Sarawak (/səˈrɑːwɒk/; Malay: [saˈrawaʔ]) is a state of Malaysia. The largest among the 13 states, with an area almost equal to that of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak is located in northwest Borneo Island, and is bordered by the Malaysian state of Sabah to the northeast, Kalimantan (the Indonesian portion of Borneo) to the south, and Brunei in the north. The capital city, Kuching, is the largest city in Sarawak, the economic centre of the state, and the seat of the Sarawak state government. Other cities and towns in Sarawak include Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. As of the 2015 census, the population of Sarawak was 2,636,000. Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. It has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia; Bakun Dam, one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia, is located on one of its tributaries, the Balui River. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak.
The earliest known human settlement in Sarawak at the Niah Caves dates back 40,000 years. A series of Chinese ceramics dated from the 8th to 13th century AD was uncovered at the archaeological site of Santubong. The coastal regions of Sarawak came under the influence of the Bruneian Empire in the 16th century. In 1839, James Brooke, a British explorer, arrived in Sarawak. He, and his descendants, governed the state from 1841 to 1946. During World War II, it was occupied by the Japanese for three years. After the war, the last White Rajah, Charles Vyner Brooke, ceded Sarawak to Britain, and in 1946 it became a British Crown Colony. On 22 July 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government by the British and subsequently became one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia, established on 16 September 1963. However, the federation was opposed by Indonesia leading to a three-year confrontation. The creation of the Federation also resulted in a communist insurgency that lasted until 1990.
The head of state is the Governor, also known as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, while the head of government is the Chief Minister. Sarawak is divided into administrative divisions and districts, governed by a system that is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and was the earliest state legislature system in Malaysia.
Because of its natural resources, Sarawak specialises in the export of oil and gas, timber and oil palms, but also possesses strong manufacturing, energy and tourism sectors. It is ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse; major ethnic groups including Iban, Malay, Chinese, Melanau, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. English and Malay are the two official languages of the state; there is no official religion.
Land of the Hornbills
Bersatu, Berusaha, Berbakti
United, Striving, Serving
|Anthem: Ibu Pertiwiku|
|• Yang di-Pertua Negeri||Abdul Taib Mahmud|
|• Chief Minister||Abang Johari Openg (GPS-PBB)|
|• Total||124,451 km2 (48,051 sq mi)|
|• Total||2,770,000 (4th)|
|Human Development Index|
|• HDI (2017)||0.709 (high) (12th)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (MST)|
|Calling code||082 to 086|
|ISO 3166 code||K (MY-13, 50–53)|
|Vehicle registration||QA to QT|
|Self-government||22 July 1963|
|Malaysia Agreement||16 September 1963|
The generally-accepted explanation of the state's name is that it is derived from the Sarawak Malay word serawak, which means antimony. A popular alternative explanation is that it is a contraction of the four Malay words purportedly uttered by Pangeran Muda Hashim (uncle to the Sultan of Brunei), "Saya serah pada awak" (I surrender it to you), when he gave Sarawak to James Brooke, an English explorer in 1841. However, the latter explanation is incorrect: the territory had been named Sarawak before the arrival of James Brooke, and the word awak was not in the vocabulary of Sarawak Malay before the formation of Malaysia.
Sarawak is nicknamed "Land of the Hornbills" (Bumi Kenyalang). These birds are important cultural symbols for the Dayak people, representing the spirit of God. It is also believed that if a hornbill is seen flying over residences, it will bring good luck to the local community. Sarawak has eight of the world's fifty-four species of hornbills, and the Rhinoceros hornbill is the state bird of Sarawak.
Foragers are known to have lived around the west mouth of the Niah Caves (located 110 kilometres (68 mi) southwest of Miri) 40,000 years ago. A modern human skull found near the Niah Caves is the oldest human remain found in Malaysia and the oldest modern human skull from Southeast Asia. Chinese ceramics dating to the Tang and Song dynasties (8th to 13th century AD, respectively) found at Santubong (near Kuching) hint at its significance as a seaport.
The Bruneian Empire was established in the coastal regions of Sarawak by the mid-15th century, and the Kuching area was known to Portuguese cartographers during the 16th century as Cerava, one of the five great seaports of Borneo. It was also during this time that witnessed the birth of the Sultanate of Sarawak, a local kingdom that lasted for almost half a century before being reunited with Brunei in 1641. By the early 19th century, the Bruneian Empire was in decline, retaining only a tenuous hold along the coastal regions of Sarawak which were otherwise controlled by semi-independent Malay leaders. Away from the coast, territorial wars were fought between the Iban and a Kenyah-Kayan alliance.
The discovery of antimony ore in the Kuching region led Pangeran Indera Mahkota, a representative of the Sultan of Brunei, to increase development in the territory between 1824 and 1830. Increasing antimony production in the region led the Brunei Sultanate to demand higher taxes, which ultimately led to civil unrest. In 1839, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II (1827–1852) assigned his uncle Pangeran Muda Hashim the task of restoring order but his inability to do so caused him to request the aid of British sailor James Brooke. Brooke's success in quelling the revolt was rewarded with antimony, property and the governorship of Sarawak, which at that time consisted only of a small area centred on Kuching.
The Brooke family, later called the White Rajahs, set about expanding the territory they had been ceded. With expansion came the need for efficient governance and thus, beginning in 1841, Sarawak was separated into the first of its administrative divisions with currency, the Sarawak dollar, beginning circulation in 1858. By 1912, a total of five divisions had been established in Sarawak, each headed by a Resident. The Brooke family generally practised a paternalistic form of government with minimal bureaucracy, but were pressured to establish some form of legal framework. Since they were unfamiliar with local customs, the Brooke government created an advisory Supreme Council, mostly consisting of Malay chiefs, to provide guidance. This council is the oldest state legislative assembly in Malaysia, with the first General Council meeting taking place at Bintulu in 1867. In 1928, a Judicial Commissioner, Thomas Stirling Boyd, was appointed as the first legally trained judge. A similar system relating to matters concerning various Chinese communities was also formed. Members of the local community were encouraged by the Brooke regime to focus on particular functions within the territory: the Ibans and other Dayak people were hired as militia while Malays were primarily administrators. Chinese, both local and immigrant, were mostly employed in plantations, mines and as bureaucrats. Expanding trade led to the formation of the Borneo Company Limited in 1856. The company was, and still is, involved in a wide range of businesses in Sarawak including trade, banking, agriculture, mineral exploration, and development.
Between 1853 and 1862, there were a number of uprisings against the Brooke government but all were successfully contained with the aid of local tribes. To guard against future uprisings, a series of forts were constructed to protect Kuching, including Fort Margherita, completed in 1871. By that time Brooke's control of Sarawak was such that defences were largely unnecessary.
Charles Anthoni Brooke succeeded his uncle in 1868 as the next White Rajah. Under his rule, Sarawak gained Limbang and the Baram and Trusan valleys from the Sultan of Brunei, later becoming a protectorate in 1888 with Britain handling foreign affairs but the Brooke government retaining administrative powers. Domestically, Brooke established the Sarawak Museum – the oldest museum in Borneo – in 1891, and brokered a peace in Marudi by ending intertribal wars there. Economic development continued, with oil wells drilling from 1910 and the Brooke Dockyard opening two years later. Anthony Brooke, who would become Rajah Muda (heir apparent) in 1939, was born in 1912.
A centenary celebration of Brooke rule in Sarawak was held in 1941. During the celebration, a new constitution was introduced that would limit the power of the Rajah and grant the Sarawak people a greater role in the functioning of government. However, this constitution was never fully implemented due to the Japanese occupation.[note 1] That same year saw the British withdrawing its air and marine forces defending Sarawak to Singapore. With Sarawak now unguarded, the Brooke regime adopted a scorched earth policy where oil installations in Miri were to be destroyed and the Kuching airfield held as long as possible before being destroyed. Nevertheless, a Japanese invasion force led by Kiyotake Kawaguchi landed in Miri on 16 December 1941 and conquered Kuching on 24 December 1941, with British ground forces retreating to Singkawang in neighbouring Dutch Borneo. After ten weeks of fighting there, the Allied forces surrendered on 1 April 1942. Charles Vyner Brooke, the last Rajah of Sarawak, had already left for Sydney, Australia; his officers were captured by the Japanese and interned at the Batu Lintang camp.
Sarawak remained part of the Empire of Japan for three years and eight months. During this time it was divided into three provinces – Kuching-shu, Sibu-shu, and Miri-shu – each under their respective Provincial Governor. The Japanese otherwise preserved the Brooke administrative structure and appointed the Japanese to important government positions. Allied forces later carried out Operation Semut to sabotage Japanese operations in Sarawak. During the battle of North Borneo, the Australian forces landed at Lutong-Miri area on 20 June 1945 and had penetrated as far as Marudi and Limbang before halting their operations in Sarawak. After the surrender of Japan, the Japanese surrendered to the Australian forces at Labuan on 10 September 1945. The following day, the Japanese forces at Kuching surrendered, and the Batu Lintang camp was liberated. Sarawak was immediately placed under British Military Administration and managed by Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) until April 1946.
