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Factors To Contribute The Squatters Settlement Economics Essay


5.1 Introduction

This chapter explained on all information and data that being collected during the research and analyzed to determine the research result.

5.2 Factors to Contribute the Squatters’ Settlements in Kuching City

Figure 5.1: Factors that Contribute to Squatters Settlements in Kuching City

The chart 5.1 shows the factors that contribute to squatter’s settlement in Kuching city. 50 percent of the respondent agreed that the poverty is the main reason of squatters’ settlement contribution. The poverty had leads the migration from rural to urban area in Sarawak since years 1960.

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Most of the migration comes from the non-main city of Sarawak such as Simunjan, Serian, Sri Aman Bintulu, Sibu and Miri. Kuching as the Sarawak state capital had offered a lot of job opportunity in many kinds of industries at the same time needs many human powers to runs the industries operations. Most of these migrations work at constructions, restaurant & supermarket, shipping and manufacturing industries based on their expertise.

High incidence of poverty among slum dwellers is due to the absence of a permanent job which makes them does not have a housing guarantee as there is no monthly income statement and a strong financial condition. This is evident where 12 percent of the sample stated that no permanent job is one of the main problems of squatting settlements because they are not eligible to apply for a loan to buy a home due to no consistent monthly income statement.

10 % of the sample stated third factor that causes the existence of squatter settlements is the existence of abandoned spaces. For example, government land, road reserve land, river reserve land and private land. For example kudei Old village, the largest squatter settlements in Kuching, which is about 200 houses located along Kudei River, is the site of government land and river reserves and similarly with the slum around Apong River, in Pending area.

No plot of land to build homes and there are no low-cost housing were also a factor that contribute to the existence of squatter settlements. Based on the information obtained, these two factors respectively accounted for 8% of squatter settlements. The absence of low-cost houses for the residents makes it difficult to find homes for rent. While the lack of a land parcel limiting residents to build their homes more comfortable and safer.

Difficulty to go to school and refused to increase the financial burden to pay for bus hiring wages, drives 7% of the sample choose ‘no transportation’ as a reason for remain living in slum areas, because children study at school nearby.

There is also a Tenant Squatter, which, some of the squatters who build a house in the same area for rent at a cheap price and negotiable until reach to Malaysian ringgit, 150 per month for a house. Just because lack of low cost housing, some people decided to rent a squatters house, due to its location close to the commercial and industrial areas. This will be easy for people to go out to work.

Marriage with a family of squatters residents, also contributed to the existence of squatter settlements, where they are influenced by the family to build houses and live closer to their parents.

There are also some people who deliberately build squatters to get some help from the government and non-governmental organizations, due to many efforts that have been made ​​in the eradication of squatter settlements, for example, the government gives lots of state-owned land to the people of slum areas to be developed and it is equipped with complete basic facilities. In addition, the government has provided low-cost houses for rent. Priority is given to residents of squatter settlement

5.3 Job Classification of Squatter Settlements Residents around Kuching Area, in Accordance to Age Factor

Figure 5.2: Job Classification of Squatter Settlements Residents around Kuching Area, in Accordance to Age Factor

Figure 5.2. shows the job classification of squatters population, men and women in different age. The groups were age 50 and above (head of family), 30 to 49 years (already family hotel), aged 18 to 29 years old (teens) and age 12 -17 years (under the Liability).

Those aged over 50s (males), there are many who work as construction labor, as this is their job from a young age. For those who are not able to work in construction, they chose to work as a security guard and the rest did not work. Some have taken the wage, sending children to school. For female, most of them work as the cleaner at the nearby commercial center, fulltime housewife and some sells crops at nearby market to get money for buying food. Mostly 30-49 years of age have a family and still have the energy to work. Their work focused on the construction, factory work and shipping, while the woman was working as a cleaner, full-time housewife and working in a supermarket nearby.

Ages 18 to 29 years was a local youth including school leavers because mostly end up level 5 only. At this age, both the men and women are focused on working in restaurants, supermarkets and production operators. Some of the women already have their own families. They just become full-time housewives.

At the age of 12 to 17 years old are still under the stage of parents dependents and still supposed to be still in school. But for those who are unable to continue their schooling, they choose to work as construction workers follow their father. Some works at the supermarket and restaurant. Among women who are married in the early teens, some become full-time housewives.

5.4 Problem Arise In Squatters Settlement

Problem Arise in Squatters Settlement




Impact to the squatters



Poor living condition

Most of the squatters houses at all settlement area were in a bad condition where some of it had been deteriorate. The wooden plank as the pathway to reach the house also found rotten causes by aging. Some of it was very dangerous to use especially for the young children and in term of emergency cases.

Lack of surrounding management

The building compound was very bushy with uncut grass and improper settlement planning which allow the dangerous animal and insect breeding.

Poor sewerage and drainage

These settlements are an also have a poor drainage and sewerage system. It causes a bad surrounding odour and also allows the mosquito breeding. Several cases of cholera, dengue, and malaria are found in the settlement area







poor solid waste management

Because it is illegal settlements, this settlement is not listed in solid waste management activities scheduled. However, in the efforts of the government trying to help people in this area, there are some supplied with large trash beside the main road near housing areas

improper toilet and wash

Some of the house, they share it with another houses. But it is good enough then just passing around the bush nearby. Poor hygiene is the cause of many infectious diseases



Unlimited social activities

Because of the lack of enforcement of residential areas, squatter settlements are often used as dens of crime, such as vice, drug addict or gangster. The circumstances of the bushy residential area, making it as the most preferred hideout.



