(From left) Zaidi, Dr Sim, Ting, Lee and others make a site inspection at the Kampung Pasir (Lutong) squatter colony.
MIRI: The Sarawak government, through the squatters’ management and settlement committee has set a clear focus to bring an end to the remaining 46 per cent of squatters throughout the state.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the ministry would continue to study the best housing option for the squatters and to explore new ways to address the (squatter) issue effectively.
“The remaining 46 per cent of squatters throughout the state is our priority. That is why the main committee is going to the ground to look at their condition and identify their needs, to enable for us to come up with a strategy because one option cannot fit all.
“We are not here to chase them (squatters) away but to provide the best solution for them and solve their housing woes,” he told the media after checking on two squatter colonies here – Pujut Corner and Kampung Pasir in Lutong yesterday.
He said the committee had come up with three main programmes – people housing programme (PPR), resettlement or village extension scheme, and in situ resettlement – to solve the squatter issue once and for all.
According to the latest statistics, the state government has successfully settled some 54 per cent of the squatters as at March 31 this year.
The statistics says there are 85 squatter colonies with 4,500 households throughout the state, compared with 161 colonies and 9,760 households nine years ago.
About 50 per cent of the squatter issues in Miri Division has also been resolved.
Miri Division has the highest number of squatters as of Feb 28, 2010; at 50 colonies and 2,268 households
The number has now been reduced to 37 colonies of 2,268 households.
Dr Sim added that some of the squatter cases had been resolved under the in-situ resettlement, whereby the government has regularised the squatter colonies as their own land instead of government land.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, mayor Adam Yii, Miri Resident Mastapa Julaihi, Miri district officer Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, and Land and Survey Department director Zaidi Mahdi were among those who accompanied Dr Sim during the visit.