Lacking the resources to rebuild Sarawak after the war, Charles Vyner Brooke decided to cede Sarawak as British Crown Colony and a Cession Bill was put forth in the Council Negri (now Sarawak State Legislative Assembly), which was debated for three days. The bill was passed on 17 May 1946 with a narrow majority (19 versus 16 votes). This caused hundreds of Malay civil servants to resign in protest, sparking an anti-cession movement and the assassination of the second colonial governor of Sarawak Sir Duncan Stewart. Despite the resistance, Sarawak became a British Crown colony on 1 July 1946. Anthony Brooke opposed the cession of Sarawak to the British Crown, for which he was banished from Sarawak by the colonial government.[note 2] He was only allowed to return 17 years later after Sarawak had become part of Malaysia. In 1950 all anti-cession movements in Sarawak ceased after a clamp-down by the colonial government.
On 27 May 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the prime minister of the Federation of Malaya, announced a plan to form a greater federation together with Singapore, Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei, to be called Malaysia. On 17 January 1962, the Cobbold Commission was formed to gauge the support of Sarawak and Sabah for the plan; the Commission reported 80 percent support for federation. On 23 October 1962, five political parties in Sarawak formed a united front that supported the formation of Malaysia. Sarawak was officially granted self-government on 22 July 1963, and became federated with Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah), and Singapore to form the federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. The governments of the Philippines and Indonesia opposed the federation, as did the Brunei People's Party and Sarawak-based communist groups, and in 1962, the Brunei Revolt broke out. Indonesian President Sukarno responded by deploying armed volunteers and, later, military forces into Sarawak. Thousands of Sarawak communist members went into Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, and underwent training with the Communist Party of Indonesia. The most significant engagement of the confrontation was fought at Plaman Mapu in April 1965. The defeat at Plaman Mapu ultimately resulted in the fall of Sukarno and he was replaced by Suharto as president of Indonesia. Negotiations were restarted between Malaysia and Indonesia and led to the end of the confrontation on 11 August 1966.[note 3]
A number of communist groups existed in Sarawak, the first of which, the Sarawak Overseas Chinese Democratic Youth League, formed in 1951.[note 4] Another group, the North Kalimantan Communist Party (NKCP) (also known as Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO) by government sources) was formally set up in 1970. Weng Min Chyuan and Bong Kee Chok were two of the more notable communist leaders involved in the insurgency. As the political scene changed, it grew progressively more difficult for the communists to operate. This led to Bong opening talks with chief minister Abdul Rahman Ya'kub in 1973 and eventually signing an agreement with the government. Weng, who had moved to China in the mid-1960s but nonetheless retained control of the CCO, pushed for a continued armed insurrection against the government in spite of this agreement. The conflict continued mostly in the Rajang Delta region but eventually ended when, on 17 October 1990, the NKCP signed a peace agreement with the Sarawak government.
|Sarawak Parties Alliance||Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg||Government||72||67|
|Sarawak United Party||Wong Soon Koh||0||5|
|Pakatan Harapan||Chong Chieng Jen||Opposition||10||10|
The head of the Sarawak state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (also known as TYT or Governor), a largely symbolic position appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) on the advice of the Malaysian federal government. Since 2014 this position has been held by Abdul Taib Mahmud. The TYT appoints the chief minister, currently held by Abang Johari Openg (BN), as the head of government. Generally, the leader of the party that commands the majority of the state Legislative Assembly is appointed as the chief minister; democratically elected representatives are known as state assemblymen. The state assembly passes laws on subjects that are not under the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Malaysia such as land administration, employment, forests, immigration, merchant shipping and fisheries. The state government is constituted by the chief minister, the cabinet ministers and their assistant ministers.
To protect the interests of the Sarawakians in the Malaysian federation, special safeguards have been included in the Constitution of Malaysia. These include: control over immigration in and out of the state as well as the residence status of non-Sarawakians and non-Sabahans, limitations on the practice of law to resident lawyers, independence of the Sarawak High Court from the High Court Peninsular Malaysia, a requirement that the Sarawak Chief Minister be consulted prior to the appointment of the chief judge of the Sarawak High Court, the existence of Native Courts in Sarawak and the power to levy sales tax. Natives in Sarawak enjoy special privileges such as quotas and employment in public service, scholarships, university placements, and business permits. Local governments in Sarawak are exempt from local council laws enacted by the Malaysian parliament.
Major political parties in Sarawak can be divided into three categories: native non-Muslim, native Muslim, and non-native; parties, however, may also include members from more than one group. The first political party, the Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP), was established in 1959, followed by the Parti Negara Sarawak (PANAS) in 1960 and the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in 1961. Other major political parties such as Parti Pesaka Sarawak (PESAKA) appeared by 1962.[note 5] These parties later joined the national coalition of the Alliance Party. The Alliance Party (later regrouped into Barisan Nasional) has ruled Sarawak since the formation of Malaysia. The opposition in Sarawak has consistently alleged that the ruling coalition uses various types of vote-buying tactics in order to win elections.[note 6] Stephen Kalong Ningkan was the first Chief Minister of Sarawak from 1963 to 1966 following his landslide victory in local council elections. However, he was ousted in 1966 by Tawi Sli with the help of the Malaysian federal government, causing the 1966 Sarawak constitutional crisis.
In 1969, the first Sarawak state election was held, with members of the Council Negri being directly elected by the voters. This election marked the beginning of ethnic Melanau domination in Sarawak politics by Abdul Rahman Ya'kub and Abdul Taib Mahmud. In the same year, the North Kalimantan Communist Party (NKCP) which subsequently waged a guerilla war against the newly elected Sarawak state government, was formed. The party was dissolved after the signing of a peace agreement in 1990. 1973 saw the birth of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) following a merger of several parties. This party would later become the backbone of the Sarawak BN coalition. In 1978, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) was the first West Malaysia-based party to open its branches in Sarawak. Sarawak originally held state elections together with national parliamentary elections. However, the then chief minister Abdul Rahman Ya'kub delayed the dissolution of the state assembly by a year to prepare for the challenges posed by opposition parties. This made Sarawak the only state in Malaysia to hold state elections separate from the national parliamentary elections since 1979. In 1983, SNAP started to fragment into several splinter parties due to recurrent leadership crises. The political climate in the state was stable until the 1987 Ming Court Affair, a political coup initiated by Abdul Taib Mahmud's uncle to topple the Taib-led BN coalition. However, the coup was unsuccessful and Taib retained his position as chief minister.
Since the 2006 state election, the Democractic Action Party (DAP) has derived the majority of its support from urban centres and became the largest opposition party in Sarawak. In 2010, it formed the Pakatan Rakyat coalition with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS); the latter two parties had become active in Sarawak between 1996 and 2001. Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia where West Malaysia-based component parties in the BN coalition, especially the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), have not been active in state politics.
On 12 June 2018, the Sarawak Parties Alliance was formed by the BN parties in the state in the aftermath of an historic meeting of party leaders in Kuching, where they decided that in light of the BN defeat in the 2018 Malaysian general election and the changing national situation and a new government, the parties will leave the BN altogether. In conjunction with the celebration of Malaysia Day in 2018 under the new government, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has promised to restore the status of Sarawak (together with Sabah) as an equal partner to Malaya, where all three parties (and then, Singapore) formed Malaysia in accordance to the Malaysia Agreement. However, through the process of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Malaysia in 2019, the bill for the amendment failed to pass following the failure to reach two-thirds majority support (148 votes) in the Parliament with only 138 agreed with the move while 59 abstained from the voting.
A division is divided into districts, each headed by a district officer, which are in turn divided into sub-districts, each headed by a Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO). There is also one development officer for each division and district to implement development projects. The state government appoints a headman (known as ketua kampung or penghulu) for each village. There are a total of 26 sub-districts in Sarawak all under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. The list of divisions, districts, and subdistricts is shown in the table below:
|Sri Aman||Sri Aman||Lingga|
|Telang Usan||Long Lama|
The first paramilitary armed forces in Sarawak, a regiment formed by the Brooke regime in 1862, were known as the Sarawak Rangers. The regiment, renowned for its jungle tracking skills, served in the campaign to end the intertribal wars in Sarawak. It also engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Japanese, in the Malayan Emergency (in West Malaysia) and the Sarawak Communist Insurgency against the communists. Following the formation of Malaysia, the regiment was absorbed into the Malaysian military forces and is now known as the Royal Ranger Regiment.
In 1888, Sarawak, together with neighbouring North Borneo, and Brunei, became British protectorates, and the responsibility for foreign policy was handed over to the British in exchange for military protection. Since the formation of Malaysia, the Malaysian federal government has been solely responsible for foreign policy and military forces in the country.
