Give longhouses a makeover using interest-free loan, Dayak community advised

Work on the reconstruction of Rumah Kawau in Nangka, Sibu in progress.

The Dayak community in Sarawak can apply to have their longhouses rebuilt as the State Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is providing an affordable housing loan financing scheme.

Citing the 26-door Rumah Kawau in his constituency as example, Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee said that under the scheme, the residents were able to rebuild their longhouse which involved a total cost of RM780,000.

“Each family or pintu (doors, or household units of a longhouse) in Rumah Kawau was given an interest-free loan of RM30,000. This is an initiative by the Sarawak government through HDC,” he said.

He noted that the 26 families needed to pay only RM100 per month for 20 years for the loan, which was affordable for them.

“For the construction of the ruai (verandah), we will use the Rural Transformation Project (RTP) fund,” he added.

Dr Annuar thanked the state government for the assistance and support given to the 26 families in Rumah Kawau.

Meanwhile, tuai rumah (longhouse chief) Kawau Anggang expressed his gratitude to the state government for providing the funds to rebuild their longhouse.

“Initially it was difficult for me to apply for this loan. However, with Dr Annuar’s help, our application was approved,” he said.

Kawau said that without the government assistance programme for rural folk, it was impossible for them to rebuild longhouses as the cost of construction was very high.

“It is a loan given to us without interest, so it is reasonable. We borrowed RM30,000 and will repay the same amount,” he said.

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