By Nancy Nais
SIBU, June 10: Lorry driver Jamiluddin Jamali’s house was totally destroyed in a fire 14 years ago.
He could not afford to rebuild it, but thanks to firefighters from Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sibu Central station and Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia, Jamiluddin and his family now have a new home they can call their own.
After the incident, Jamiluddin, 43, and his wife Jamaliah Abdullah moved to a relative’s house and have been living there ever since.
Today, the couple and their teenage daughter were all smiles and deeply grateful when they received the key frombBomba to their newly rebuilt house on the same location at Jalan Sentosa Salim.
Jamiluddin and his family was one of the beneficiaries under the Projek Rumah Sejahtera programme initiative for the less fortunate.
The construction was carried out entirely by 11 firefighters on a voluntary basis.
The firefighters from Sibu Central fire station were tasked to build the single-storey wooden house with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, one bathroom and one toilet.
Construction began on January 6 this year.
With their carpentry skills and ‘gotong royong’ efforts, it took them just slightly over one month to complete the project, on Feb 14.
The house, measuring 30m by 20m, cost about RM50,000.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony today, Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman pointed out that the Projek Rumah Sejahtera had benefited many unfortunate people and also positively impacted the local communities.
“As long as the government continues to assign such said projects to the department, Bomba will continue the noble work as this is one way for us to help ease the burden of those from the low-income and poor group,” he assured.
He also thanked his firefighters for their extra work, effort and time in building the house on a voluntarily basis.
“Because of them, Jamiluddin and his family can now live in a safer house with a better and more conducive environment,” Khirudin said.
On behalf of Bomba Sarawak, Khirudin also presented a fire extinguisher to the family.
While Jamiluddin admits he is not a fan of all the attention, he said he is grateful for the firefighters who have helped him.
“After the fire, I stayed at my aunt’s house until now. Although the house rebuilt is not big, but for us, it is enough and good. We sincerely appreciate this and can’t ask for more. I promise Bomba we will look after this house properly and not repeat the same incident 14 years ago.
“Since there is some more space available, I will work hard to earn more and then slowly add on other extras later,” Jamiluddin said.—DayakDaily