The Malaysian government has a number of border disputes with neighbouring countries, of which several concern Sarawak. This includes land and maritime disputes with neighbouring Brunei. In 2009, Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi claimed that in a meeting with Sultan of Brunei, Brunei agreed to drop its claim over Limbang. This was however denied by the second Foreign Minister of Brunei Lim Jock Seng, stating the issue was never discussed during the meeting. James Shoal (Betting Serupai) and the Luconia Shoals (Betting Raja Jarum/Patinggi Ali), islands in the South China Sea, fall within Sarawak's exclusive economic zone, but concerns have been raised about Chinese incursions. There are also several Sarawak–Kalimantan border issues with Indonesia.
The total land area of Sarawak is nearly 124,451 square kilometres (48,051 sq mi), making up 37.5 percent of the total area of Malaysia, and lies between the northern latitudes 0° 50′ and 5° and eastern longitudes 109° 36′ and 115° 40′ E. Its 750 kilometres (470 mi) of coastline is interrupted in the north by about 150 kilometres (93 mi) of Bruneian coast. Sarawak is separated from Kalimantan Borneo by ranges of high hills and mountains that are part of the central mountain range of Borneo. These become loftier to the north, and are highest near the source of the Baram River at the steep Mount Batu Lawi and Mount Mulu. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak.
Sarawak has a tropical geography with an equatorial climate and experiences two monsoon seasons: a northeast monsoon and a southwest monsoon. The northeast monsoon occurs between November and February, bringing heavy rainfall while the southwest monsoon, which occurs between March and October, brings somewhat less rainfall. The climate is stable throughout the year except for the two monsoons, with average daily temperature varying between 23 °C (73 °F) in the morning to 32 °C (90 °F) in the afternoon at coastal areas. Miri has the lowest average temperatures in comparison to other major towns in Sarawak and has the longest daylight hours (more than six hours a day), while other areas receive sunshine for five to six hours a day. Humidity is usually high, exceeding 68 percent, with annual rainfall varying between 330 centimetres (130 in) and 460 centimetres (180 in) for up to 220 days a year. At highland areas, the temperature can vary from 16 °C (61 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and as low as 11 °C (52 °F) during the night.
Sarawak is divided into three ecoregions. The coastal region is rather low-lying and flat with large areas of swamp and other wet environments. Beaches in Sarawak include Pasir Panjang and Damai beaches in Kuching, Tanjung Batu beach in Bintulu, and Tanjung Lobang and Hawaii beaches in Miri. Hilly terrain accounts for much of the inhabited land and is where most of the cities and towns are found. The ports of Kuching and Sibu are built some distance from the coast on rivers while Bintulu and Miri are close to the coastline where the hills stretch right to the South China Sea. The third region is the mountainous region along the Sarawak–Kalimantan border, where a number of villages such as Bario, Ba'kelalan, and Usun Apau Plieran are located. A number of rivers flow through Sarawak, with the Sarawak River being the main river flowing through Kuching. The Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia, measuring 563 kilometres (350 mi) including its tributary, Balleh River. To the north, the Baram, Limbang and Trusan Rivers drain into the Brunei Bay.
Sarawak can be divided into two geological zones: the Sunda Shield, which extends southwest from the Batang Lupar River (near Sri Aman) and forms the southern tip of Sarawak, and the geosyncline region, which extends northeast to the Batang Lupar River, forming the central and northern regions of Sarawak. The oldest rock type in southern Sarawak is schist formed during the Carboniferous and Lower Permian times, while the youngest igneous rock in this region, andesite, can be found at Sematan. Geological formation of the central and northern regions started during the late Cretaceous period. Other types of stone that can be found in central and northern Sarawak are shale, sandstone, and chert. The Miri Division in eastern Sarawak is the region of Neogene strata containing organic rich rock formations which are the prolific oil and gas reserves. The rocks enriched in organic components are mudstones in Lambir, Miri and Tukau Formations of Middle Miocene-Lower Pliocene age. Significant quantities of Sarawak soil are lithosols, up to 60 percent, and podsols, around 12 percent, while abundant alluvial soil is found in coastal and riverine regions. 12 percent of Sarawak is covered with peat swamp forest.
There are thirty national parks, among which are Niah with its eponymous caves, the highly developed ecosystem around Lambir Hills, and the World Heritage Site of Gunung Mulu. The last contains Sarawak Chamber, one of the world's largest underground chambers, Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, and Clearwater Cave, the longest cave system in Southeast Asia.
Sarawak contains large tracts of tropical rainforest with diverse plant species, which has led to a number of them being studied for medicinal properties. Mangrove and nipah forests lining its estuaries comprise 2% of its forested area, peat swamp forests along other parts of its coastline cover 16%, Kerangas forest covers 5% and Dipterocarpaceae forests cover most mountainous areas. The major trees found in estuary forests include bako and nibong, while those in the peat swamp forests include ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), meranti (Shorea), and medang jongkong (Dactylocladus stenostachys).
Animal species are also highly varied, with 185 species of mammals, 530 species of birds, 166 species of snakes, 104 species of lizards, and 113 species of amphibians, of which 19 percent of the mammals, 6 percent of the birds, 20 percent of the snakes and 32 percent of the lizards are endemic. These species are largely found in Totally Protected Areas. There are over 2,000 tree species in Sarawak. Other plants includes 1,000 species of orchids, 757 species of ferns, and 260 species of palm. The state is the habitat of endangered animals, including the borneo pygmy elephant, proboscis monkey, orangutans and Sumatran rhinoceroses. Matang Wildlife Centre, Semenggoh Nature Reserve, and Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary are noted for their orangutan protection programmes. Talang–Satang National Park is notable for its turtle conservation initiatives. Birdwatching is a common activity in various national parks such as Gunung Mulu National Park, Lambir Hills National Park, and Similajau National Park. Miri–Sibuti National Park is known for its coral reefs and Gunung Gading National Park for its Rafflesia flowers. Bako National Park, the oldest national park in Sarawak, is known for its 275 proboscis monkeys, and Padawan Pitcher Garden for its various carnivorous pitcher plants. In 1854, Alfred Russel Wallace visited Sarawak. A year later, he formulated the "Sarawak Law" which foreshadowed the formulation of his (and Darwin's) theory of evolution by natural selection three years later.
The Sarawak state government has enacted several laws to protect its forests and endangered wildlife species. Some of the protected species are the orangutan, green sea turtle, flying lemur, and piping hornbill. Under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998, Sarawak natives are given permissions to hunt for a restricted range of wild animals in the jungles but should not possess more than 5 kilograms (11 lb) of meat. The Sarawak Forest Department was established in 1919 to conserve forest resources in the state. Following international criticism of the logging industry in Sarawak, the state government decided to downsize the Sarawak Forest Department and created the Sarawak Forestry Corporation in 1995. The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre was set up in 1997 for the conservation, protection, and sustainable development of biodiversity in the state.
Sarawak's rain forests are primarily threatened by the logging industry and palm oil plantations. The issue of human rights of the Penan and deforestation in Sarawak became an international environmental issue when Swiss activist Bruno Manser visited Sarawak regularly between 1984 and 2000. Deforestation has affected the life of indigenous tribes, especially the Penan, whose livelihood is heavily dependent on forest produce. This led to several blockades by indigenous tribes during the 1980s and 1990s against logging companies encroaching on their lands. There have also been cases where Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands have been given to timber and plantation companies without the permission of the locals. The indigenous people have resorted to legal means to reinstate their NCR. In 2001 the High Court of Sarawak fully reinstated the NCR land claimed by the Rumah Nor people, but this was overturned partially in 2005. However, this case has served as a precedent, leading to more NCR being upheld by the high court in the following years. Sarawak's mega-dam policies, such as the Bakun Dam and Murum Dam projects, have submerged thousands of hectares of forest and displaced thousands of indigenous people. Since 2013, the proposed Baram Dam project has been delayed due to ongoing protests from local indigenous tribes. Since 2014, the Sarawak government under chief minister Adenan Satem started to take action against illegal logging in the state and to diversify the economy of the state. Through the course of 2016 over 2 million acres of forest, much of it in orangutan habitats, were declared protected areas.
Sources vary as to Sarawak's remaining forest cover: former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud declared that it fell from 70% to 48% between 2011 and 2012, the Sarawak Forest Department and the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment both held that it remained at 80% in 2012, and Wetlands International reported that it fell by 10% between 2005 and 2010, 3.5 times faster than the rest of Asia combined.
Historically, Sarawak's economy was stagnant during the rule of previous three white Rajahs. After the formation of Malaysia, Sarawak GDP growth rate has risen due to increase in petroleum output and the rise in global petroleum prices. However, the state economy is less diversified and still heavily dependent upon the export of primary commodities when compared to Malaysia overall. The per capita GDP in Sarawak was lower than the national average from 1970 to 1990. As of 2016, GDP per capita for Sarawak stands at RM 44,333 - the fifth highest in Malaysia. However, the urban-rural income gap remained a major problem in Sarawak.
