Sarawak As We Know It

76, Wayang Street,
93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: 6082-252137 Fax: 6082-252526
KKKP Reg. No: KKKP 2213
The Yacht set sailed by Sir James Brooke into Sarawak in 1839. Kuching in 1864
Sir James Brroke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak. Angela - James Brooke's Dream Girl

Sarawak's history as an independent entity begins with a remarkable story. It is a history that was reminiscent of an epic best seller, filled with adventure, piracy, headhunting and romance. When English adventurer James Brooke arrived in 1839, he managed to put the headhunting spree under control. During that time, Sarawak was also rebelling against the Brunei Sultanate, which James Brooke volunteered to quell. Brooke was successful, and as a reward the Pengiran Mahkota of Brunei made Brooke the Rajah of Sarawak in 1841.

His nephew Charles Brooke succeeded James in 1868, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son Charles Vyner in 1917. During Charles Brooke’s reign, 1868-1917, many of the historic buildings were built and today they are associated with the well-laid out Kuching Waterfront beautifying the meandering Sarawak River. During the Second World War Sarawak was occupied by Japanese forces, but it was subsequently ceded to Britain after the war and became a British Crown Colony. Sarawak joined Malaysia in 1963 and today observes a democratic system of government..

Sarawak is the largest of the 13 states that make up Malaysia. Covering an area of about 124,000 sq. km, it stretches some 700km along the northwestern coast of Borneo (the third largest island in the world) and is flanked by Kalimantan (Indonesia) in the south, and Sabah and Brunei in the north. It has a coastline of some 800 kilometers facing the South China Sea. Sarawak is also known as 'The land of many rivers'. The rivers provide natural means of transportation and communication. The 590 kilometers long Sungai Rejang is the longest river in Malaysia, which Sarawak belonged to. The rivers together with the wide spread trunk roads and well connected domestic air links make travelling to interior destinations easily accessible. Separated from Peninsula Malaysia by the South China Sea, it has a warm and equable climate, with an average annual temperature of 25.6-degree celcius. It is Malaysia's largest state with a land area of 124,967 kilometers. Sarawak has a population of almost two million people including Malay, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kayan, Penan and other indigenous groups, all with their own culture and life style.

Since 1963 when Sarawak became part of the Federation of Malaysia, Kuching has changed and developed into a flourishing modern city. Kuching, the capital of Sarawak has a long history as a trading center, which, over the centuries has brought people from various countries to settle in the area. Malays, Chinese, Indians, Europeans and others have joined the many indigenous groups of the region to create a city with a rich and unique cultural heritage. With a population of almost half a million, Kuching is the economic and political center of the state, and was declared a city on 1st August 1988. Miri, the largest town, lies next to the oil-rich sultanate of Brunei. The riverine state of Sarawak occupies the northwest coastal strip of the vast island of Borneo.

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Last Updated: Labor Day May 1, 2000

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