Veteran’s 20-year-wait for a house comes to an end

Adly (second left) hands over a mock key to Zakaria as others look on.

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By Jacob Achoi

BAU, Sept 21: A former army personnel’s more than 20-year wait to own a house comes has come to an end, thanks to the assistance from the Veteran Affairs Department (JHEV).

Zakaria Abdullah, 65, from Kampung Tanjong Bowang in Singai, Bau today received his house key from Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari at the village.

Zakaria has been living in a rented house in Matang area since he retired from the army in 1997.

“I’m very grateful to JHEV for selecting me as among the recipients for the housing programme which will allow me to have a house of my own,” the father of five children and grandfather to 12 grandchildren told reporters today.

Adly when met by reporters said JHEV under its housing programme has built six units of new houses, out of 44 units across the country, as well as repaired 55 units in Sarawak this year.

He said JHEV has five core businesses involving welfare, education, health, housing and second careers, to look after army veterans in the country.

“For JHEV, we will continue with our commitment and responsibility to look after army veterans, both those with and without pension,” he said.

He gave assurance that army veterans in Sarawak, who he said have contributed immensely towards the security and sovereignty of the nation, will not be neglected.

Adly also said that JHEV has spent RM5.746 million under its housing programme, adding that each house cost about RM85,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM95,000 in Sabah and Sarawak.

JHEV allocated RM75,000, while the remaining amount is topped up by Suruhanjaya Perumahan Nasional Berhad (SPNB), he explained.

He said the department will continue with the housing programme and to seek a larger budget allocation in the coming years, adding that the department will also continue to visit army veterans to understand and solve their problems.

JHEV, which is under the umbrella of Ministry of Defence was set up in Oct 11, 2000 to help army veterans in the country. — DayakDaily