Sarawak is abundant in natural resources, and primary industries such as mining, agriculture, and forestry accounted for 32.8% of its economy in 2013. It also specialises in the manufacture of food and beverages, wood-based and rattan products, basic metal products, and petrochemicals, as well as cargo and air services and tourism. The state's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.0% per year on average from 2000 to 2009, but became more volatile later on, ranging from −2.0% in 2009 to 7.0% in 2010. Sarawak contributed 10.1% of Malaysia's GDP in the nine years leading up to 2013, making it the third largest contributor after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. From 2006 to 2013, the oil and gas industry accounted for 34.8% of the Sarawak government's revenue. It attracted RM 9.6 billion (US$2.88 billion) in foreign investments, with 90% going to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), the second largest economic corridor in Malaysia.
The export-oriented economy is dominated by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which accounts for more than half of total exports. Crude petroleum accounts for 20.8%, while palm oil, sawlogs, and sawn timber account for 9.0% collectively. The state receives a 5% royalty from Petronas over oil explorations in its territorial waters. Most of the oil and gas deposits are located offshore next to Bintulu and Miri at Balingian basin, Baram basin, and around Luconia Shoals.
Sarawak is one of the world's largest exporters of tropical hardwood timber, constituting 65% of the total Malaysian log exports in 2000. The last United Nations statistics in 2001 estimated Sarawak's sawlog exports at an average of 14,109,000 cubic metres (498,300,000 cu ft) per year between 1996 and 2000.
In 1955, OCBC became the first foreign bank to operate in Sarawak, with other overseas banks following suit. Other notable Sarawak-based companies include Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad, Naim Holdings, and Rimbunan Hijau.
Electricity in Sarawak, supplied by the state-owned Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), is primarily sourced from traditional coal fired power plants and thermal power stations using LNG, but diesel based sources and hydroelectricity are also utilised. There are 3 hydroelectric dams as of 2015 at Batang Ai, Bakun, and Murum, with several others under consideration. In early 2016, SEB signed Malaysia's first energy export deal to supply electricity to neighbouring West Kalimantan in Indonesia.
In 2008, SCORE was established as a framework to develop the energy sector in the state, specifically the Murum, Baram, and Baleh Dams as well as potential coal-based power plants, and 10 high priority industries out to 2030. The Regional Corridor Development Authority is the government agency responsible for managing SCORE. The entire central region of Sarawak is covered under SCORE, including areas such as Samalaju (near Bintulu), Tanjung Manis, and Mukah. Samalaju will be developed as an industrial park, with Tanjung Manis as a halal food hub, and Mukah as the administrative centre for SCORE with a focus on resource-based research and development.
Tourism plays a major role in the economy of the state, contributing 7.89% of the state's GDP in 2016. Foreign visitors to Sarawak are predominantly from Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, China and the United Kingdom. A number of different organisations, both state and private, are involved in the promotion of tourism in Sarawak: the Sarawak Tourism Board is the state body responsible for tourism promotion in the state, various private tourism groups are united under the Sarawak Tourism Federation, and the Sarawak Convention Bureau is responsible for attracting conventions, conferences, and corporate events which are held in the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching. The public and private bodies in Sarawak hold a biannual event to award the Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Award, an award for achievements within various categories, to recognise businesses and individuals for their efforts in the development of tourism within the state.
The Rainforest World Music Festival is the region's primary musical event, attracting more than 20,000 people annually. Other events that are held regularly in Sarawak are the ASEAN International Film Festival, Asia Music Festival, Borneo Jazz Festival, Borneo Cultural Festival, and Borneo International Kite Festival. Major shopping complexes in Sarawak include The Spring, Boulevard, Hock Lee Centre, City One shopping malls in Kuching, and Bintang Megamall, Boulevard, Imperial Mall, and Miri Plaza shopping malls in Miri.
|Key tourism indicators||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
|Foreign arrivals (millions)||1.897||2.343||2.635||2.665||2.996||2.497||2.258||2.639|
|Domestic arrivals (West Malaysia and Sabah) (millions)||1.373||1.452||1.434||1.707||1.862||2.020||2.402||2.217|
|Total arrivals (millions)||3.271||3.795||4.069||4.372||4.858||4.517||4.661||4.856|
|Total tourism receipts, billions (RM)||6.618||7.914||8.573||9.588||10.686||9.870||8.37||8.59|
|Total tourism receipts, billions (equivalent USD)||1.489||2.374||2.786||2.876||3.206||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Infrastructure development in Sarawak is overseen by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, successor to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Communications (MIDCom) after it was renamed in 2016. Despite this ministerial oversight, infrastructure in Sarawak remains relatively underdeveloped compared to Peninsular Malaysia.
In 2009, 94% of urban Sarawak was supplied with electricity, but only 67% of rural areas had electricity. However, this had increased to 91% by 2014. According to a 2015 article, household internet penetration in Sarawak was lower than Malaysian national average, 41.2% versus 58.6%, with 58.5% of internet use being in urban areas and 29.9% in rural areas. In comparison, mobile telecommunication uptake in Sarawak was comparable to the national average, 93.3% against a national average of 94.2%, and on par with neighbouring Sabah. Mobile telecommunication infrastructure, specifically broadcast towers, are built and managed by Sacofa Sdn Bhd (Sacofa Private Limited), which enjoys a monopoly in Sarawak after the company was granted a 20-year exclusivity deal on the provision, maintenance and leasing of towers in the state.
A number of different bodies manage the supply of water depending on their region of responsibility, including the Kuching Water Board (KWB), Sibu Water Board (SWB), and LAKU Management Sdn Bhd, which handle water supply in Miri, Bintulu, and Limbang respectively, and the Rural Water Supply Department managing the water supply for the remaining areas. As of 2014, 82% of the rural areas have a fresh water supply.
Much like many former British territories, Sarawak uses a dual carriageway with the left-hand traffic rule. As of 2013, Sarawak had a total of 32,091 kilometres (19,940 mi) of connected roadways, with 18,003 kilometres (11,187 mi) being paved state routes, 8,313 kilometres (5,165 mi) of dirt tracks, 4,352 kilometres (2,704 mi) of gravel roads, and 1,424 kilometres (885 mi) of paved federal highway. The primary route in Sarawak is the Pan Borneo Highway, which runs from Sematan, Sarawak, through Brunei to Tawau, Sabah. Despite being a major highway, the condition of the road is poor leading to numerous accidents and fatalities. 16 billion ringgit worth of contracts were awarded to a number of local companies in December 2016 to add new vehicle and pedestrian bridges, interchanges and bus shelters to the highway as part of a multi-phase project.
A railway line existed before the war, but the last remnants of the line were dismantled in 1959. A rail project was announced in 2008 to be in line with the transport needs of SCORE, but as yet no construction work has begun despite an anticipated completion date in 2015. In 2017, the Sarawak government proposed a light rail system (Kuching Line) connecting Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions with anticipated completion in 2020. Currently, buses are the primary mode of public transportation in Sarawak with interstate services connecting the state to Sabah, Brunei, and Pontianak (Indonesia).
Sarawak is served by a number of airports with Kuching International Airport, located south west of Kuching, being the largest. Flights from Kuching are mainly to Kuala Lumpur but also to Johor Bahru, Penang, Sabah, Kelantan, Singapore and Pontianak, Indonesia. A second airport at Miri serves flights primarily to other Malaysian states as well as services to Singapore. Other smaller airports such as Sibu Airport, Bintulu Airport, Mukah Airport, Marudi Airport, Mulu Airport, and Limbang Airport provide domestic services within Malaysia. There are also a number of remote airstrips serving rural communities in the state. Three airlines serve flights in Sarawak, Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, and MASwings all of which use Kuching Airport as their main hub. The state owned Hornbill Skyways is an aviation company that largely provides private chartered flights and flight services for public servants.
Sarawak has four primary ports located at Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, and Miri. The busiest seaport at Bintulu is under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian federal government and mainly handles LNG products and regular cargo. The remaining ports are under the respective state port authorities. The combined throughput of the four primary ports was 61.04 million freight weight tonnes (FWT) in 2013. Sarawak has 55 navigable river networks with a combined length of 3,300 kilometres (2,100 mi). For centuries, the rivers of Sarawak have been a primary means of transport as well as a route for timber and other agricultural goods moving downriver for export at the country's major ports. Sibu port, located 113 kilometres (70 mi) from the river's mouth, is the main hub along the Rajang River mainly handling timber products. However, the throughput of Sibu port has declined over the years after Tanjung Manis Industrial Port (TIMP) began operating further downriver.
Health care in Sarawak is provided by three major government hospitals, Sarawak General Hospital, Sibu Hospital, and Miri Hospital, as well as numerous district hospitals, public health clinics, 1Malaysia clinics, and rural clinics. Besides government-owned hospitals and clinics, there are several private hospitals in Sarawak such as the Normah Medical Specialists Centre, Timberland Medical Specialists Centre, and Sibu Specialist Medical Centre. Hospitals in Sarawak typically provide the full gamut of health care options, from triage to palliative care for the terminally ill. In 1994, Sarawak General Hospital Department of Radiotherapy, Oncology & Palliative Care instituted an at-home care, or hospice care, program for cancer patients. The non profit Sarawak Hospice Society was established in 1998 to promote this program. In comparison to the number of other medical facilities, mental health is only serviced by a single facility, Hospital Sentosa. This abundance of medical services has made Sarawak a medical tourism destination for visitors from neighbouring Brunei and Indonesia.
