Residents come to family’s aid

National 1 minute, 30 seconds


A FATHER'S plea for food to feed his children was answered yesterday by members of the Belait community who poured in donations to his house in Mumong.

Forty-two-year-old Musa Zainal’s message asking for assistance via WhatsApp went viral on Wednesday, with more than 10 parties stopping by his government barrack housing unit to donate daily necessities yesterday afternoon.

When The Brunei Times visited his home, it found that the family of seven only had mattresses in their two rooms, with their living room almost completely bare, while their kitchen had no refrigerator.

Musa said his family had fallen on hard times, first losing the house they were renting after it collapsed earlier in May, followed by his wife’s father defaulting on payment for a car loan under his name. “The reason why I sent the message was because I’m in desperate circumstances. The car monthly repayment is $450, plus a penalty for late payment, so more than half my salary is gone,” said Musa, who works as a rigger for Megalift Sdn Bhd.

Musa said he was seeking to have the seven-year loan, taken in 2012, restructured to a longer period to allow for more manageable payments.

The village head of Mumong, Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Dulamin, said Musa himself was unlikely to get financial assistance from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) because he is fully employed, but an application under the Brunei Islamic Religious Council’s (MUIB) poor and destitute scheme would be considered.

“Musa’s children, as students, may still be able to get assistance from JAPEM. But financially, MUIB is his best hope,” said YB Hj Mohd Yusof.

“An application for the poor and destitute doesn’t just look at the salary of the individual but what other commitments they also have to bear.”

The Brunei Times