A needy family of nine is seeking assistance as their current residence – a dilapidated hut with zinc roofing for walls and salvaged wooden planks for floors – has become unsafe, particularly in view of the number of people it houses.
The family of converts comprises Reduan Abdullah, a Malaysian national, his wife Majidah Abdullah, a Brunei permanent resident, their seven children and an elderly mother, all of whom have been staying in the hut located on a land with Temporary Occupational Licence (TOL) at Simpang 638-16, Kampong Tanah Tersusun Lumut ever since Reduan retired from the Kuala Belait Municipal Department in 2011.
The children have had to stop school since Reduan’s retirement as they could not afford the expenses. Their eldest child, a 22-year-old, is only Primary 6-educated, and survives by earning from bridal makeup jobs in Bandar Seri Begawan.
The family has attempted to seek help from the relevant authorities, however, their applications have been unsuccessful, except for the one-year basic food assistance from Dakwah Islamic Centre, which has to be renewed annually.
Reduan tries to make ends meet by taking on grass-cutting jobs, looking for young shoots in the jungle to be sold as vegetables. To feed the family, he occasionally fishes.
Basic facilities such as electricity and water are not available. The family makes use of a generator which was contributed to them a few years ago, and collects water in drums for their daily domestic and cooking usage.
State Legislative Council member YB Haji Shafiee bin Ahmad, who is also the Lumut 1 Village Head, when interviewed, noted that with the cooperation of Lumut 11 Village Head Haji Abd Rahman Hashim, they had submitted an application form to obtain a residence for Reduan’s family, and that it is currently pending. YB Haji Shafiee also said that they will conduct a follow-up of the application.