Monday, March 15, 2010

unique facts about Sarawak- my homeland!!!

Miri is the historic centre of Sarawak's oil industry, and visitors can still view the very first oil well, known as the “Grand Old Lady”, where oil was first struck in 1910.

The multi-billion dollar Malaysian Liquefied Natural Gas complex (MLNG) in Bintulu produces 23 million tons of liquid natural gas a year, and is the world's largest and most productive LNG plant.

The Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) plant in Bintulu is the first and only one of its kind in the world. It takes raw liquid natural gas as feedstock and transforms it into high quality speciality chemicals.


Sarawak is the first state in Malaysia to fully implement e-government, where every state government department can communicate with one another and is accessible to citizens via the Internet.

Sarawak's fastest growing industrial sector is microelectronics. Thanks to a well educated workforce, low land prices and special incentives from the government, there are now more than a dozen microelectronics and associated companies operating at the Sama Jaya Free Trade Zone in Kuching.

The Sarawak State Library, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, is the first E-library in Malaysia, i.e. the first to offer its full collection of books, documents, journals and archives to online users.

Sarawak's literacy rate has risen from less that 30% at independence to over 95% today, one of the greatest educational achievements in the developing world.

Sarawak is fast becoming one of the region's major educational hubs. It is home to two government universities, two branch campuses of Australian universities, two teacher training colleges and a host of private colleges offering external degree courses from universities around the word.

The city of Miri is home to the newest and most advanced Vocational Training Centre in Malaysia, offing skills training in everything from woodworking to TV production.

Sarawak's official bird is the Rhinoceros Hornbill, and the state is officially known as Bumi Kenyalang, Land of the Hornbills. In earlier times, the Ibans of Sarawak believed that the Rhinoceros Hornbill acted as a messenger between humans and their gods.

Sarawak's many ethnic groups all celebrate their festivals with “open house”, offering visitors traditional hospitality. The major “open house” festivals are Hari Raya Idul Fitri (Malays and other Muslims), Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali (Hindu) and Gawai Dayak (the Iban and Bidayuh harvest festival).
Sarawakians are always concerned for the well being of visitors, and it is unforgivable for a guest to go hungry. Instead if greeting people with “apa khabar” (how are you?) like other Malaysians, they often prefer to use “sudah makan?” (have you eaten?).

Sarawak has a very ancient history; the burial grounds at Niah Caves National Park are evidence of the oldest modern human settlement in Southeast Asia, and the cave area has been continuously inhabited for 40,000 years, making it one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Sarawak has been an important source of precious stones, birds' nests and jungle produce from as early as the 5th Century CE, according to ancient Chinese trading records.

Although ruled by foreign “White Rajahs”, Sarawak was still an independent country until 1946, when in a much-disputed Act of Cession it became one of Great Britain's last colonies. Sarawak regained independence with the Formation of Malaysia on 16th September 1963.


Sir James Brooke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak (ruled 1841-1868), was the model for the flawed yet heroic adventurer Jim in Joseph Conrad's famous novel, “Lord Jim”.

The famous English writer W. Somerset Maugham was almost drowned in the tidal bore on the Lupar River at Sri Aman in 1921. This later became the basis for one of his best known short stories, “The Yellow Streak”.

Sarawak is the location of most of the fictional adventures of the pirate king Sandokan, the “Tiger of Malaya” in the novels by Italian writer Emilio Salgari. These were made into an animated TV series in the 1990s.

The mixed dipterocarp forests that cover 50% of Sarawak's land area are one of the richest habitats known to science. They provide a home to more than 200 mammal species, 5,000 different species of beetle and over 3,500 species of butterflies and moths.

Gunung Mulu National Park, a World Heritage Site in Northeast Sarawak, can boast the world's largest cave chamber, the Sarawak Chamber, and the world's largest cave corridor, the Deer Cave.

Bako National Park, near Kuching, is no larger than Manhattan Island, yet this small area contains seven completely distinct plant ecosystems. Bako's weird and wonderful plant life includes air-breathing mangroves, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundews, and symbiotic ant-plants.

Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the great naturalist and co-proposer of the theory of evolution (with Sir Charles Darwin), did most of his work on natural selection in the rainforests of Sarawak.

Lambir Hills National Park near Miri is a very important centre for scientific research, especially plant sciences. Thanks to its unique geology and location, it has the highest level of plant biodiversity in the world.

Shell's virtual reality centre in Miri, the Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE), is the most advanced in Southeast Asia. It is used for well planning, seismic interpretation and platform design. Its high resolution projection system and huge 28-foot (9 metre) curved screen allows scientists to work directly with colleagues all over the world.

The Sarawak Stadium in Kuching was built in order to host the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1997. It is a world-class multi-use stadium seating 40,000 spectators, with excellent hospitality facilities and good access for disabled visitors.

The Sarawak Regatta is Sarawak's number one sporting and social event. Held since the mid 1860s, the first weekend of September sees thousands of locals lining the Kuching Waterfront to cheer on their favourite traditional war canoes.

Miri is the home of the first and only international standard motorsport facility in Borneo, the Miri International Go-Kart Stadium.

Sarawak has four major ports, at Kuching, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu. Bintulu is by far the largest as it is the only export gateway for Malaysia's biggest export earner - Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - and can handle the largest tankers currently afloat.

There are four international airports in Sarawak, at Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu, as well as over 20 minor airports and rural airstrips. Kuching is the largest,and is able to handle all types of aircraft up to Boeing 747-400. Sibu, Miri and Bintulu are all able to handle medium sized regional jets.

Sarawak is linked by road from north to south by the Pan Borneo Highway, which connects onwards to Sabah (through Brunei) and to Pontianak in West Kalimantan (Indonesia). All major towns and cities have easy road access to one another.

Sarawak is part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea. Borneo's land area of 744,108 square km (287,300 square miles) makes it slightly smaller than Turkey and about 15% larger than France.

Although surrounded by the volcanic and earthquake-prone “ring of fire”, Sarawak, like the rest of Borneo, enjoys very high geological stability and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are completely unknown.

Sarawak's 563 km long Rejang River is the longest in Malaysia, and drains roughly one third of Sarawak's entire land area. There are a further 20 major river systems in Sarawak that are each over 100 km in total length and drain over 1,000 square km.

The tallest building in Sarawak is currently the 28-storey Wisma Sanyan in Sibu. This will be eclipsed in 2009 with the construction of the 150-metre tall Kuching Tower, housing Sarawak's new state-of-the-art convention centre.

A small section of cave floor in Niah National Park is home to the world's first and only earwig sanctuary, protecting the unique earwigs that feed on the flaking skin of naked bats.

The Brooke dynasty, who ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1946 and were known as the “White Rajahs”, were arguably the last native Englishmen ever to rule a country, as the current British Royal Family is in fact of German descent.

* sources from ""

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