Homeless family gets MUIB help

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds

BELAIT

GOVERNMENT agencies have stepped in to provide housing and monthly allowance for a homeless family that was living in a school canteen in inner, rural Belait last year.

Married couple Nur Liyana Abdullah Nanting and Md Jeffrey Mohd Salleh yesterday said the Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) has been giving the family of six $800 a month since the beginning of the year, while the Belait District Office put the family up at a barrack housing unit in Lumut in February.

All four of their children are now studying at Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Secondary School in Lumut, with three of them — all boys — moving from OKPB Bukit Sawat Primary School, where the family lived, after passing the Primary School Assessment (PSR) last year. The three sons are classmates despite a five year age gap, with 17-year-old Azrin, the eldest, having started school late.

“We are very happy to be living in a house now,” said Nur Liyana, whose family’s plight of living in a loosely constructed zinc shack and sleeping in their car in Sg Mau went viral on social media at the end of May last year. “MUIB in a letter also said that they would be helping us with the monthly allowance for two years.”

The subsidised housing in Lumut costs the family $35 a month, with the interior of the two bedroom unit sparsely furnished and poorly maintained, although the family has kept some of the household items which were donated by members of the public after their plight was widely shared last year.

The family lost their house in Sg Mau to a fire several years ago, but were initially able to live in the staff house of the sawmills they worked at. Md Jeffrey said he does not have the funds to rebuild the house, and is hoping for government intervention.

“There were some plans to rebuild it when different agencies last visited us (at the school canteen) in Bukit Sawat,” said Jeffrey. “But I don’t know what the current update is.”

Both parents are unemployed, and claim to have various ailments which prevent them from taking up full-time jobs involving strenuous manual labour.

Md Jeffrey collects scrap metal and does odd jobs to make money, but their stint at the unoccupied school canteen — a small bungalow building — was not without problems, as some claimed Md Jeffrey brought in several wrecked cars that have since been abandoned near the school.

The Brunei Times