Anthony K. Samuel, Contemporary Migration among the Dayak Iban in Sarawak.Anthony K. Samuel, Contemporary Migration among the Dayak Iban in Sarawak. Kuching: Masgraphic Services (by the author), paperback, 2005, ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 983-42914-0-X. v+ 95pp. Maps, plates, tables, charts, appendix, bibliography, index.
In this brief volume, the author, Anthony Kantan Samuel, an Iban policy specialist, of Saribas origin, who is currently Research Manager at the Sarawak Development Institute, reports on the findings of a study conducted in 2002-2003 of Iban rural-urban migrants living in so-called "squatter An individual who settles on the land of another person without any legal authority to do so, or without acquiring a legal title.
In the past, the term squatter specifically applied to an individual who settled on public land. settlements" in the four main urban centers of Sarawak: Kuching, Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. The original study was funded by the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and was carried out under the auspices of the Universiti Putra Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia or UPM is a public university in Malaysia. It was formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (Malay: universiti, university; pertanian, agriculture; Malaysia). .
The book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter One outlines the study's objectives. While noting that in developing societies, rural-urban migration Rural-urban migration is the moving of people from rural areas into cities. When cities grow rapidly, as in Chicago in the late 19th century or Shanghai a century later, the movement of people from rural communities into cities is considered to be the main cause. is generally concurrent with rapid economic growth, it is also oftentimes of·ten·times also oft·times
Adv. 1. oftentimes - many times at short intervals; "we often met over a cup of coffee"
frequently, oft, often, ofttimes associated, the author observes, with urban poverty, social exclusion social exclusion
Sociol the failure of society to provide certain people with those rights normally available to its members, such as employment, health care, education, etc. of the poor, and a "proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous
n. of squatter settlements." These latter arise whenever "rapid urban growth outpace out·pace
tr.v. out·paced, out·pac·ing, out·pac·es
To surpass or outdo (another), as in speed, growth, or performance.
[-pacing, [s] the capacity [of society] to provide basic infrastructure and services," most notably, adequate housing (p. 11). The plight of urban squatters is often made worse by policies that exclude them from their "right to the city" and treat them "as the cause rather than the victims of uncontrolled urbanization" (p. 11). In this light, in Chapter Two, the author notes that the Sarawak Lands and Surveys Department's official definition of a "squatter" as a "person/persons who settles on public or private land without any title to the land or without any expressed permission or approval" (p. 19) is both negative and effectively places squatters outside the law. By contrast, he locates himself among those students of third-world urbanization who see the creation of squatter settlements as an essentially successful solution by the poor to an otherwise intractable intractable /in·trac·ta·ble/ (in-trak´tah-b'l) resistant to cure, relief, or control.
1. Difficult to manage or govern; stubborn.
2. scarcity Scarcity
The basic economic problem which arises from people having unlimited wants while there are and always will be limited resources. Because of scarcity, various economic decisions must be made to allocate resources efficiently. of urban housing.
Chapter Three traces recent rural-urban migration in Sarawak based chiefly on the 1991 Malaysian census and a Statistics Department migration survey carried out in 1995. Unfortunately, data from the 2000 census were not used, nor does the author explicitly relate data from these sources to his own study population. Nonetheless, the chapter contains much of interest. Like the rest of the developing world, recent urban population growth has been extremely rapid in Sarawak; between 1981 and 1991, the state's urban population grew at an average rate of 9.3 percent per annum Per annum
Yearly. . While some of this growth was "definitional," due to a redefinition Noun 1. redefinition - the act of giving a new definition; "words like `conservative' require periodic redefinition"; "she provided a redefinition of his duties"
definition - a concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol of urban boundaries, the largest share came from an influx of rural migrants. Nearly all rural districts in Sarawak are experiencing out-migration, but in 1991 those with the highest proportional rates were Kanowit, Dalat, Meradong, Betong, Simunjau, Daro, Julau, and Bau. Not all of these districts are, of course, centers of Iban population. The Iban, however, formed the single largest group overall, making up in 1991 just under half (49.1%) of all rural-urban migrants (p. 40). The Iban predominated in Sibu, Miri, and Bintulu, but in Kuching, were outnumbered Outnumbered is a British sitcom that aired on BBC One in 2007. It stars Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner as a mother and father who are outnumbered by their three children. , first, by Bidayuh and, secondly, by Malay-Melanau. Almost half of all rural-urban migrants had secondary education. The percentage is lower, however, for the Iban, a fact reflected, the author argues, in patterns of employment. Thus, the Iban are disproportionately represented in urban construction (40.3%), and correspondingly underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. in retail trade, services, and manufacturing (p. 41).
