.

The monarch later visited Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School at the Lambak Kanan National Housing Scheme and interacted with pupils and teaching staff. While touring the school’s facilities, His Majesty mingled with students and asked them about their learning progress and learnt more about the school’s facilities.

The vibrant atmosphere at the school was evident from demonstrations from some of its many co-curriculum club activities. With a student population of 1,079, the school has Year 7 to Year 11 classes, as well as Pre-Vocational and BTEC Courses.

Following the school visit, His Majesty visited the residence of Awang Haji Basri bin Abu Bakar, Village Head of Zone II Lambak Kanan National Housing Scheme where the monarch learnt more about the village’s welfare and viewed an exhibition of the village consultative council’s activities.

Pharmaceutical company, Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd, was also part of His Majesty’s visit yesterday. The company, situated at the Salambigar Industrial Site, is the country’s first pharmaceutical, health supplement and cosmetics manufacturer.

Before ending the day’s visit, His Majesty spent time visiting recipients of new houses in the Tanah Jambu National Housing Scheme, including the houses of Awang Abdul Adeeneel bin Abd Nasir, Siti Junaidaah binti Matzinin, Abdul Aziz bin Shamsudin and Kamsiah binti Ahad.

During the visit to the National Housing Schemes, the recipients whose houses were not in the schedule of His Majesty’s visit also had their wishes fulfilled by the caring monarch. His Majesty was seen happily accepting invitations to visit the houses and walked through the streets under the glaring mid-day sun with his subjects.

His Majesty’s busy itinerary yesterday concluded with a santap held at the Rizqun International Hotel. - Borneo Bulletin (9 April 2014)