New home for Haji Narudin and family

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A RETIRED driver and his family can now look forward to living comfortably in a brand new house at Kg Baong Putat, following the handover of ownership from Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) yesterday.

The couple previously lived in a rented house owned by Suludin Hj Tuah at Kg Putat. The rental of $500 was fully paid and assisted by MUIB for two years, beginning January 2013 until this month. MUIB also paid for the electricity and water bills. The family also receives a monthly financial assistance of $500 from the Community Development Department (JAPEM).

Hj Narudin Hj Pungut, 41, a fisherman, and his wife, Rapidah Hj Ambi, 37, a housewife, depend on whatever Hj Narudin can bring home to support his family.

The couple's five children; four boys and a daughter are aged between nine to 18 years old.

Rapidah said that her eldest son quit school when he was in Form 4. She said that her son did not want to study anymore, “I think it’s because of our situation.”

Resigning from his last employment back in 2012, Hj Narudin began to live a fisherman’s life with the help of a friend which earned him a meager $200 to $300 a month.

His wife Rapidah, previously worked as a cleaner at Tamu Kianggeh. But as most of their children were still schooling she found it hard to balance work and family hence leading her to make the difficult decision of resigning from her job for the sake of the family.

Legislative Council member and Kg Putat Village Head Yang Berhormat Hj Jumat Akim said that he knew about the couple sometime in 2011 and forwarded their letter to seek assistance from the government.

This led to the authorities stepping in to lend a helping hand by way of providing for them a new home.

The new bungalow has four bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a toilet, a bathroom and a kitchen.

MUIB in a statement said that the new house, estimated at a cost of $59,000, was financed through zakat funds collected by MUIB and also donation from Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB).

Construction of the house, contracted to Syarikat Rohim Construction, was handled by the Brunei-Muara District Department.

Guest of honour was the Acting Minister of Religious Affairs cum Deputy President of MUIB, Pengiran Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pengiran Hj Bahar, who also presented the keys to the new house to the recipients.

The Brunei Times