MELAKA, Oct 19 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today spent about 30 minutes surveying houses under the Home Improvement (Bahtera) pioneer project in conjunction with the Santuni Rakyat Programme in Kampung Permatang Pasir, Alai here.
Under the programme 18 soldiers from the Ninth Royal Army Engineers Regiment, Terendak Camp here, were deployed to carry out home repairs over a period of 10 days with a RM20,000 allocation.
During the brief visit, Dr Wan Azizah took some time to chat with military veteran, Kamal Smail, 63, and his wife Hamidah Sapi, 61, who have been living in their house for the past 33 years.
Earlier, she was given a briefing on the house restoration programme especially for military veterans to ensure that they live a more comfortable life.
The restoration works include replacement of the entire roof structure, installation and painting of ceilings, replacement of damaged wooden walls, construction of partitions for new rooms, installation of light fixture and ceiling fans and replacement of kitchen doors as well as concrete floors.
Under the Bahtera project, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will cover the cost of repairs, while the Ministry of Defence provides the manpower and expertise in home repairs to ensure military retirees and their families who receive aid from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) live in more comfortable homes.
Meanwhile Hamidah when met by reporters said she was touched and grateful for the help as her house was in a dilapidated state and each time it rained water would seep through the ceiling.
She said her husband, Kamal, who only served eight years as a soldier before retiring in the 80s, earned a living as an odd job worker to support their six children.
She added that her family was surprised to meet Dr Wan Azizah as they did not expect the Women, Family and Community Development Minister to visit them at their humble abode. — Bernama