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Living In Cramped Houses A Concern Among Second Generation Felda Settlers

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TANAH MERAH – Living in a cramped house with parents and other siblings is becoming a concern among the second generation Felda Kemahang settlers, especially those above 40 years-old, in not having their own house.

Bernama went to the Felda settlement recently and from observation, found two or three families staying together in a house.

RasyidaAzlindawati Abdul Rahim, 40, who is the oldest of eight siblings, and her husband, Mohamad Bahari Samat, 40, are one of the extended families still staying in their parents’ house because they do not have land to build their own house.

“The house we are staying belonged to my father and before his death, he left the house to my youngest sibling who is going to inherit it,” said the woman, who currently shared the house with her mother and a brother.

RasyidaAzlindawati, who works at a community-based rehabilitation centre at Felda Kemahang 1, said she and her husband, who works as a labourer there, could not afford to buy a house outside the Felda area.

However, she said, some of her siblings were doing well and able to buy their own house.

“I have siblings working as civil servants and in the private sector who are staying outside the Felda settlement area and are able to have their own house,” she said.

RasyidaAzlindawati said she and her husband, as well as other second generation Felda settlers, only hope now was for Felda to accept their application to build a house.

“Recently, when the government said that more than one house can be built on a site, it brought relief to my husband and I because there is still space to build another house behind the house we are currently staying,” she added.

She said because of financial constraints, she and her husband could build the house in stages depending on the availability of funds.

“I used to work at a factory and subscribed to the Employees Provident Fund, so I can use the savings to build the house,” she added.

Mohd Shahrulnizam Saari, 38, an electrician, said he was grateful to the government for its decision in allowing more than one house in one site and would use the space behind the house he currently shared with his mother to build a house for his wife and two children.

“Due to my limited financial resources, I plan to build the house myself with help from my brother, who is a carpenter,” he added.

It was also observed that most of the houses in Felda Kemahang 1, Felda Kemahang 2 and Felda Kemahang 3, with a total population of 1,200 people, have been expanded to accommodate the extended families that some are like “bungalows”.

Head of the Felda Kemahang 1 Settlers, Shapie Ahmat, 64, said most of the settlers in the area were in need of a second house to accommodate their large families and the decision by the government was a relief for them.

He hoped that Felda could set up a special fund to facilitate the second generation settlers to obtain loan to build the house as most of them had no fixed income to apply for loans from the financial institutions.

The housing incentive was among six incentives announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the National-level 2017 Felda Settlers Day celebration in Putrajaya last July 23.

The other incentives were write-off of remaining replanting debts and equity loans, incentive payment and setting up of special fund and grants. – BERNAMA


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