Sultan awards land grants, donations
By James Kon and Haji Minor Absah

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam awarded land grants to temporary occupants of land and resettlement areas in Kampong Senukoh, Mukim Labu Temburong in a presentation ceremony held at Sultan Hassan Bangar Secondary School yesterday.

Of the total, 35 were awarded with land grants under the temporarily occupied land scheme, while 27 received land grants under the resettlement scheme of Kampong Senukoh, Mukim Labu of Temburong District.

In addition, His Majesty presented donations to 243 residents of Temburong district, who were affected by the flood that hit the area on February 9.

The beneficiaries of the flood donations were residents of all five Mukims in Temburong.

Families residing in the affected areas received as much as $2,000 each. A sum of $486,000 was donated to the flood victims courtesy of the Sultan.

In his welcoming remark, Awang Matusin bin Orang Kaya Sura Haji Tuba, Acting Temburong District Officer said, The presentation of the land grants is a proof of His Majesty's continuous support in implementing the country's policy to provide the means for citizens and people of Brunei to own a piece of land for those who do not own any.

"Whereas the presentation of donations to flood victims in the district is a sign of His Majesty's concern and care for his subjects and it is hoped that the donations will help ease the burden of the flood victims," he added.

Recalling the flash flood that devastated the district, he said, "On February 9, Temburong was hit by a huge flash flood which affected all the Mukims of the district namely Mukim Labu, Mukim Batu Apoi, Mukim Bangar, Mukim Amo and Mukim Bokok.

"The National Disaster Management Centre, as the supporting agency to coordinate with multi agencies, and the Temburong District Office as the lead agency, had activated the disaster assistance operation centre in Dewan Muafakat at the Temburong District Office starting from 6am on February 9".

He said, "Kampung Menengah of Mukim Bangar, Kampong Bokok, Kampong Paya Begangan and Kampong Belias and Buda Buda of Mukim Bokok are the worst affected areas. A number of government buildings, mosques, schools and shops were damaged when water rose higher than any previous floods. This caused the ferry transportation to temporarily suspend their services for two days, which consequently stranded many vehicles."

"With the united front of uniformed personnel, The National Disaster Management Centre and the Temburong District office managed to handle and control the situation. There were no casualties except for damages to property of the victims."

Citing the current situation, he said, "the flooding subsided on the evening of February 10 and the District is now back to normal. Clean-up work on government buildings, houses, mosques, schools, roads and surrounding areas are being carried out."

Prior to the ceremony, His Majesty was greeted upon his arrival at the Jetty of Pekan Bangar by three Cabinet Ministers namely Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof, Minsiter of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Awang Haji Bakar, Minister of Development and Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Awang Mohammad bin Hj Daud, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

After the ceremony, His Majesty visited a number of flood victims and recipients of land grants, as well as some of the facilities around the Temburong District. - Borneo Bulletin (15th Feb 2008)