Migration of Ibans to Kuching city on the rise, says Sarawak CM

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (fourth from left) receiving a token of appreciation from Kuching division Temenggong for the Iban community Bernard Aggan Assam (third from right) at the Gawai celebration closing ceremony.

KUCHING: Migration among the Ibans is expected to increase in the next 10 years with more educated individuals seeking jobs that match their qualifications in the city, said Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

To date, he said there are about 80,000 Ibans residing in Kuching and most of them had relocated to the city due to vast job opportunities and the state’s economic development.

In the past, not many Ibans lived in the city, he said.

Only about 30% of the population used to be made up of Ibans but now they make up 65% of those staying in Kuching, he said at the Gawai celebration closing ceremony yesterday.

With the increased number of migration among the Iban community, he said he was certain housing problems would surface.

The state government, he said, had been looking into several ways to help the Iban community in the city by providing them affordable houses.

He said he would discuss the matter with Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas and Kuching division Temenggong for the Iban community, Bernard Aggan Assam, to identify suitable areas to develop affordable houses in Stapok, Sungai Maong, Segedup and areas near Batu Kawah.

“Last year, we had reduced the price of the land premium for residential lots within the state government resettlement and village extension schemes in Sarawak to RM2,500 per lot.

“Apart from that, the state government had also set up a financial facility, known as the Mutiara mortgage and finance scheme, to offer financial facilities to those intending to purchase affordable homes built by the government instead of depending solely on bank loans,” he said.