TEMERLOH: Senior citizen Ramlah Hitam has never thought that she would get the chance to own a very comfortable house at 81 years old.
She described herself as very lucky when Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah consented to grant her a new home after her original house in Kampung Lompat here, was badly damaged in the recent floods.
Ramlah said the original house, which was made of wood and situated less than 100 metres from the Semantan River, was fully submerged in floodwaters when the village was hit by the floods for a week starting Jan 4.
“After the flood receded, the house condition was really bad. It was not only filled with mud but the walls and the floor were also damaged.. you know, it is an old house and I have lived here for over 60 years.
“I was fortunate when tok ampat (village head) came over two weeks ago to inform me that I will get a new house. When I look at it (the design), it looks comfortable and beautiful,” she said when met at her house today.
Ramlah, who lives together with her daughter Siti Rokiah Zainal Abidin, 52, also expressed her gratitude to Al-Sultan Abdullah who drove over to the site of the new house which would be built using His Majesty’s personal contribution.
Al-Sultan Abdullah arrived at the site at 11.55am together with Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and their two children, the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah and Tengku Arif Bendahara Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah.
Their Majesties later visited two more houses that were badly damaged during the major floods early this year, namely in Kampung Sungai Dingin and Kampung Pengkalan Manggis.
In his address, Al-Sultan Abdullah, who is also the Sultan of Pahang, has expressed hope to see stilt houses of 2.4-metre high with three bedrooms, with an estimated cost between RM80,000 and RM100,000, to be completed within four months.
“I am very concerned about this and will visit again (after completion). I hope this contribution will help alleviate the families’ burden and that their houses will not be inundated again.
“I also hope that we could build more stilt houses in other places and that more private companies and individuals will come forward to help those who reside alongside the Pahang River or other rivers that are often hit by floods,” said His Majesty.
Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah also spent about half an hour inspecting the new house site in Kampung Pengkalan Manggis and reminded the contractor to complete the project properly.
House owner Mohd Izzuddin Shamzudin, 32, who is also a civil servant, described the King’s contribution as an unexpected gift after his house, which was facing the Pahang River, was completely destroyed during the flood.
“I have made an application to repair the wooden house that was submerged up to the waist level but we are granted with a new house. This is a gift for my mother and our family.
“Hopefully this house will be completed as soon as possible because we have been staying at my brother’s house in Temerloh Jaya 2... I’m quite shy to stay at other people’s house for too long although they are my own siblings,” he said.
Mohd Izzuddin added that it had never occurred to him that Their Majesties would consent to visit his house today. — Bernama