Brunei Sultan sanctions land under national housing scheme

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Demonstrating the government’s continuous initiatives to provide high quality of life for the people, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to award land lots and house keys to 892 individuals under the National Housing Scheme (RPN) and the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme (STKRJ).

The key handover ceremony was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

The land lots were allotted under RPN in Meragang, Rimba, Lambak Kanan while plots were awarded under STKRJ in Kampong Mata-Mata (Katok B), Gadong.

House keys of semi-detached and terrace houses were presented to recipients in Kampong Panchor (Mengkubau), Kampong Tanah Jambu, Meragang, Kampong Mata-Mata (Katok B) and Kampong Tungku (Katok A).

His Majesty was greeted upon arrival at the ICC by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs; Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah, Minister of Development; and Misle bin Haji Abdul Karim, Brunei-Muara District Officer.

The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, led by Pengiran Dr Haji Badaruddin bin Pengiran Abdul Rahman, Syariah Subordinate Court Judge.

In his welcoming remarks, Misle urged all recipients of the National Housing Scheme to maintain harmony, peace, unity and prosperity of the respective neighbourhoods. House owners should respect each other and adhere to the regulations set by the Housing Development Department of the Ministry of Development, he added.

The ceremony saw 880 individuals receiving house keys and 12 getting land lots.

According to statistics provided by the Housing Development Department, to date over 2,800 houses and land lots have been provided to over 28,000 recipients across the four districts under the National Housing Scheme and the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme.

The majority of the recipients are in the Brunei-Muara District (19,894), followed by Belait District (6,585); Tutong District (1,943) and Temburong District (402).

Shortly after the ceremony at the ICC, His Majesty visited the Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School at Jalan Utama Mentiri in Kampong Sungai Akar which has 798 students, from Year 7 up to Pearson BTEC course, and a 106-strong teaching workforce.

The monarch then visited the house of Dayangku Nur Zirwatul Amal binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad who was awarded with a land lot, under the scheme for Division II government officers, at RPN Madang in Mukim Berakas ‘B’.

Launched in 1985, the land lot scheme was initially for government officers in Division II, but it was later extended to government officers and staff in Division III, IV and V as well as eligible members of the public. It is stipulated that land lots issued under this scheme must be developed within three years after the balloting date.

Mukim and village institutions and grassroots leadership was also the focus of His Majesty’s visit yesterday. The monarch stopped by at the residence of Mohammad bin Haji Tahir @ Mohamad bin Tahir, Village Head of Zone I of RPN Kampong Lambak Kanan. During the brief visit, His Majesty was briefed by Mohammad on the progress achieved by the village, including the economic activities undertaken by the village consultative council and residents. The village is home to some 5,600 people.

His Majesty also toured the Jalan 49 Lambak Kanan Primary School. The Cluster 3 school has 478 pre-school to Year 5 students and 69 teachers.

His Majesty concluded the day’s tour by visiting the residences of house key recipients in RPN Kampong Panchor Mengkubau in Mukim Mentiri.

Since the nation attained independence in 1984, citizens and residents in the country continue to enjoy various facilities including free housing, under the leadership of His Majesty.

This reflects the monarch’s concern for the people and demonstrates the government’s commitment in upholding the aspiration of His Majesty to provide sustainable and affordable housing, in line with the objective of the RPN to enhance the quality of life in the Sultanate.

Among those who received house keys yesterday was Norermo Kertika Sari binti Haji Sulong who celebrated Hari Raya twice in her new home.

"I am very grateful for the new house as I’d been staying with my parents in RPN Kampong Rimba before. I am actively involved in voluntary works at my residential area in Kampong Panchor Mengkubau like assisting the poor and needy."

Meanwhile, Md Nasrul Muhaimin bin Haji Tuah, a police personnel, said, "I’m thankful to His Majesty for granting us the house. We now have a new place to move in. I’ve been occupying the three-bedroom house over the past two years. So far, there are no shortfalls in the infrastructure." Nasrul had been staying with his parents in RPN Kampong Lambak Kanan before.

Lena Yeo, an employee in the private sector, was equally grateful to the monarch for allotting her a terrace house in Kampong Panchor Mengkubau. "I’m yet to occupy the house as I need to renovate it. I am very happy with the house and the surrounding infrastructure. I applied for the housing scheme way back in the year 2000," she added.