Stanley Repon.

HOUSE REPAIR LOANS

BY TANIA LAM & VOON YIH BOON

KUCHING: Batu Kawa Iban Penghulu Stanley Repon has urged those in the B40 (low-income) group not to be embarrassed or ashamed to request for house repair assistance.

This is because the government is ready to help those in need.

He said many within the Batu Kawa area needed house repair assistance, but individuals were sometimes too embarrassed to apply for assistance. This aid can be applied and granted via the House Repair for the Poor programme under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia (KPKT) or the Program Penambahbaikan Rumah Rakyat Miskin Sarawak (PPRMS) under the Sarawak government.

“Only poor people are eligible to apply and be considered, so not all of them are willing to be categorised as poor. It is this category that causes them to feel embarrassed.

“This is why we experience problems in terms of repairing the houses here, be it under the federal or state programmes,” he said when met by reporters at the handover ceremony of Sandi Orak’s newly repaired house at Lorong Desa Wira 20D here on Saturday (Sept 12).

Sandi’s repaired house was officially handed over by Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, who was representing Minister of Local Government and Housing cum Batu Kawa assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“Sometimes we feel that there are those who are eligible for these programmes, but when we include them in the list (of applicants), they are not willing. So it is not that we do not want to help, but it is a bit difficult to help them in such a scenario,” explained Repon.

He said there were four resettlement areas in Batu Kawa with a mixture of races but predominantly Bumiputera with some Chinese as well.

Meanwhile, Sandi, 53, expressed his happiness and gratitude over the completed repair of his house, especially to Dr Sim, Lo, and those involved.

“Within the past year, my house was experiencing problems such as a leaking roof, especially during downpour,” he said, adding that he had been living in his house for over 20 years.

He works as a labourer but is currently out of work after tearing a ligament during a self-accident while attempting to patch the roof of his house during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Currently, there are nine persons living in Sandi’s house including his wife, children, and grandchildren.