Sultan presents house keys and land grants to subjects
By Azlan Othman & Azaraimy HH

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday awarded house keys and land grants to 244 recipients from the Brunei-Muara District.

The house keys to 142 type 'D' houses and 62 type 'E' houses were presented under the landless scheme for indigenous citizens in Kg Sungai Buloh in Jln Muara and 40 land grant recipients under the grant scheme of temporary occupied land (TOL).

The event was held at Nakhoda Ragam Vocational School in Lambak Kanan.

His Majesty was greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan; Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abdullah; Deputy Minister of Development, Dato Paduka Dr Awg Hj Mat Suny and senior government officials.

In his welcoming speech, the Brunei-Muara District Officer, Dato Paduka Hj Yusop, said the presentations are priceless and meaningful awards to the recipients and it reflects His Majesty's care for the citizens.

On behalf of the recipients, he expressed their sincere thanks and gratitude to the benevolent ruler and urged them to continue to uphold their loyalty to the caring monarch.

Until May 2007, the Housing Development Department has received 4,978 applications under the landless scheme, out of which 3,225 have been allocated houses.

The landless scheme was originally handled by the Land Department but was officially taken over by the Housing Development Department in November 2000, which processes housing, applications, manages and maintains housing estates under the scheme.

Shortly after the house key and land grant presentations, His Majesty toured various sections of the vocational school, which is located along the Muara-Tutong highway.

The school offers seven programmes. The entry requirement is Penilaian Menengah Bawah (PMB) and students undergo National Trade Certificate (NTC) 3, followed by NTC 2. During the course, they will undergo three to six months of industrial attachments.

Currently, the school has 100 staff with 193 students taking building construction (such as carpentry and joinery, plumbing and pipe-fitting, brick-laying and concreting as well as painting and decorating), electrical & electronics and general studies (such as hair dressing and beauty).

The industrial links with the government and private sectors include hair and facial beauty, saloon, tailoring, Royal Brunei Airlines and communication companies.

His Majesty later visited several houses of successful recipients of the land grants in Jln Perusahaan Serasa and Jln Kapok Kanan.

The monarch also toured a filling station in Kg Pegalayan in Jln Muara, Ken & Tan Sdn Bhd, which deals with local boat building industry, the house of Sg Buloh village head, Pg Hj Ahmad B Pg Hj Omar and Harmoni, and a cooperative departmental store in Kg Sg Buloh.

The monarch also visited 'D' and 'E' type houses in Kg Sg Buloh, village head of Kg Tanah Jambu/Salar, Hj Asar B Hj Barudin, and to Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) and Standard Chartered Bank in Manggis Mall before concluding his visit with a 'Santap'.

During the tour to all the places, His Majesty exchanged greetings and mingled with the people, signed visitors' books, received souvenirs, posed for group photographs and even officiated a bridge. At the house of one of the recipients of the landless scheme, Pg Puspa Wali in Kg Sg Buloh, His Majesty conducted a "Papat Jambul" ceremony for a three-month-old baby. - Borneo Bulletin (9th Nov 2007)