Sarawak is located on the island of Borneo. It is the largest State among 13 States in Malaysia. The State of Sarawak cover an area of 124,449.51 sq. km, it is about 37% of the Malaysia total land area.
Sarawak also known as the Land of Hornbills. It was naturally blessed with vast areas of both lowland and highland rainforest. Sarawak’s forests are the State’s most important resource and asset, producing timber and a multitude of forest products. The rainforest is home to an incredible variety of more than 8,000 species of flora and over 20,000 fauna, the majority of which are insects. Sarawak also rich in its’ cultural, history and heritage; natural and adventure.
The administrative of Sarawak is currently divided into eleven divisions namely Kuching Division, Samarahan Division, Sri Aman Division, Betong Division, Sarikei Division, Sibu Division, Mukah Division, Kapit Division, Bintulu Division, Miri Division and Limbang Division. Kuching is the capital of Sarawak.
Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia. It is also the state with the most districts in Malaysia, home to Batang Rajang, the country’s longest river, the world’s biggest flower the Rafflesia, and the Brooke Birdwing, the world’s largest butterfly. Sarawak also boasts the world’s most extensive cave system, the world’s oldest rainforest the size of Austria and evidence of the earliest known existence of man in Southeast Asia.
Sarawak is presently divided into eleven divisions. Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. The rest are Sri Aman, Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Sarikei, Kapit, Kota Samarahan, Bintulu, Mukah and Betong. Kuching is the seat of government for modern Sarawak. It has a Chief Minister, which heads a Cabinet of Ministers. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri (or Governor), from amongst members of the State’s Legislative Council. Elections are held every five years. The present Chief Minister is YAB Pehin Sri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud. Kuching is also where the Head of the State of Sarawak, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) His Excellency Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng resides. In 1988, coinciding with Sarawak’s 25th Anniversary of Independence, the State adopted a new flag, state crest, state motto and state anthem.
The State Flag
Red symbolizes the courage, determination and sacrifices of the people in their tireless pursuit to attain and maintain progress and esteem in the course of creating a model State. Yellow signifies the supremacy of law and order, unity and stability in diversity. Black represents the rich natural resources of Sarawak such as petroleum and timber which provide the foundation for the advancement of the people. The yellow, nine-pointed star embodies the nine divisions which made up the state of Sarawak at the time (now, there are eleven divisions). The star symbol also embodies the aspirations of the people of Sarawak in their quest to improve their quality of life.
This flag was first hoisted at the Kuching State Stadium on 31 August 1988 in celebration of Sarawak’s 25th Anniversary of Independence.
The State Crest
The State Crest is represented by a symbolic figure of a wing-spread Kenyalang (hornbill) – the State Bird – with a shield bearing the state flag on its chest. The hornbill’s tail and wings are comprised of thirteen feathers or strips that represent the thirteen states in Malaysia. The Bunga Raya (Hibiscus) – the national flower – appears on the right and left sides of the bird’s legs. The hornbill is perched on a ribbon bearing the words “Bersatu, Berusaha, Berbakti” (United, Industrious, Dedicated) . The State Crest became official on the same day as the current State Flag.
Sarawak State Anthem
Composed by Wan Othman Hamid (b.1931) and with lyrics by Ismail Hassan (1922-1991). The State Anthem of Sarawak entitled Ibu Pertiwi Ku was adopted in 1988.
Ibu Pertiwi Ku
Sarawak Tanah Air Ku
Negeri Ku Tanah Air Ku Sarawak
Engkaulah Tanah Pusaka Ku
Tanah Tumpah Darah Ku
Ibu Pertiwi Ku
Rakyat Hidup Mesra dan Bahagia
Damai Muhibbah Sentiasa
Bersatu Berusaha Berbakti
Untuk Sarawak Ku CintaiSarawak Dalam Malaysia
Aman Makmur Rahmat Tuhan Maha Esa
Kekallah Sarawak Bertuah
Teras Perjuangan Rakyat
The State Bird
Our State Bird is the majestic Rhinoceros Hornbill, the inspiration for the state crest. Because there are many species of hornbill in Sarawak, the state is also known as the “Land of the Hornbills” or “Bumi Kenyalang”.
The rhinoceros hornbill, with its upswept phallic casque, represents one of the most powerful Dayak gods, Singalang Burong, who plays an important part in Iban religious festivals, especially Gawai Kenyalang.
Hornbills like to eat figs and play a great role in the “dispersal of figs”- a process which leads to the regeneration of Sarawak’s forest ecosystem.
Extracted from Sarawak Electronic Government