Friday, April 12, 2024
30 C
Brunei Town

A dream come true

If there is one word to describe the atmosphere at Bridex on Saturday, it is euphoria.

For all attendees who received apartments under the National Housing Scheme (RPN), it was a dream come true, to finally have a place to call their own.

“Unlike other housing schemes, all you have to do is to thoroughly clean it and you’re ready to move in,” said Harul Aini binti Ahmad Kasranuddin who made a housing application in 2009 and received the apartment on February 25 this year.

Living there with her husband and son, Harul Aini said her spacious new home and neighbours have been great while the amenities are also up to satisfaction, leaving no space for her to complain.

With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a storeroom, kitchen and living room, the apartment also has electricity, air-conditioner and water-heater piping, as well as fans.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to 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 for the housing since we didn’t expect to receive it so soon. I’m sure there are still plenty of people on the waiting list,” said Harul Aini.

A housing scheme at Kampong Mengkubau. PHOTO: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA
FROM LEFT: Harul Aini binti Ahmad Kasranuddin; and Norhashimah binti Hassan. PHOTOS: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA
FROM LEFT: Packir Maideen Abdullah Packir Rawoother; and Md Syafiq bin Sapiee. PHOTOS: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA

After about 11 years of waiting, Norhashimah binti Hassan finally received the apartment in 2021 and moved in with her husband and two children.

“When we went to view the apartment, we were pleasantly surprised by how big it was inside,” said Norhashimah.

She, however, raised her main concern on the lack of a direct complaint contact to address any grievances related to the apartment area.

“Privatising maintenance services could potentially ensure better upkeep of the apartments, considering that tenants already asked to pay a monthly fee to maintain the premises,” she added.

Despite minor issues, her family is grateful they have their own apartment to live in.

Meanwhile Packir Maideen Abdullah Packir Rawoother compared apartment prices between Brunei and Singapore, saying that in Singapore it can range between BND100,000 to BND3 million, while through the RPN in Sultanate, it is less than BND100,000.

“With His Majesty’s blessings on bestowing housing to his people, it is given at an affordable price,” said Packir Maideen who now lives in his apartment with his wife and children.

Much like the two earlier recipients, Packir Maideen expressed his surprise by how spacious the apartment is unlike what others had said. “The living room alone is 550 square feet,” he added with delight.

Amenities, such as a multi-level parking area, have also given them ease in keeping their vehicles sheltered from the rain and sun as each tenant is given two slots, with a guests’ parking area for those owning more than two cars.

As renovating one’s home has become part of the culture in the Sultanate, Packir Maideen said that most of his friends and colleagues who are tenants at the apartment housing have made changes to their own apartment spaces.

“The generation is changing. More people are accepting living in an apartment as it is convenient. Once they renovate their space with the Housing Development Department (JKP) approval, it beautifies it further,” he shared.

Recipient Md Syafiq bin Sapiee recalled the week before receiving the RPN letter in 2020, sharing that he had initially planned to purchase a house in the next few years.

“It’s still unbelievable that I received that call from the JKP, to notify me that I would be receiving a house,” expressed Md Syafiq.

As a Bruneian, he shared his deep gratitude to His Majesty’s Government for providing facilities for the people.

“I just hope they can speed up the process as there are many still waiting their houses, with some having waited long before retirement,” he added.

The interviewees were from the 626 recipients during Saturday’s presentation ceremony for land grants under the Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) scheme in the Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts, along with the distribution of house key plaques for apartment units and land lots under the RPN in the Brunei-Muara District. – Izah Azahari