SIBU, Aug 24: Financial aid is pouring in for the 171 residents of Rumah Jungan Gerang in Mile 36 Sibu – Selangau Road whose longhouse was destroyed in a fire yesterday.
Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang, who visited the victims today said the victims were being temporarily housed at Maria Indai Ukaristia Church, Tamin.
Also accompanying Gira were Sarawak Premier’s Political Secretary Edwin Banta, Selangau District Officer Inting Nyami, Sibu Rural District Council Chairman (MDLBS) Sempurai Councilor Petrus Ngelai and Penghulu Julia Awal.
“The first thing I did after receiving the sad news was to contact the Minister of Women, Children and Community Wellbeing Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah to request for appropriate assistance be channeled immediately to the victims involved.
“Fatimah then instructed the Welfare Office from Sibu to provide the assistance immediately,” he said.
According to Gira, he had sent a messages through WhatsApp groups to the representatives of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) to request further assistance.
As a result, they managed to obtain no less than RM200,000 to help the victims.
“Because I was still in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, I could not physically visit right away, and had instructed the leaders of the local community and asked for help from the relevant parties for further aid for the victims,” he said.
Gira also announced that his service centre distributed RM33,000 in cash to help the victims.
In addition, he said, PRS President Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum also donated RM5,000 and another generous individual donated RM5,000.
“This means that today I brought RM43,000 in cash for the fire victims of Rumah Jungan. The money collected through donations from PRS representatives will be channeled through JKKK Rumah Jungan’s account. Meanwhile, a friend of mine from a company in Kuching had also contributed RM10,000,” said Gira.
According to Gira, it is understood that the victims were only allowed to stay for four days in the church.
“After this, of course we will set up a temporary residence either at the site of the old house, a nearby futsal court or anywhere according to our agreement. All of this will require expenses,” he explained.
In the meantime, Gira also assured that he will help the residents of Rumah Jungan to build new longhouses.
He wanted the residents to provide the necessary documents to support their application to build new longhouses from the State government as well as obtain special allocations from the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBNS) under Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“I advise Tuai Rumah Jungan and his residents to discuss choosing a suitable site to build a new longhouse and present it to me for deliberation,” he added.
In the incident that occurred on Tuesday morning, the 37-door Rumah Jungan collapsed after it was razed by a fire believed to have occurred at about 6.50 am. — DayakDaily