IT WAS a memorable moment for the villagers of the Wah Loong New Village in Kampar last Thursday as a transit home catering specifically for the poor and elderly opened its doors.
The transit home consists of eight rooms to provide shelter for eight needy individuals and families.
It was also the first transit home project to receive funding from the Prime Minister’s Department for new village development.
The allocation of RM96,000 was made possible, thanks to the efforts of Kampar MCA chairman Datuk Lee Chee Leong and the new village’s Development and Safety Committee (JKKK) chairman Daniel Wa.
Construction of the home began in June and had just been completed. Each room in the shelter home measures 5.7mx3m, including a kitchen and washroom.
The shelter is to house the poor and needy, who are homeless or live in extremely dilapidated homes, until they die or find a new place to stay.
The division would also identify new target groups and make the necessary arrangements for them to live there and benefit from the project.
Wa said when the project was proposed last September, many did not support the idea and questioned its feasibility.
“But now, I am happy to say that this home has finally been completed thanks to the help of everyone involved, especially the Prime Minister’s Department.
“With the generous allocation we received and about RM5,500 raised by JKKK, we hope the project can benefit the poor and elderly,” he said, adding that this showed MCA’s commitment in building better lives for the community there.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who officially opened the home, said he would further allocate RM500 each to the eight individuals and families to buy furniture and essential electrical items.
“The department’s previous allocation was mainly for the home’s construction.
“This additional allocation would make for a more comfortable living environment for them,” he said.
Dr Wee also said he would allocate another RM155,000 to allow the villagers to organise activities and gatherings in a more conducive environment.
The money, he said, would also be used to instal air conditioning units in the village’s multipurpose hall that had only fans now.
Dr Wee also unveiled a new arch at the entrance of Kampung Baru Pasir Bedamar in Teluk Intan, during his visit to Perak.
After the ceremony, he told reporters that the Government was looking at more places to be included in the New Village - Your Tourism Destination programme.
“There is a need to explore the potential of other new villages as tourism destinations as a means of improving the living standard and income of villagers.
“I’m here to see if Kampung Baru Pasir Bedamar can be part of the programme.
“From what I see, it has quite a big population and is mainly made up of traditional wooden houses.
“In addition, Teluk Intan is famous for its chee cheong fun and heong peah, and food can also be an attraction,” he said, adding that a special panel would be studying Kampung Baru Pasir Bedamar as a prospective candidate for the programme after this.
At present, only 20 new villages in Johor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Selangor and Perak (namely Tanjung Tualang, Kuala Sepetang and Jalan Pantai in Kuala Kurau), have been selected from a total of 613 new villages nationwide.
“We can always increase the number of villages under the programme but we need to first enhance the capacity of those that are proposed.
“There must be adequate accommodation facilities,” Dr Wee added.
In an unrelated matter, Dr Wee said until Oct 1, the Government spent RM10.76bil on 154 physical projects in Perak as well as RM2.52mil to refurbish 264 houses in new villages throughout the state.
“In total, the Government allocated RM8mil for the repair of 844 new village houses nationwide this year.
“As for last year, RM8.8mil was used to repair 1,025 new village houses nationwide,” said Dr Wee, who also opened the Pasir Bedamar MCA general election operations room during his visit.
At a Mid-Autumn Festival dinner jointly organised by the Teluk Intan MCA division and Pasir Bedamar Village Security and Development Committee, Dr Wee pledged a RM70,000 allocation to SJK(C) Phooi Yong where the dinner was held.