CM launches first phase of Bintulu Urban Redevelopment Project in Jepak with 596 affordable houses

Abang Johari operating the excavator to scoop sand to symbolically launch the project. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

By Karen Bong

BINTULU, Nov 23: The first phase of the Bintulu Urban Redevelopment Project will involve a housing project on a site of approximately 146 acres near Jalan Jepak in Kuala Tatau here where some 596 affordable houses will be built.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg today launched the project as part of the Sarawak government’s efforts to bridge the gap in access to affordable housing in Bintulu.


The concept of the housing project will be similar to that in Darul Hana in Petra Jaya, Kuching and Kemuyang, Sibu that adopts the “Umak Vaiee” or stilt house architectural design with each housing lot to be allocated 10-12 points of land size.

With Bintulu seeing rapid growth fueled by expansion of growing industries, the demand for housing in areas such as Kemena, Kidurong and Samalaju in the past two years was around 13,500 units, but only 5,338 units were built this year, according to a media release.

With the Jepak masterplan ready in 2019 with focus on the socio-economic development of Kampung Jepak residents, the Sarawak government then identified land for the village expansion projects.

In line with the Bintulu CBD Study conducted in 2006, the government is planning to relocate four villages which have become too densely populated in the Bintulu town centre comprising Kampung Sinong, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Dato and Kampung Sebiew, to the redevelopment site in Jepak.

Furthermore, some 80 per cent of the 500 lots in the four villages were no longer owned by the original residents with the majority of them tenants and squatters.

Additionally, residents are also at risk of fire outbreaks and spread of diseases due to the poor condition of the houses, narrow streets and alleys as well as poor drainage systems.

Abang Johari (centre) signing a plaque to mark the start of Bintulu Urban Redevelopment Project witnessed by other distinguished guests. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

This redevelopment project aims to solve the problems and provide better facilities for the people.

It is also in line with the construction of the Muara Kemena Bridge which is currently ongoing and expected to be completed in 2023. When completed, it will benefit not only the residents of Kampung Jepak but the whole of Bintulu as the area will be connected to the town centre.

This development will not only cater to the need for affordable housing in Bintulu, but also offer employment and business opportunities, and create a conducive environment for the people’s well-being and quality of life.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Kakus incumbent Datuk John Sikie Tayai, Samalaju incumbent Datu Majang Renggi and Murum incumbent Kennedy Chukpai Ugon were among those present. — DayakDaily