In comparison to the prevalence of health services in urban regions, much of rural Sarawak is only accessible by river transport, which limits access. Remote rural areas that are beyond the operating areas of health clinics, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi), and inaccessible by land or river are serviced by a monthly flying doctor service, which was established in 1973. A village health promoter program, where volunteers are provided with basic medical training, was established in 1981 but difficulty in providing medical supplies to remote villages, as well as a lack of incentive, resulted in a decline of the program. A variety of traditional medicine practices are still being used by the various communities in Sarawak to supplement modern medical practices but this practice is also declining. However, since 2004, there has been a resurgence in traditional medicine in Malaysia resulting in the establishment of a traditional medicine division within the Ministry of Health. A 2006 government program to have integrated hospitals led to numerous universities starting programs to teach traditional medicine and major hospitals, including Sarawak General Hospital, providing traditional therapies.
Education in Malaysia falls under the remit of two federal ministries; the Malaysian Ministry of Education is responsible for primary and secondary education, while the Ministry of Higher Education has oversight over public universities, polytechnic and community colleges. Early childhood education is not directly controlled by the Ministry of Education as it does with primary and secondary education. However, the ministry does oversee the licensing of private kindergartens, the main form of early childhood education, in accordance with the National Pre-School Quality Standard, which was launched in 2013.
Around the time of Federation, overall literacy in Sarawak was quite low. In 1960, the overall literacy rate was 25%, with a heavy slant in the literacy rate towards the Chinese population, 53%, compared with that of indigenous peoples which was substantially lower, only 17%. By 2007, overall literacy in adults aged 15 and over had significantly increased to 92.3% and in 2012, this had climbed to 96%.
There were 1480 schools in Sarawak in 2014, of which 1271 were primary, 202 were secondary and 7 were vocational/technical secondary schools. Among these are a number of schools that date from the Brooke era, including St. Thomas's School Kuching (1848), St Mary's School Kuching (1848), and St Joseph's School Kuching (1882). As well as government schools, there are four international schools: Tunku Putra School, a primary and secondary school offering national and Cambridge curricula, Lodge International School, which is also open to local students and uses both the British National and Cambridge systems, Kidurong International School, which is owned by Shell and offers primary education mainly to children of employees but local children may enter depending on space availability, and Tenby International School, which opened in 2014 and is open to both local and expatriate children. There are also 14 Chinese independent secondary schools in Sarawak that teach in Chinese rather than English or Malay. Previously, only Chinese students were enrolled in these schools, but mobility of the workforce has led to increasing turnover of students as parents move to other areas for employment. This has led to an increasing number of bumiputera students being enrolled in Chinese schools.
Sarawak is home to three public universities – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Teknologi Mara at Kota Samarahan, and Universiti Putra Malaysia – as well as the private Curtin University, Malaysia and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. The latter two are satellite campuses of Curtin University in Perth and Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.
With the establishment of SCORE and the associated potential of 1.6 million more jobs by 2030, the state government allocated RM1 billion from 2016 to 2020 to a Skills Development Fund for vocational education. In 2015, Petronas provided vocational scholarships to 150 underprivileged Sarawak students as part of its Vocational Institution Sponsorship and Training Assistance program, although it had been criticised for under-representing local students in its previous allocations; the company also provided support to other Sarawak vocational education centres.
The 2015 census of Malaysia reported a population of 2,636,000 in Sarawak, making it the fourth most populous state. However, this population is distributed over a large area resulting in Sarawak having the lowest population density in the country with only 20 people per km2. Although it has a low population density, the average population growth rate of 1.8%, from 2000 to 2010, is very close to the national average of 2.0%. In 2014, 58% of the population resided in urban areas with the remainder in rural areas, but over the next 10 years it is predicted that the urban population would rise to 65%. As of 2011, the crude birth rate in Sarawak was 16.3 per 1000 individuals, the crude death rate was 4.3 per 1000 population, and the infant mortality rate was 6.5 per 1000 live births.
Urban populations consist predominantly of Malays, Melanaus, Chinese, and a small population of urban Ibans and Bidayuhs who migrated from their home villages seeking employment. The latter two are among the more than 40 sub-ethnic groups of Sarawak, many of whom still inhabit remote areas and are referred to as Orang Asal. The Orang Asal, and Malays, of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah are referred to collectively as Bumiputera (son of the soil). This classification grants them special privileges in education, jobs, finance, and political positions.
The registration for, and issuing of, National identity cards, a legally required document for accessing various services, to these remote tribes has been problematic for many years, and in the past had even resulted in a large number of people from the Penan ethnic group being rendered effectively stateless. In recent years, this issue has seen progressive improvement with the implementation of systems such as mobile registration units.
Sarawak has a large immigrant work force with as many as 150,000 registered foreign migrant workers working as domestic workers or in plantation, manufacturing, construction, services and agriculture. However, this population of legally registered workers is overshadowed by a large population of between 320,000 and 350,000 illegal workers.
Sarawak has six major ethnic groups, Iban, Chinese, Malay, Bidayuh, Melanau, and Orang Ulu, as well as a number of ethnic groups with smaller but still substantial populations, such as the Kedayan, Javanese, Bugis, Murut, and Indian. In 2015, the Bidayuh and Iban, both indigenous ethnic groups of Sarawak, were officially recognised by the government of Malaysia as comprising the Dayak people.
The population of 745,400 of the Iban people in Sarawak, based on 2014 statistics, makes it the largest ethnic group in the state. The Iban were, in the past, a society that paid particular attention to social status, especially to those who displayed martial prowess as well as to those who demonstrated expertise in various fields such as farming and oratory. Specific terms were used to refer to those who belonged to particular social strata, such as the raja berani (rich and the brave), orang mayuh (ordinary people), and ulun (slaves). Despite modern influences, Iban still observe many of their traditional rituals such as Gawai Antu (festival of the dead) and Gawai Dayak (Harvest Festival).
Although the presence of Chinese in Sarawak dates back to the 6th century AD when traders first came to the state, the Chinese population today largely consists of communities originating from immigrants during the Brooke era. This migration was driven by the employment opportunities at gold mines in Bau. Sarawak Chinese are primarily Buddhist and Christian, and speak a multitude of dialects: Cantonese, Foochow, Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew, and Henghua (Putian people). They celebrate major cultural festivals such as Hungry Ghost Festival and the Chinese New Year much as their ancestors did. Chinese settlers in Sarawak were not limited to any one area. Those who settled in Kuching did so near the Sarawak River in an area that is now referred to as Chinatown. Immigrants from Fujian, led by Wong Nai Siong in 1901, settled along the Rajang River in what is now Sibu, while those who arrived in Miri sought work in the coal mines and oilfields.
During the Brooke era, Sarawak Malays were predominantly fishermen, leading to their villages being concentrated along river banks. However, with the advent of urban development, many Malays have migrated to seek employment in public and private sectors. Traditionally, they are known for their silver and brass crafts, wood carvings, and textiles.
The Melanau are a native people of Sarawak that lived in areas primarily around the modern city of Mukah, where they worked as fishermen and craftsmen as well renowned boat-builders. Historically the Melanau practised Animism, a belief that spirits inhabited objects in their environment, and while this is still practised today, most Melanau have since been converted to Christianity and Islam.[note 7]
The Bidayuh are a southern Sarawak people, that were referred to by early European settlers as Land Dayaks because they traditionally live on steep limestone mountains. They account for 8.4 percent of the population of Sarawak and are the second most numerous of the indigenous Dayak people, after the Iban. The Bidayuh are indigenous to the areas that comprise the modern day divisions of Kuching and Samarahan. Although considered one people, their language is regionally distinct resulting in dialects that are unintelligible to Bidayuh from outside the immediate locale, resulting in English and Malay being the lingua franca. Like many other indigenous peoples, the majority of the Bidayuh have been converted to Christianity, but still live in villages consisting of longhouses, with the addition of the distinctive round baruk where communal gatherings were held.
The numerous tribes who reside in Sarawak's interior such as the Kenyah, Kayan, Lun Bawang, Kelabit, Penan, Bisaya, and Berawan are collectively referred to as Orang Ulu. In the Iban language this name means "Upriver People," reflecting the location these tribes settled in; most of them reside near the drainage basin of the Baram River. Both woodworking and artistry are highly visible aspects of Orang Ulu culture exemplified by mural covered longhouses, carved wooden boats, and tattooing. Well-known musical instruments from the Orang Ulu are the Kayans' sapeh and Kenyah's sampe' and Lun Bawang's bamboo band. The Kelabit and Lun Bawang people are known for their production of fragrant rice. As with the many other indigenous peoples of Sarawak, the majority of Orang Ulu are Christians.
