Penguang (centre left) hands over fire extinguishers to longhouse chieftain Patricia Indit, witnessed by Bomba Miri chief Law Poh Kiong (centre) and others. — Borneo Post Online pic

Total of RM60m set aside for longhouse loans this year

MIRI, Sept 14 — The Sarawak government has approved RM50 million for the Longhouse Loan Programme (PPRP) this year, set to benefit villagers of 86 longhouses across the state, says Assistant Minister for Local Government and Housing Datu Penguang Manggil. Moreover, he pointed out that the federal government has also approved an additional fund of RM10 million for the programme.

According to him, between the introduction of the PPRP in 2016 and last year, a total of RM76.3 million had been approved and allocated for the programme, involving 2,897 recipients from across Sarawak.

“The PPRP is a state government initiative that aims to help longhouse residents who are less than able to build and repair their longhouses.

“Implemented by the Housing Development Corporation (HCD), an agency under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing Sarawak, this programme provides a 25-year loan to each eligible recipient and it does not incur any interest,” he said in his opening speech for the launch of the PPRP for Rumah Patricia Indit at Mallang, Sungai Kara in Bakong near here recently.

Penguang, who is Marudi assemblyman, said for his constituency this year, a total of RM6.33 million had been approved for nine longhouses.

Under the list, a PPRP sum of RM1.11 million was given to Rumah Wen Magelit Lapok, RM930,000 for Rumah Chabu Makom Sungai Liam, RM960,000 for Rumah John Mat Lapok, RM430,000 for Rumah Patricia Indit, RM540,000 for Rumah Anthony Ladi Sungai Liam, RM750,000 for Rumah Linggi Usar Sungai Urong, RM390,000 for Rumah Gansa Pagon, RM840,000 for Rumah Langat Anthony Collins, and RM390,000 for Rumah Apol Alam Sungai Liam.

Earlier in his speech, Penguang commended the village security and development committee (JKKK) of Rumah Patricia for their systematic teamwork in building their longhouse.

“I understand that the JKKK had sought technical advice from authorities including the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Public Works Department (JKR), Marudi District Council and Marudi District Office before commencing the works.

“The committee had also sought for advice from Pemanca and Penghulu of the area, with regard to native customs.”

Adding on, Penguang also advised the longhouse residents to always uphold the spirit of unity and set aside whatever differences between them, such as having different political ideologies, for the common good.

Several activities were also held in connection with the programme, such as exhibitions run by the Health Department, Miri Division Dental Office and the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), as well as the presentation of fire extinguishers by Bomba Miri to Rumah Patricia. — Borneo Post Online