Hope arrives for elderly folks

James Kon

The Brunei government strives to alleviate the burden of the underprivileged.

In view of this, the foundation laying for housing assistance for two recipients – Draman bin Mail and Fatimah binti Bini – was held at Kampong Lumapas ‘B’ yesterday.

Acting Minister of Religious Affairs cum Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) Acting President Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar officiated the ceremony.

The housing assistance for Draman and spouse, Sihar binti Sidup, includes a three-bedroom stilt house with a living room, toilet, bathroom and kitchen, priced at BND77,051.50.

Fatimah will receive a four-bedroom stilt house with a living room, toilet, bathroom and kitchen, priced at BND85,634.00. The cost of both houses is fully borne through allocation of MUIB Zakat funds.

ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show Acting Minister of Religious Affairs cum Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) Acting President Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar during the foundation laying ceremony. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Construction works on both houses commenced on October 7, and are expected to be completed by June 6, 2021. Syarikat Gavana Construction has been tasked with the construction works, and the Technical Services Department under the Public Works Department of the Ministry of Development will monitor the project.

Draman, 64, and Sihar, 68, are recipients of the monthly BND250 old age pension. They receive additional income by selling grilled fish. Sihar has 11 children from her first marriage, and only one child is still staying with the couple.

The Zakat Issuance Committee met last June and approved a two-year Zakat distribution (from June 2020 to June 2022) allocating a monthly BND200 assistance and an additional BND130 for basic necessities to the couple. Additionally, BND500 was provided to pay for their home rental at Kampong Lumapas ‘B,’ Jalan Junjungan.

Meanwhile, Fatimah is an 80-year-old widow and recipient of the old age pension. She has four children and is staying with her daughter Kamariah, who has five children and also receiving Zakat assistance in her husband’s name.

The Zakat Issuance Committee met in May 2020 and approved assistance for Fatimah, allocating a monthly BND200 assistance and BND500 rental payment assistance for a house at Kampong Lumapas ‘B.’