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Kuala Pahang fishermen happy with free houses

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PEKAN, Feb 27- Over the past two months, Abdul Halim Mohamed, 67, is having much difficulty concealing his joy.  And, all for good reason. He is a recipient of a free house provided by the government for 236 fishermen families who have been living as squatters in Kuala Pahang for more than 50 years.

“I am not sure if there is a government anywhere else that provides houses for free,” he said at his new home in a resettlement area in Kuala Pahang.  The house has three rooms, a living room and a compound, a far cry from the squatter dwelling Abdul Halim’s family had been living in.  Abdul Halim expressed his gratitude and thanks to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his concern for the fishermen.

He said the opposition parties had erroneously claimed that their houses were being demolished and that they would become homeless.  Patimah Abdullah, 65, who is also a beneficiary, said she would not have to be afraid every time it rained.

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“The previous house was always affected by floods. We could not sleep well at night whenever it rained for fear that something bad might happen,” she said. Patimah thanked the prime minister for having the houses built for them. Meanwhile, Peramu Jaya assemblyman Ibrahim Awang Ismail said the houses were completed last November. Some 112 units were also built in Pulau Serai, Pekan, under the same programme.

He said the fishermen could live in the new settlement until they could afford to buy their own houses and move out, leaving the houses for others in need.

BERNAMA