Although Islam is the official religion of the federation, Sarawak has no official state religion. However, during the chieftainship of Abdul Rahman Ya'kub, the Constitution of Sarawak was amended to make the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the head of Islam in Sarawak and empower the state assembly to pass laws regarding Islamic affairs. With such provisions, Islamic policies can be formulated in Sarawak and the establishment of Islamic state agencies is possible. The 1978 Majlis Islam Bill enabled the setting up of Syariah Courts in Sarawak with jurisdictions over matrimonial, child custody, betrothal, inheritance, and criminal cases in the state. An appeals court and Courts of Kadi were also formed.[note 8]
Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia where Christians outnumber Muslims. The earliest Christian missionaries in Sarawak were Church of England (Anglicans) in 1848, followed by Roman Catholics a few years later, and Methodists in 1903. Evangelizing first took place among the Chinese immigrants before spreading to indigenous animists. Other Christian denominations in Sarawak are Borneo Evangelical Mission (or Sidang Injil Borneo), and Baptists. Indigenous people such as the Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu have adopted Christianity although they do retain some of their traditional religious rites. Many Muslims come from the Malay and Melanau. Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religion are predominantly practised by Chinese Malaysians. Other minor religions in Sarawak are Baha'i, Hinduism, Sikhism, and animism.
English was the official language of Sarawak from 1963 to 1974 due to opposition from First Chief Minister of Sarawak Stephen Kalong Ningkan to the use of the Malaysian language in Sarawak. In 1974, the new Chief Minister Abdul Rahman Ya'kub recognised Malay alongside English as an official language of Sarawak.[note 9] This new status given to the Malay language was further reinforced by new education standards transitioning curriculum to Malay. In 1985 English lost the status of an official language, leaving only Malay.[note 10] Despite official policy, Sarawak opposition members argue that English remained the de facto official language of Sarawak. English is still spoken in the legal courts, and state legislative assembly. In 2015, Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced that English will be reinstated as an official language.
Although the official form of Malay, Bahasa Malaysia, is spoken by the government administration, it is used infrequently in colloquial conversation. The local dialect of Bahasa Sarawak (Sarawak Malay) dominates the vernacular. Bahasa Sarawak is the most common language of Sarawak Malays and other indigenous tribes. The Iban language, which has minor regional variations, is the most widely spoken native language, with 34 percent of the Sarawak population speaking it as a first language. The Bidayuh language, with six major dialects, is spoken by 10 percent of the population. The Orang Ulu have about 30 different language dialects. While the ethnic Chinese originate from a variety of backgrounds and speak many different dialects such as Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Fuzhou, and Teochew, they also converse in Malaysian Mandarin.
The location and history of Sarawak has resulted in a broad diversity of ethnicity, culture and languages. Among the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, outside influences have led to many changes over time. The Iban tribal culture in Sarawak centred on the concept of the warrior and the ability to take heads from other tribes in battle. This practice, central as it was to the Iban people, was made illegal under James Brooke's rule and ultimately faded away although reminders of the practice are still seen in some long houses. Two other tribal peoples of the Sarawak Highlands, the Kelabit and Lun Bawang, have seen fundamental changes to their ethnic identities as a direct result of their conversion to Christianity. One major change was the shift in the focal point of their social interactions from the traditional long house to the local church. Their religious devotion has also helped shape their worldview outside of their village, particularly in response to change. For the Penan people, one of the last tribes to still be practising a nomadic lifestyle within the jungle, outside influence, particularly education, has resulted in a significant decline in the population that practice the nomadic lifestyle. Others settle down after intermixing with members of different tribes, such as the Orang Ulu. One direct result of this diversity in cultures, engendered by a policy of tolerance to all races, is the increasing numbers of tribal peoples marrying not only other Sarawakian tribes, but also to Chinese, Malays as well as citizens of European or American descent.
The indigenous tribes of Sarawak traditionally used oratory to pass on their culture from one generation to the next;[note 11] examples of these traditional practices include the Iban's Ngajat dances, Renong (Iban vocal repertory), Ensera (Iban oral narratives),[note 12] and epic storytelling by the Kayan and Kenyah.
In the years before federation, the colonial government recognised that British education and indigenous culture was influencing a new generation of Iban teachers. Thus, on 15 September 1958, the Borneo Literature Bureau was inaugurated with a charter to nurture and encourage local literature while also supporting the government in its release of documentation, particularly in technical and instructional manuscripts that were to be distributed to the indigenous peoples of Sarawak and Sabah. As well as indigenous languages, documents would also be published in English, Chinese and Malay. In 1977, the bureau came under the authority of the federal government language planning and development agency, the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), which advocated publication only in Malay ultimately causing the demise of fledgling indigenous literature.[note 13]
It was a number of decades before print media began to appear in Sarawak. The Sarawak Gazette, published by the Brooke government, recorded a variety of news relating to economics, agriculture, anthropology, archaeology, began circulation in 1870 and continues in modern times. However, in the decades following federation, restrictive laws and connections to businesses have meant that the media is a largely state-owned enterprise.[note 14] One of the earliest known text publications in Borneo, Hikayat Panglima Nikosa (Story of Nikosa the Warrior), was first printed in Kuching, 1876.
There are a number of museums in Sarawak that preserve and maintain artefacts of Sarawak's culture. At the foot of Mount Santubong, Kuching, is Sarawak Cultural Village, a "living museum" that showcases the various ethnic groups carrying out traditional activities in their respective traditional houses. The Sarawak State Museum houses a collection of artefacts such as pottery, textiles, and woodcarving tools from various ethnic tribes in Sarawak, as well as ethnographic materials of local cultures. Orang Ulu's Sapeh (a dug-out guitar) is the best known traditional musical instrument in Sarawak and was played for Queen Elizabeth II during her official visit to Sarawak in 1972.
Sarawakians observe a number of holidays and festivals throughout the year. Apart from national Hari Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations, the state also celebrates Sarawak self-government Day on 22 July and the State Governor's birthday. Ethnic groups also celebrate their own festivals. The open house tradition allows other ethnic groups to join in the celebrations. Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia to declare the Gawai Dayak celebration a public holiday.
Sarawak being home to diverse communities, Sarawakian cuisine has a variety of ethnically influenced cuisines and cooking styles rarely found elsewhere in Malaysia. Notable dishes in the state include Sarawak laksa, kolo mee, and ayam pansuh. The state is also known for its Sarawak layer cake dessert.
Sarawak sent its own teams to participate in the 1958 and 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, and 1962 Asian Games; after 1963, Sarawakians competed as part of the Malaysian team. Sarawak hosted the Malaysian SUKMA Games in 1990 and 2016, and was overall champion in the 1990, 1992, and 1994 SUKMA games. Sarawak has been overall champion for 11 consecutive years at the Malaysia Para Games since 1994.
In case of Santubong, its association with T'ang and Sung porcelain would necessary provide a date of about 8th – 13th century A.D.
... but Castanheda lists five great seaports that he says were known to the Portuguese. In his transcriptions they are called "Moduro" (Marudu?), "Cerava" (Sarawak?), "Laue" (Lawai), "Tanjapura" (Tanjungpura), and "Borneo" (Brunei) from which the island derives its name.
Carena (for Carena), deep in the bight, refers to Sarawak, the Kuching area, where there is clear archaeological evidence of an ancient trade center just inland from Santubong.
Sarawak was recognised as a separate state by the United States (1850) and Great Britain (1864), and voluntarily became a British protectorate in 1888.
In 1888, the three states of Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei were transformed into protectorates, a status which handed over the responsibility for their foreign policy to the British in exchange for military protection.
... the major parties in each state fall quite neatly into three categories: native-non-Muslim, native-Muslim, and non-native.
The strongman-politician postponed the negeri election ... (page 91)
For this reason, Sarawak held its state and parliamentary elections separately – and has been adhering to the practice since 1979 whereas all the other states still hold the two elections concurrently (see Table).
Charles Brooke set up the Sarawak Rangers in 1862 as a paramilitary force for pacifying 'ulu' Dayaks.
Mr. J.P. Mead became the first Conservator of Forests, Sarawak Forest Department, in 1919. The objectives of the Department were to manage and conserve the State's forest resources.
One dam has already displaced 10,000 native people and will flood an area the size of Singapore.
Work on access roads to the dam site began but came to a halt in October 2013 when local communities launched two blockades to stop construction and other project preparations from proceeding.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today admitted the oil and gas royalty negotiations – for a hike of 15% from 5% to 20% – with Petronas and Putrajaya have ended in deadlock, but has vowed to fight for it "as long as I'm alive".
A simplified map showing the distribution of major sedimentary basins onshore and offshore Borneo.
In 2000, of the country's total sawlog production of 23 million m3, Peninsular Malaysia contributed 22 percent, Sabah 16 percent, and Sarawak 62 percent. Sawlog production figures for 1996–2000 are shown in Table 2.
... Murum HEP had officially started commercial operation on 8 June 2015,"...
All the same, there are important variations in the quantity and quality of infrastructure stocks, with infrastructure more developed in peninsular Malaysia than in Sabah and Sarawak.
"In 2014, 82% of houses located in Sarawak rural areas have access to water supply in comparison to 59% in 2009." Fadillah also said that the rural electricity coverage had improved over the last few years with 91% of the households in Sarawak having access to electricity in 2014 compared to 67% in 2009.
