I thank the Government of 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 providing subsidised residence for public sector employees.
The scheme is well-intended to be a boon to the employees. However, most residences contracted by the authorities are in bad shape as the property owners spruce them up superficially for inspection, and after the tenant moves in, the problems begin showing up.
If the tenant chooses a good residence outside the list of contracted housing, the waiting period is long.
Errant landlords take advantage of this situation and refuse to maintain the properties. I suggest replacing the current system with a housing allowance scheme where the employees receive a fixed housing allowance instead of residence.
Such an arrangement could bring in multiple benefits:
1) The property owners would have to maintain residences in prime condition, which would benefit the tenant and also spur the growth of Brunei’s home renovation industry;
2) Demand for new residences would boost Brunei’s real estate sector;
3) The precious human resources now dedicated to leasing and allocating houses could be diverted to other important areas, further benefitting the country.
Hence, I request the relevant authorities to kindly consider providing housing allowance.
A Depressed Tenant