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Sarawak
The enchanting state of Sarawak is Malaysia's largest state, endowed with the world's richest and most diverse ecosystem. Sarawak's ancient rainforest canopies, the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia; squirrels and snakes that can glide through the air, mouse deer the size of kittens, pitcher plants that eat insects and even relish the occasional small mammal. In fact, there are countless species of flora and fauna, yet to be discovered.

From pristine underwater marine life and untouched coral reefs to rich heritage and from wilderness to modern city landscape, Sarawak is a potpourri of experiences appreciated by travellers from all over the world. Head into Sarawak's interiors and your heartbeat will flutter at the fascinating and enchanting dances of the multi-ethnic tribes living harmoniously with each other.

Indeed, Sarawak is home to 28 ethnic groups; each with its own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. The Ibans form the major ethnic group on this land with about 30.1 per cent of the total population for the year 2000 census. The Chinese who generally live in the cities are the second largest group at 26.7 per cent, followed by the Bidayuh, Melanau and other native tribes of Sarawak. The Malays also constitute a large portion (23 per cent) of the population as well, mainly concentrated along the coast.

Sarawakians practise a variety of religions, including Islam, Christianity, Chinese folk religion (a fusion of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and ancestor worship), Bahai and animism. Many converts to Christianity among the Dayak people also continue to practice traditional ceremonies, particularly with dual marriage rites and during the important harvest and ancestral festivals such as Gawai Dayak and Gawai Antu.

Kuching is the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. Being the most populous city in the state of Sarawak, Kuching emerged as one of the most vibrant cities in the region and it is the largest city on the island of Borneo and the fourth largest city in Malaysia.Kuching was elevated to city status on 1 August 1988 and carries the nick name of Cat City.
The History
Sir James Brooke,
Rajah of Sarawak
Sarawak was a part of the Sultanate of Brunei 200 years ago but as a reward for help in putting down a rebellion, it was ceded to the British adventurer James Brooke who ruled it as his personal kingdom. Kuching was made his capital and headquarters. The Brooke Administration was given the status of Protectorate under Rajah Charles Brooke's rule and was placed behind the Indian Rajs and Princes. The Brooke family ruled Sarawak until the Japanese occupation in December 1941.

Kuching was surrendered to the Japanese forces on 24 December 1941, and Sarawak was part of the Japanese Imperial Empire for three years and eight months, until the official Japanese surrender on 11 September 1945 on board HMAS Kapunda at Kuching. From March 1942 the Japanese operated a POW and civilian internee camp at Batu Lintang, three miles (5 km) outside Kuching.

After the end of World War II the third and last Raja, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke ceded Sarawak to the British Crown in 1946. Sarawak and the British Commonwealth fought an "Undeclared War" with Indonesia to keep Sarawak from being absorbed into Sukarno's Indonesia. The British gave Sarawak independence in 1963 and together with North Borneo, Sabah and Singapore, helped form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Singapore became an independent nation in 1965.
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