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Sibu Fast Facts
- State: Sarawak
- District: Sibu
- Famous for/as: Museum
- Population: 257,800.
- Area: 229.8 square kilometres
- Language: Malaya,English
- Best Season:
- Weather: 28°C, Wind SW at 3 km/h, 86% Humidity
- Local Transport:
Sibu, Malaysia Overview
Sibu is an inland town, and the capital of Sibu District in Sibu Division, Sarawak, east Malaysia. It is located at the confluence of the Rajang and Igan Rivers, some 60 kilometres from the ocean and approximately 183.3 kilometres (114 mi) east-north-east of the state capital Kuching. The population isdominated by Chinese especially the Fuzhou as well as indigenous Melanau, Malay, and Iban. Sibu is the main tourist gateway to the Upper Rajang River, with its small riverine towns and its many Iban and Orang Ulu longhouses.
There has been a marked increase in public buildings in recent years. Sibu now boasts the largest town square in Malaysia, and the tallest building in Sarawak - the Sanyan Tower a newly refurbished waterfront and a large number of public parks. Sibu also has university-level courses offered by Laila Taib College (previously known as United College Sarawak), which has built a campus on the site of the old Sibu airport.In 2010,Sarawak Government had announced that Sibu will have its own Sarawak Islamic Complex Building,the second in the state after Kuching.
Sibu Jaya, located 25 km away, is being developed as a satellite town. Sibu Airport, built during World War II, was relocated to its present site 23 kilometres from town near Sibu Jaya in 1994.
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Must See Places in Sibu, Malaysia
Sibu, Malaysia History
Before 1 June 1873, Sibu was known as "Maling", named after the winding portion, "Tanjung Maling", on the other side of Rajang River. Maling was a small village with a few small and simple shop houses with atap roofs and wooden walls and floors. The main population was Malay; and Chinese were in a minority.
In 1841 "Sarawak" (the present Kuching - Sarawak Capital) was ruled by 'White Rajah', James Brooke. On 1 June 1873, the third division was created and the division was named after the native rambutan fruit because the division had a lot of native rambutan known as "Buah Sibau" in the Iban language.
In 1901 Pastor Wong Nai Siong (Huang Naishang) led the first batch of Foochow Christians from China to Sibu to open up the fertile lands of Sibu for cultivation, a massive opening up of Sibu. This was a landmark year in the history of the development of Sibu.
Pastor Wong Nai Siong came to Singapore in September 1899. From there, he proceeded to West Malaysia, Sumatra and the Dutch East Indies. For six months he explored the places but failed to find a suitable place for the immigration and settlement of his folks in China. In April 1900, Mr. Wong Nai Siong came to Sarawak and got the approval of the Sarawak Rajah to look for a suitable site for Chinese immigrants.
Pastor Wong explored the lower valley and upper reaches of the Rajang River. He soon discovered that the Rajang Delta was very fertile and particularly suitable for cultivation. So he decided to choose the area for opening up for cultivation. With that decision, Mr. Wong went to see the second Rajah of Sarawak, Rajah Charles Brooke, for discussions regarding the matter of opening up of land for cultivation. In those days of the Rajahs, Sarawak was sparsely populated with vast land yet to be developed, Pastor Wong's plan was timely and very much appreciated.
So, when Pastor Wong Nai Siong went to see Sir Charles Brooke and explained to him his plan to lead large groups of Foochows to open up Sibu for cultivation, the Rajah immediately agreed. Both parties signed an agreement.
The Chinese immigrants came in three batches. The first batch consisted of 72 people, the second batch 535, and the third batch 511, totalling 1118 people. Of the total, 130 brought their spouses and families, while the others were bachelors. After working in Sibu, nearly all the immigrants chose to settle down and made Sibu their new home. They were happy to settle down for a brighter future in Sibu.