Traveling to Sarawak
Sarawak is located immediately north of the Equator between latitude 0° 50’ and 5°N and longitude 109° 36′ and 115° 40′ E. It stretches some 800 kilometres along the northwest coast of Borneo, covering an area of 124,449.51 square kilometres.
The State is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea — a distance of 600 kilometres. It is directly joined to the State of Sabah to the northeast where the Sultanate of Brunei forms a double enclave. Inland, Sarawak borders with Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Climate / Rainfall
Sarawak has an equatorial climate. The temperature is relatively uniform throughout the year – within the range of 23°C early in the morning to 32°C during the day.
In the highland areas such as Bario, the temperature hovers between 16°C and 25 °C during the day and gets as low as 11°C on some nights.
The northeast monsoon, usually between November and February, brings heavy rain, while the southwest monsoon from June to October is usually milder. The average rainfall per year is between 3,300 millimetres and 4,600 millimetres, depending on locality.
Humidity is consistently high in the lowlands ranging from 80 per cent to 90 per cent.
Sarawak’s State Legislative Assembly, the oldest legislature in Malaysia, was established after its first inaugural meeting at Bintulu on 8th September 1867. Its first 21-member Sarawak General Council, headed by Rajah Charles Brooke, consisted of six of Brooke’s officers and 16 local community leaders. In 1903, the General Council was renamed Council Negeri.
In 1941, Brooke’s son, Vyner, established a written constitution known as the Constitution Order in Council during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Brookes’ rule in Sarawak. As a result, the Council Negri membership numbers were increased to 24. Instead of Vyner Brookes (in his role as Rajah) the Chief Secretary was appointed to preside over the Council Negeri.
In 1963, the Council Negeri’s membership increased to 42. Since then, it rose incrementally to 48 in 1968, 56 in 1989, 62 in 1996 and 71 in 2006. In 1976, the Council Negeri was renamed the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).
Administrative Division and Districts
Red symbolises the courage, confidence and sacrifices of the people in their efforts to achieve and maintain progress in the state. Yellow represents the supremacy of the law and the unity found amongst Sarawak’s diverse races. Black denotes the abundant natural resources of Sarawak: petroleum and timber. The yellow nine-pointed star represents the nine divisions and the aspirations of the people to improve their quality of life.
The Bunga Raya (Hibiscus) – the national flower appears on the right and left of the bird’s legs while the banner or ribbon on which the bird’s stand carries the new State Motto “Bersatu, Berusaha, Berbakti” (United, Industrious, Dedicated). Positioned on the bird’s chest is a shield bearing the state colours-black, red and yellow.
State Anthem (Malay)
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 Cintai
Sarawak Dalam Malaysia
Aman Makmur Rahmat Tuhan Maha Esa
Kekallah Sarawak Bertuah
Teras Perjuangan Rakyat
The economic activity of Sarawak is mostly dominated by mining, agriculture and forestry sectors. Other sectors like manufacturing, wholesale, retail trading and construction also contributed to the State’s income. The primary sectors (i.e., mining, agriculture, and forestry) make up about 40 per cent of the state’s total real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), followed by the secondary sector (i.e., manufacturing and construction) with about slightly more than 30 per cent of total real GDP.
Sarawak is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. LNG and petroleum have provided the mainstay of the state’s economy for decades. Sarawak is also one of the world’s largest exporters of tropical hardwood timber. However, the state government has imposed strict log-production quotas over the recent years to ensure sustainable forestry management. Sarawak still, however, produces approximately 9 to 10 million cubic metres of logs annually.
With such vast land expanse, Sarawak has large tracts of land suitable for commercial agricultural development. Approximately 32 per cent or about 4.0 million hectares of the state’s total land area have been identified as suitable agricultural land. Nevertheless, less than 9 per cent of this is planted with productive permanent crops, while the balance is still under shifting cultivation for hill paddy (rice) that is estimated at more than 1.6 million hectares.
The main commercial crops are oil palm, which has been increasing steadily over the years as well as sago, and pepper. Since the 1980s, Sarawak has started to diversify and transform its economy into a more industrialised one. This endeavour has been seeing continuing success, with manufacturing and hi-tech industries now playing a significant role in shaping the economic expansion of the state.
Every person entering Malaysia must possess a valid national Passport or internationally recognised Travel Document valid for travel to Malaysia. Any person not in possession of a Passport or Travel Document that is recognised by the Malaysian Government must obtain a Document in lieu of Passport. Application for the Document in lieu of Passport can be made at any Malaysian Representative Office abroad. Holders of Travel Documents like a Certificate of Identity, Laisser Passer, Titre de Voyage or a Country’s Certificate of Permanent Residence must ensure that their return to the country that issued the document or the country of residence is guaranteed. The documents shall be valid, for more than six (6) months from the date of entry into Malaysia.
Foreign nationals who require a Visa to enter Malaysia must apply and obtain a Visa in advance at the Malaysian Representative Office before entering the country. A visa is an endorsement in a passport or other recognised travel document of foreigner indicating that the holder has applied for permission to enter Malaysia and that permission has been granted.
Foreign nationals who require a Visa to enter Malaysia must apply and obtain a Visa in advance at any Malaysian Representative Office abroad before entering the country. Visa that has been granted is not absolute guarantee that the holder will be allowed to enter Malaysia. The final decision lies with the Immigration Officer at the entry point.
Read more here for Visa requirement by Country
Return Travel Ticket and Sufficient Funds
A visitor is also required to present proof of his financial ability to finance his/her stay in Malaysia together with a confirmed return ticket to another destination.
Non Prohibited Person
Any person classified under Section 8 of Immigration Act 1959/63 will not be allowed to enter Malaysia even though he/she is in possession of a valid Passport or Travel Document, Visa, travel ticket and sufficient funds.
Arrival/Departure Card (IMM.26)
A visitor is required to complete the Arrival/Departure Card (Imm.26) upon arrival at the gazette entry points. This card is obtainable at any entry point, Malaysian Representative office abroad or travel agencies.
A visitor must present his/her passport together with the duly completed arrival / departure card to the Immigration officer on duty and he/she must ensure that the passport or travel document is endorsed with the appropriate pass before leaving the immigration counter.
Read more here for Visa requirement by Country.
More information on Sarawak Government at http://www.sarawak.gov.my/