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B$1.7 million allocation to repair RPN houses

BY Wani Roslan

THE Ministry of Development (MoD) has offered a tender to repair 470 units of houses under the National Housing Scheme (RPN) with an allocation of B$1.7 million.

Its minister YB Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said this is done through the Housing Development Department (HDD) to restore minor damages such as vandalisms and thefts on vacant houses.

He was responding to Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Village Head of Kampong Masjid Lama, Pekan Muara, Sabun and Pelumpong, YB Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman during the 14th Legislative Council session Monday morning.

The latter raised the issue on damaged houses especially in the RPN Kampong Panchor Mengkubau.

Among others, he questioned why damaged houses were given to recipients and asked whether the HDD has taken the issue into account and if so, what would be done about it.

Meanwhile, the minister said damages covered by the contractor’s warranty include roofing, house painting and waterproofing for vacant houses.

He added that structural damages for vacant houses that are yet to be provisioned are also under the responsibility of the contractor.

However, for renovated houses the warranty is void, he said.

On another note, the minister said RPN house recipients had undergone briefings from several related agencies on rules and regulations.

“Extending and renovating of their houses are not an offence. But the house owner needs to get written permission from the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) by appointing a registered qualified person (QP) at the MoD,” he said.

Touching on illegal house extensions, the minister said that the ABCi has issued house owners with a warning to re-apply and re-appoint a QP to submit their unapproved house plan.

To date, five cases of illegal house extensions have been reported.

YB Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi said his ministry understands the hardship faced by house owners such as having to pay costly consultation fees.

Therefore, the MoD has taken several initiatives to help them.

An example is through the soon-to-be-published guidebook known as ‘Recommended Fees for Professionals Skills of Architect, Professional Engineers and Quantity Surveyors Order 2011’ which aims to provide transparency and cost guideline.

The MoD also urged house owners to get quotations from their QP and be prudent when appointing a contractor.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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