All major roads are dual carriageways; there are no multi-lane expressways. In Malaysia, you drive on the left-hand side of the road and cars are right-hand drive.
Dr Jerip said there were currently 248 specialists distributed among the major hospitals in the state, comprising the Sarawak General Hospital, Sibu Hospital and Miri Hospital, as well as several divisional hospitals.
Sarawak's 221 public health clinics include only seven rural clinics. Services for the poor are also provided at 1Malaysia clinics, where assistant medical officers provide basic health care, but again, these clinics – of which the state has 18 – have historically been located mainly in urban areas.
The FDS in Sarawak was launched in 1973 to provide healthcare to communities residing outside the 'extended operational area' limits of the health centre (beyond 12 km).
While there were systems of tradiional medicine and a traditional pharmacopoenia amongst the indigenous communities in Sarawak, they have largely fallen into disuse ...
There are nine integrated public hospitals which are practicing T&CM in Malaysia. ... Sarawak General Hospital ... These hospitals practice traditional Malay massage, acupuncture, herbal oncology and postnatal massage.
The eight schools missing from the incomplete list are St. Thomas's School Kuching (1848), St Mary's School Kuching (1848), St Joseph's School Kuching (1882), St Teresa's School Kuching (1885), St Michael's School Sandakan (1886), St Michael's School Penampang (1888), All Saints' School, Likas (1903) and St Patrick's School Tawau (1917).
Under the 11th Malaysia Plan from 2016 to 2020, the government has allocated RM1 billion for a Skills Development Fund to enable more students to receive skills and vocational education.
In Malaysia, Bumiputera (literally translated as 'prince of the earth' or 'son of the land') refers to the Malay and other indigenous people. ... The Bumiputera in general enjoy special privileges as part of the affirmative action for advancement of the community, and these include priority in university entry, scholarships, and government jobs, special finance schemes, and political positions.Cite uses deprecated parameter
There are several other minor ethnic groups placed under the 'others', such as Indian, Eurasian, Kedayan, Javanese, Bugis and Murut.
Ibans are found in all political divisions of Borneo but in largest numbers in Sarawak. ... Christian missionaries have been active among the Ibans for more than a century, and today many Ibans are Christians.
Shortly thereafter, Huang decided to start a new settlement of Chinese in Malaysia in order to escape China's despotism and Fujian's poverty. ... In 1901, Huang traveled with settlers from Fujian to Sibu, where he founded New Fuzhou.
The Sarawak State Constitution is clear—Sarawak has no official religion, but the official website stated otherwise. This matter was pointed out by YB Baru Bian (Ba Kelalan assemblyman and state PKR chairman) in his letter to the state secretary in July this year, and no action was taken.
because of his strong defence of English as the language of instruction in Sarawak ... (page 58)
English was the official language of the State Legislative Assemblies and Courts in Sabah and Sarawak on Malaysia Day, 16 September 1963. Any change of the official language to Bahasa Melayu can only become effective when the State Legislative Assembly of Sabah or Sarawak agrees to adopt federal laws that make Bahasa Melayu the official language.
Nevertheless, all these ancient customs pertaining to headhunting are no longer observed in these modern days.
The Kayan and the Kenyah, who dwell in the upper region of Sarawak, have a vibrant epic-telling tradition that is elaborate and specialised.
Aside from that, the late Tusau Padan performed for Queen Elizabeth during her official visit to Sarawak in 1972, ...
Borneo (; Malay: Pulau Borneo, Indonesian: Kalimantan) is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java, west of Sulawesi, and east of Sumatra.
The island is politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. In the north, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up about 26% of the island. Additionally, the Malaysian federal territory of Labuan is situated on a small island just off the coast of Borneo. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area. A little more than half of the island is in the Northern Hemisphere including Brunei and the Malaysian portion, while the Indonesian portion spans both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world.Communist insurgency in Sarawak
The Communist insurgency in Sarawak occurred in Malaysia from 1962 to 1990, and involved the North Kalimantan Communist Party and the Malaysian Government. It was one of the two Communist insurgencies to challenge the former British colony of Malaysia during the Cold War. As with the earlier Malayan Emergency (1948–1960), the Sarawak Communist insurgents were predominantly ethnic Chinese, who opposed to British rule over Sarawak and later opposed the merger of the state into the newly created Federation of Malaysia. The insurgency was triggered by the 1962 Brunei Revolt, which had been instigated by the left-wing Brunei People's Party in opposition to the proposed formation of Malaysia.The Sarawak Communist insurgents were also supported by Indonesia until 1965 when the pro-Western President Suharto assumed power and ended the confrontation with Malaysia. During that period, the NKCP's two main military formations were created: the Sarawak People's Guerilla Force (SPGF) or Pasukan Gerilya Rakyat Sarawak (PGRS), and the North Kalimantan People's Army (NKPA) or the Pasukan Rakyat Kalimantan Utara (PARAKU). Following the end of the Confrontation, Indonesian military forces would co-operate with the Malaysians in counter-insurgency operations against their former allies.The North Kalimantan Communist Party was formally established in March 1970 through the merger of several Communist and left-wing groups in Sarawak including the Sarawak Liberation League (SLL), the Sarawak Advanced Youths' Association (SAYA), and the NKPA. In response to the insurgency, the Malaysian federal government created several "controlled areas" along the Kuching-Serian road in Sarawak's First and Third Divisions in 1965. In addition, the Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Rahman Ya'kub also managed to convince many of the NKCP insurgents to enter into peace negotiations and lay down their arms between 1973 and 1974. Following the successful peace talks between the Malaysian government and the Malayan Communist Party in 1989, the remaining NKCP insurgents signed a peace agreement on 17 October 1990 which formally ended the insurgency.Crown Colony of Sarawak
The Crown Colony of Sarawak was a British Crown colony on the island of Borneo, established in 1946, shortly after the dissolution of the British Military Administration. It was succeeded as the state of Sarawak through the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.East Malaysia
East Malaysia (Malaysia Timur), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan (Sabah, Sarawak dan Labuan) or Malaysian Borneo, is the part of Malaysia on the island of Borneo, the world's third largest island. It consists of the Malaysian states of Sabah, closer to the Philippines than the west of the country, Sarawak in the west and the Federal Territory of Labuan. Labuan is an island in its small archipelago of the same name due north of Brunei; its closest land mass is with Sabah. It lies to the east of Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia), the part of the country on the Malay Peninsula. The two are separated by the South China Sea.East Malaysia is less populated and overall less developed in its settlements than its West which contains Kuala Lumpur and Penang however its land mass is larger and it has more of many natural resources including oil and gas reserves. City status award is restrained in the pan-regional style so reserved to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, and Miri; Victoria, Labuan for example is an Offshore Financial Centre and major port. In ecology it has a significant proportion of the biodiverse Borneo lowland rain forests and Borneo montane rain forests.James Brooke
Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, KCB (29 April 1803 – 11 June 1868), was a British soldier and adventurer who founded the Kingdom of Sarawak in Borneo. He ruled as the first White Rajah of Sarawak from 1841 until his death in 1868.
Brooke was born and raised under the Company Raj of the British East India Company in India. After a few years of education in England, he served in the Bengal Army, was wounded, and resigned his commission. He then bought a ship and sailed out to the Malay Archipelago where, by helping to crush a rebellion, he became governor of Sarawak. He then vigorously suppressed piracy in the region and, in the ensuing turmoil, restored the Sultan of Brunei to his throne, for which the Sultan made Brooke the Rajah of Sarawak. He ruled until his death.
Brooke was not without detractors and was criticised in the British Parliament and officially investigated in Singapore for his anti-piracy measures. He was, however, honoured and feted in London for his activities in Southeast Asia. The naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was one of many visitors whose published work spoke of his hospitality and achievements.Kingdom of Sarawak
The Kingdom of Sarawak (also known as the State of Sarawak) was a British protectorate located in the northwestern part of the island of Borneo. It was established as an independent kingdom from a series of land concessions acquired by an Englishman, James Brooke, from the Sultanate of Brunei. The kingdom received recognition as an independent state from the United States in 1850, and from the United Kingdom in 1864.
Following recognition, Brooke expanded the kingdom territory at the expense of Brunei. Several major rebellions occurred against his rule, causing him to be plagued by debt incurred in countering the rebellions, and the sluggish economic situation at the time. His nephew, Charles Brooke, succeeded James and normalised the situation by improving the economy, reducing government debts and establishing public infrastructure. The kingdom was made a British protectorate in 1888.
