Senior citizen, Sitihara Arsad, lives alone in a rented room measuring three meters long and two meters wide when found at Jalan Bunga Botan. NSTP/KHAIRULL AZRY BIDIN.

SANDAKAN: A senior citizen has been living in a small room at Jalan Bunga Botan here for the past four months as her application for a unit from the People’s Housing Project has been rejected five times.

Accompanied by her cat named “Merah”, Sitihara Arsad, 67, sleeps, cooks and performs her prayers in the room measuring 3 metres long and 2 metres wide which she is renting for RM160 monthly.

Sitihara said she came from Kampung Suan Lamba in Kinabatangan and had been staying in Sandakan for quite some time. She was married but separated from her husband 18 years ago.

According to Sitihara, she used to teach illiterate adults but retired about 15 years ago.

"I have applied five times to get a low-cost house but was not approved, because I have no job, husband or children.

"I had also applied for unit built on my late father’s land at Kampung Suan Lamba. The project was stopped, probably due to a change of government,” she said, adding that she decided to rent a room as she did not want to burden her relatives.

Sitihara said for now she was relying on her RM300 monthly assistance from the Community Welfare Department, and RM200 monthly zakat money to support her daily expenses.

“I hope the authorities will consider my application to get a house unit so that I can stay in better living conditions,” she said.