More people opting out of city life, minister tells Dewan

Rural Development Minister Rina Harun says Malaysians are no longer following the trend of seeking employment in cities.

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of urban folk who left cities to settle in rural areas last year outstripped that of those who migrated from rural areas to the cities, Rural Development Minister Rina Harun told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Based on figures from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, she said the rural-urban migration rate was 4.8% compared to the urban-rural rate of 19.5%.

She said this showed that Malaysians are no longer following the trend of looking for jobs in the cities.

Of those who migrated from cities, she said 44.2% left to be with their families, 24% left to pursue their careers in rural areas, and 22% wanted to live in a greener environment.

Rina was responding to Noor Amin Ahmad (PH-Kangar) who asked the ministry about the measures taken to address the rural-urban migration issue due to lack of economic opportunities in rural areas.

She said her ministry was ensuring adequate infrastructure such as roads and internet connection, along with other facilities to cater for those in rural areas.

Her ministry is also holding agriculture and marketing programmes in rural areas to help people there promote their products.

“They are no longer limited to selling their products within the village. They can sell them to the world through the internet,” she said.

From 2015 to 2016, internal migration in Malaysia was primarily urban-urban (73.6%).

In 2017, the Department of Statistics said urban-rural migration formed 15.2% of all internal migration, while the percentages of rural-rural and rural-urban migration were 7.0% and 4.2% respectively.