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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 31: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) will start building a new house on Feb 15 for Tchee Foh Hin, whose impoverished living condition was uncovered after his son Kian Jong was killed in the CityOne Megamall explosion on Dec 4 last year.
Noting the unsafe and hazardous condition of Tchee’s existing wooden house, Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman highlighted that work would need to start immediately after all processes had been finalised. It would take about two months to complete.
“We need to build as soon as possible because looking at the condition of this house in the perspective of a fire and rescue personnel, this is dangerous and unfit for living,” he told reporters outside Tchee’s house in Stampin Resettlement Scheme here today.
Khirudin was accompanied by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong to relate the good news and explain the new house specifications to Tchee.
The reinforced concrete stilt house, under Bomba’s Rumah Sejahtera Aku programme or previously known as NBOS House Build programme, comes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area, a kitchen and a car porch.
This project can materialise following the issuing of the land title of a lot in Lorong 10A Stampin Resettlement Scheme to Tchee by the Land and Survey Department yesterday.
“We estimate the cost of construction to be about RM76,000, including the installation of electricity and water supply. We will expedite the process with the relevant state agencies. It will be a comfortable house for the family,” he assured.
Basic building materials, he added, would be transported to the site first so that works could start by the middle of February.
Meanwhile, Chong pointed out that this project was a joint collaboration between the state government, federal government, Bomba, DAP and philanthropists.
“The land title was issued yesterday, but before this, we have already liaised with Bomba through their community outreach programme for the needy. Bomba has also got the architect to produce the house drawing.
“It will be a concrete house on stilts due to the condition of the land, which is quite low,” he added.
On the funding, Chong said it was being funded by the federal government plus donations of building materials from DAP and other kind-hearted people.
“We want to thank Bomba for their readiness in helping out in this situation, and they do not charge a single sen for labour,” he commended.
Meanwhile, Tchee felt extremely warm and contented to receive the gifts, which he described as the biggest ang pow in his lifetime, from both the state and federal governments.
“Now I have everything. What more can I ask for? The land title and premium are paid for. And now, I have a property in my name that I can pass down to my sons. It will belong to them in the end.
“I am grateful to both governments for giving me so much assistance. It showed they are concerned about the people and are walking the talk,” he added.
The 66-year-old has been living in the wooden house, which was built on land belonging to his brother, for the past 25 years.
He currently lives with his second son in the house, while his eldest son who is married, lives with his in-laws. Tchee’s wife passed away four years ago.
Bomba Sarawak assistant director in charge of operation Tiong Ling Hii was also present. — DayakDaily