As the author notes, migration is by no means a recent phenomenon for the Iban. Pindah and bejalai are well-established traditions, with histories that extend deep into the Iban past. Moreover, some rural communities were subject in recent years to state-sponsored resettlement Re`set´tle`ment
n. 1. Act of settling again, or state of being settled again; as, the resettlement of lees s>.
The resettlement of my discomposed soul.
- Norris. , during Konfrontasi, for example, and for hydroelectric projects, and one interesting observation that the author makes is that former resettlement communities appear to be particularly prone to out-migration. Thus, rather than stabilizing rural population, resettlement appears to have had the opposite effect.
Chapter 4 briefly describes characteristics of the 852 respondents interviewed by the author during his original study in terms, for example, of age, education, and Division of origin. Chapter 5 describes the respondents' answers to questions concerning their reasons for migrating to an urban center, the problems of adjustment they encountered in doing so, and their attitudes toward urban life and possible future resettlement. Here many of the answers statistically tabulated by the author are difficult to interpret in the absence of anything remotely resembling in-depth urban ethnography ethnography: see anthropology; ethnology.
Descriptive study of a particular human society. Contemporary ethnography is based almost entirely on fieldwork. . Some of these answers suggest, however, that origin-based social networks play a significant role as sources of job referrals and social support. Thus, almost half of the author's respondents (48%) reported that they experienced no difficulty finding a first job and three-quarters (76%) reported that they had no difficulty finding friends. Except for Kuching, a lack of jobs does not appear to be a serious problem. On the other hand, many reportedly found it difficult to improve their earnings and move out of low-paying jobs.
The principal reasons that migrants cited for moving from the countryside were "to find a better job," experience "a better life"--including a better life for their school-age children, "improve their income," and for "better amenities" (p. 64). The overwhelming majority (99.5%) felt that they had made the right decision; 98% thought their quality of life had improved, and 99.6% were satisfied with their place of residence (p. 69). These responses, again, however, are difficult to evaluate without knowing more about how the author's sample of respondents was selected and the conditions of life they left behind. Their answers to questions about the problems they encountered in taking up life in an urban squatter settlement suggest a far less rosy ros·y
adj. ros·i·er, ros·i·est
a. Having the characteristic pink or red color of a rose.
b. Flushed with a healthy glow: rosy cheeks.
2. picture. For example, all reported having difficulty obtaining treated water (100%), and the great majority (96.4%) had difficulty obtaining electricity and access to public transportation (92%) (p. 68). One unambiguously bright spot was education. Nearly all found schooling facilities accessible and the quality of education superior to that of rural schools. The other bright spot was income. By their own calculation, average monthly incomes rose following migration from RM 241 to RM 750 (p. 57).
Not surprisingly, perhaps, the one area in which an overwhelming majority of respondents (95.4%) refused to answer the author's interview questions concerned their participation in politics (p. 70). The results not only suggest a degree of mistrust of government, but also bear out this reviewer's own observations that most recent Iban urban migrants participate very little, if at all, in city politics, but, rather, continue to return to their home communities during elections to vote. In the Saribas, this return creates something of a temporary Gawai-like atmosphere that local politicians have long ago learned to exploit by providing their local supporters with Gawai-like longhouse longhouse
Traditional communal dwelling of the Iroquois Indians until the 19th century. The longhouse was a rectangular box built out of poles, with doors at each end and saplings stretched over the top to form the roof, the whole structure being covered with bark. entertainment. Having greater resources, the governing party has been particularly adept at this, with predictable results. Not surprising, too, respondents showed little enthusiasm for resettlement, particularly if it involves being moved into multiple-storey housing.
The volume concludes with a brief summary of findings (Chapter 6) and a conclusion (Chapter 7). A final Appendix lists the names of the 29 squatter settlements involved in the study. The volume is being privately distributed by its author at a price of RM50 (or US$20), exclusive of mailing, and may be obtained by writing to Anthony K. Samuel, Sarawak Development Institute (SDI (1) (Serial Digital Interface) A physical interface widely used for transmitting digital video in various formats. For electrical transmission, it uses a high grade of coaxial cable and a single BNC connector with Teflon insulation. ), AZAM Complex, Crookshank Rd., 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, or by email at email@example.com (Clifford Sather, Portland, Oregon, USA).