Lack of education

Dropped out of education make slum children wandering around the city to spend time with various activities. For the women, mostly married in the early teens, because they could not continue their studies







Lack of modern technology

Lack of information technology facilities is not a big problem for squatter settlements because they are so synonymous with poor living conditions. But when we look at the positive side, the facility information system is one way that can indirectly help in changing the thoughts slum residents.

Lack of common facilities and accommodation

Lacks of basic supplies also become an obstacle for slum residents to compete with others. Almost all of these squatter settlements are not equipped with basic amenities such as electricity and clean water. Some residents had to use generators for their homes. There are some families who had to collect rain water to use plastic

Lack of common facilities and accommodation

drum, which are not approved for use as water storage tank

Poor access route

The only way that access some houses in slum areas are only wooden bridge pathway that started to deteriorate and waiting the time to collapse. Vehicles cannot get into the area because the route is too muddy due to improper drainage and irrigation system. This makes difficulty to communicate with the squatter areas.







Lack of knowledge towards current technologies

Because of a poor life, the residents of squatter areas are also lag behind the currents modernization, especially in the field of technology.

Lack of encouragement from family

The difficulty is the main constraints to squatter’s people. They rather to face any upcoming problem. They also mostly have given up with the efforts, and this causes a decrease in inducement to Succeed in the community here.

Un-competitive future

Due to lack of motivation, this affects competition between squatter communities with others. Most of the slum children who are old enough will continue the tradition of a family and community of squatters.

No opportunity to improve standard of living

Lack of such competition reduces opportunities for further development as competition for their life is only among themselves only.

Figure 5.3: Problem Arise In Squatters Settlement in Kuching City

5.5 Measure taken by government for the squatter’s eviction and its impact to the squatter’s people

5.5.1 Resettlement Scheme

Around the year 2007, the second largest squatter settlements in Kuching, which Tabuan Stutong Village, destroyed by fire. This gives opportunity to the government to transfer these populations to resettlement area (Stampin Resettlement Scheme) near Borneo Development Corporation office. The impact of this shift, many squatters peoples who work in Tabuan area, close to the their original home, lost their jobs, because there are no vehicles to go down to work, and at the same time, the public transportation company such as buses was hit by the problems from illegal transportation (van sapu) and decrease in the number of users. This forced the company to reduce transportation route services. Some of the people who have moved to a new area looking for waste near government offices and commercial centers for recycled. These impacts cause a bad view in the administration area. (Sarawak Report, 2011: The Trash Collector That Embarrassing Sarawak)


Figure 5.5: Numbers of people sitting outside the recycle center to collect recyclable waste

5.5.2 Low Cost Housing

Although there are low-cost housing around the Kuching, it did not effect on the squatter problem and only reduce a little of squatters original inhabitants due to majority squatters population do not have a permanent job and not comprised with a sturdy monthly income statement to qualify them to buy a house. In addition, low income also causes the squatters to minimize their living expenses as much as possible, in order to pay the costs of their children’s education and buy enough food to their family life. Buy or rent low-cost housing will add to the burden of their expenses.

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5.5.3. Proposal to Build Low-Cost Flats

To minimize the use of land in the City which now being declining, the government suggested to build the low-cost flats but one problem arise, where squatters people refused to move from their home areas because they cannot farm or raise animals such as chickens as a daily food and for sale at Pasar Minggu as their side income.

5.5.4 Provide Employment Opportunities in Rural Areas and Provision of Residential Accommodation for The Workers.

The state government has introduced the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), where it is targeting a lot of employment opportunities for peoples throughout the state. Through this strategy, it will be able to raise people’s incomes, particularly in the rural areas, indirectly reduce poverty and reduce migration to urban areas. Some people started to leave the city with his family to seize the employment opportunities offered.

5.5.5 Land grants for each house’s lot

In an effort to reduce costs to accommodate so many squatters, the Sarawak government has taken a new step to eradicating squatter settlements, by providing state-owned land lot to the squatters, squatter settlements restructure and provide the population with access to electricity, supply water and garbage collection services. This gets very good response from the squatter’s residents themselves because by going through these steps, they have the opportunity to build more comfortable homes, more orderly and healthy environment.

5.6 Summary

As the conclusion, the factors that contributes the squatters settlement in Kuching area is poverty where poor family from the rural area migrated to urban because of a lot of job opportunity offers in urban spaces. At the same time, the decrease on commodity price reduced their incomes which then encourage them for migration. With no qualification, they cannot compete with the urban people and they paid with the low salary. Lack of affordable to live in a high living cost in the urban area plus with the burden of their family needs such as food, house, children school and transportation, they choose to squat where they can farms for food, build a small house for live , choose public transport and at the same time can sent their children to school. Lack of knowledge and education among their children will causes to the low or no qualification for the better jobs and this will continuously causes to the contribution of squatter’s settlement.



Low commodity price

Lack of affordable housing

High living cost



High job opportunity

Required high qualification


Low qualification


Low income

No permanent job



Low qualification

Farm/ crops


Drop / quit

Bus / walk





Figure 5.6: The chart of process of the squatter’s settlement existence


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