To gear up economic growth, the second Rajah encouraged the migration of Chinese workers from China and Singapore to work in the agricultural fields. With proper economic planning and stability, Sarawak prospered and emerged as one of the world's major producers of black pepper, in addition to oil and the introduction of rubber plantations. He was succeeded by his son Charles Vyner Brooke but World War II and the arrival of Japanese forces ultimately brought an end to the Raj and the Protectorate administration, with the territory placed under a military administration on the Japanese capitulation in 1945, and ceded to Britain as a Crown Colony in 1946. The area now forms the Malaysian state of Sarawak.Kuching
Kuching , officially the City of Kuching, is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. It is also the capital of Kuching Division. The city is situated on the Sarawak River at the southwest tip of the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo and covers an area of 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi) with a population about 165,642 in the Kuching North administrative region and 159,490 in the Kuching South administrative region—a total of 325,132 people.Kuching was the third capital of Sarawak in 1827 during the administration of the Bruneian Empire. In 1841, Kuching became the capital of the Kingdom of Sarawak after the territory in the area was ceded to James Brooke for helping the Bruneian empire in crushing a rebellion particularly by the interior Borneo dweller Land Dayak people who later became his loyal followers after most of them being pardoned by him and joining his side. The town continued to receive attention and development during the rule of Charles Brooke such as the construction of a sanitation system, hospital, prison, fort, and a bazaar. In 1941, the Brooke administration had a Centenary Celebration in Kuching. During World War II, Kuching was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese government set up a Batu Lintang camp near Kuching to hold prisoners of war and civilian internees. After the war, the town survived intact. However, the last Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke decided to cede Sarawak as part of British Crown Colony in 1946. Kuching remained as capital during the Crown Colony period. After the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Kuching retained its status as state capital and was granted city status in 1988. Since then, the Kuching city is divided into two administrative regions managed by two separate local authorities. The administrative centre of Sarawak state government is located at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Kuching.
Kuching is a major food destination for tourists and the main gateway for travellers visiting Sarawak and Borneo. Kuching Wetlands National Park is located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city and there are many other tourist attractions in and around Kuching such as Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), state assembly building, The Astana, Fort Margherita, Kuching Cat Museum, and Sarawak State Museum. The city has become one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia.Languages of Malaysia
The indigenous languages of Malaysia belong to the Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian families. The national, or official, language is Malay which is the mother tongue of the majority Malay ethnic group. The main ethnic groups within Malaysia comprise the Malays, Chinese and Indians, with many other ethnic groups represented in smaller numbers, each with its own languages. The largest native languages spoken in East Malaysia are the Iban, Dusunic, and the Kadazan languages. English is widely understood and spoken in service industries and is a compulsory subject in primary and secondary school. It is also the main language spoken in most private colleges and universities. English may take precedence over Malay in certain official contexts as provided for by the National Language Act, especially in the states of Sabah and Sarawak, where it may be the official working language.
Malaysia contains speakers of 137 living languages, 41 of which are found in Peninsular Malaysia. The government provides schooling at the primary level in each of the three major languages, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Within Malay and Tamil there are a number of dialectal differences. There are a number of Chinese languages native to the ethnic Chinese who originated from southern China, which include Yue, Min and Hakka Chinese.List of Chief Ministers of Sarawak
The Chief Minister of Sarawak is the head of government in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. According to convention, the Chief Minister is the leader of the majority party or largest coalition party of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.
The 6th and current Chief Minister of Sarawak is Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg, who took office on 13 January 2017.Matu District
The Matu District is a district in Mukah Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. Before Mukah Division was established, Matu was within Sibu Division. There are more than 20 villages in the district, with Melanau making up the majority of the population. Chinese are the second biggest population after the Melanau. The population is estimated to be around 13,500 in 2006. The Majlis Daerah Matu-Daro (Matu-Daro District Council) is located in Matu town. The building itself is a landmark and the biggest building in Matu.Miri, Malaysia
Miri (Jawi: ميري; Chinese: 美里; pinyin: Méi Lǐ) is a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak, Malaysia, located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. The city covers an area of 997.43 square kilometres (385.11 sq mi), located 798 kilometres (496 mi) northeast of Kuching and 329 kilometres (204 mi) southwest of Kota Kinabalu. Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak, with a population of 358,020 as of 2016. The city is also the capital of Miri District of the Miri Division.
Before Miri was founded, Marudi was the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak. Miri was founded in 1910 when the first oil well was drilled by Royal Dutch Shell. The discovery of an oil field in Miri has led to rapid development of Miri town. Miri became the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak by 1929. During World War II, the Miri oil fields were destroyed by the Brooke government to sabotage Japanese operations in Southeast Asia but to no avail; Miri town was the first landing point of Japanese troops in Borneo. The subsequent Japanese occupation led Miri to become a target of Allied air raids which caused the destruction of oil refinery facilities in Miri. The petroleum industry continued to be a major player in the city's economy after the war. Oil exploration has moved offshore since the 1950s, but subsequently new inland oil fields were found in 1989 and 2011. In 1974, the formation of Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas led to co-operation between Petronas and Shell on oil exploration in the Miri region. In 2005, Miri became the 10th city in Malaysia to be granted official city status, the first non-state capital city to be bestowed such status.
Miri is the main tourist gateway to the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park; Loagan Bunut National Park; Lambir Hills National Park; Niah National Park and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park. The Gunung Mulu National Park with its Sarawak Chamber, which is the largest known cave chamber in the world by area, remains one of the favourite ecotourism destinations in Miri. Miri is also the birthplace of the Malaysian petroleum industry. Other major industries in the city include timber, oil palm and tourism.Pusa, Sarawak
Pusa is a town, in Betong Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. It is situated nearby Saratok town. Mostly form for native Malay for fish village and famous of fish of "ikan terubok" (Toli shad) and also famous for "gula apong" (palm sugar).Sarawak FA
Football Association of Sarawak (Malay: Persatuan Bolasepak Sarawak) is a football club that supervises football in the state of Sarawak. The association's football team competes in Malaysia's football league representing the state of Sarawak in Borneo. It is one of the 14 state teams of the Malaysian football structure. They currently compete in Malaysia's second division professional football league, the Malaysia Premier League. The team's home matches are played at the 26,000 capacity Sarawak State Stadium in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak.
The team has won the Malaysia FA Cup (1992), Premier League in 1997 and the Malaysia Charity Shield (1998). In 1999, the team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup after beating Ho Chi Minh Customs of V-League by 5–2 on aggregate in the first round and Yangon City Development of Myanmar Premier League by 4–0 on aggregate in the second round, only to crashing out later to Kashima Antlers of J-League by 2–14 on aggregate. In 2013, the team won the Malaysia Premier League which is their first domestic trophy in 12 years.Sarawak State Legislative Assembly
The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (Malay: Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak) is the state legislature of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is a unicameral institution consisting of 82 members elected from single-member constituencies throughout the state. Elections are held no more than five years apart.
The State Legislative Assembly convenes at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building in the state capital, Kuching. At 82 seats, it is the largest state legislature in Malaysia.Sarawak layer cake
The Sarawak layer cake is a layered cake, traditionally served in Sarawak, Malaysia on special occasions. In the Malay language, the cakes are known as kek lapis Sarawak, Kek lapis moden Sarawak, 'or simply Kek lapis. They are often baked for religious or cultural celebrations such as Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Deepavali, birthdays and weddings. People in Malaysia practice an open house on festival day. A unique feature of Sarawak's open houses is the modern layered cakes.Sarawakian cuisine
Sarawakian cuisine is a regional cuisine of Malaysia. Like the rest of Malaysian cuisine, Sarawak food is based on staples such as rice but there is a great variety of other ingredients and food preparations due to the influence of the state's varied geography and indigenous cultures quite distinct from the regional cuisines of the Peninsular Malaysia. Sarawak is famous for its multi-ethnic population. As the homeland of many unique communities, Sarawak has a variety of cuisines rarely found elsewhere in Malaysia. The uniqueness of Sarawak well depend on it ethnic groups. Every native group in Sarawak has their own lifestyle, traditions, cultures and also foods. Sarawak cuisine is less spicy and has a subtle in taste. It uses fresh seafood and natural herbs like turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, lime and tapioca leaves. These ingredients are not only easily available, but also add a hint of aroma, texture and freshness to the delicacies. Food is one of the most cultural identities for natives group in Sarawak with each ethnic has their own delicacies. The Iban popular with “tubu” (stems), “tuak” (alcoholic beverage made from rice wine) and “pansuh” (dish cooked with bamboo), the Malay with “bubur pedas” (porridge) and “kek lapis Sarawak” (Sarawak layer cake), the Bidayuh with “asam siok” (chicken rice that cooked in bamboo) and “sup ponas Bidayuh” (soup dish made of tapioca), the Melanau with “tebaloi” (Sago palm crackers), “sagu” (extracted from Sago palm) and “umai” (raw fish mixed with lime juice) and Orang Ulu well known with “garam barrio” (Highlands salt), “kikid” (broth), “tengayen” (local young leaves), and “urum giruq” (pudding).Song District, Sarawak
Song is a town, and the capital of the Song District (3,935.2 square kilometers) in Kapit Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. The district population was 20,046 according to the 2010 census. Song is situated by the banks of the Katibas River, a tributary of the Rajang River. It is an important stopover for river traffic going up the Rajang River.States and federal territories of Malaysia
The states and federal territories of Malaysia are the principal administrative divisions of Malaysia. Malaysia is a federation comprising 13 states (Negeri) and three federal territories (Wilayah Persekutuan).