Pahang Terengganu Kelantan Penang Sabah Sarawak
Kuala Lumpur Labuan Putrajaya
Sarawak is the state of Malaysia in the northwestern portion of the island of Borneo, adjacent to Sabah.
Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia. It covers an area of 124,000 square kilometres and has a coastline of some 800km facing the South China Sea. Lying on the northwest coast of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, Sarawak shares its boundaries with Kalimantan (Indonesia Bomeo) in the south, Brunei and Sabah in the north.
Sarawak is also known as 'The land of many rivers'. The rivers provide natural means of transportation and communication. The 590km long Sungai Rejang is the longest river in the country. The rivers together with the wide spread trunk roads and well connected domestic air links make traveling to interior destinations easily accessible.
The population is composed chiefly of Malays, Dayaks, and Chinese. The majority of the people are Christians, although a large Muslim population exists.The official languages are Malay and English.
The capital is Kuching. Principal products include rubber, petroleum, timber, pepper, sago, rice, gold, and bauxite; coal resources exist.
Once ruled by the three White Rajahs for about 100 years from 1841-1941, there are many a romantic past told about the wars and glimpses of the bygone era of the Brookes. The battles between the pirates and the Brooke forces, the rebellions by Dayaks, Malays and Chinese gold miners had filled Sarawak past with mystery and excitement. The famous Sarawak Museum with its huge collection of native heritage and artefacts, also houses the best collection of its rich history. Today, despite her rapid urbanisation, many historical remains of the Brookes can still be found at Kuching and other parts of Sarawak.
Government of the present territory was obtained by the British soldier Sir James Brooke from the sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin II, in 1841. Sarawak was placed (1888) under British protection and was occupied by the Japanese in December 1941. In 1946 the raja ceded the country to Great Britain, and Sarawak became a crown colony.
Sarawak joined with the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, and Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) to form the independent Federation of Malaysia in 1963 (now Malaysia).
The head of state of Sarawak acts on the advice of a chief minister, who is responsible to a unicameral legislature. Area, about 124,449 sq km (48,050 sq mi); population (1990) 1,648,217.
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