Page 6 - Sarawak-Visitors-Guide-2014v1
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Poliical Status Borneo, and is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by
Sarawak is Malaysia’s largest state by area, the 4 the South China Sea - a distance of over 600 kilometres.
largest by populaion, and is one of the three sovereign It borders the State of Sabah to the northeast, where
naions that formed the Federaion of Malaysia on 16 the Sultanate of Brunei forms a double enclave, and
September 1963, the others being Malaya and Sabah Kalimantan, Indonesia, to the south and east.
(a fourth, Singapore, withdrew from the Federaion
in 1965). The Consituional Head of State is the Yang The state is divided into three geographic areas - coastal
di Pertua Negeri who is appointed by the Supreme lowlands comprising peat swamp as well as narrow
Sovereign, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. deltaic and alluvial plains; a large region of undulaing
The state is governed by the majority grouping in the hills ranging to about 300 metres; and the mountain
elected State Legislaive Assembly, which is headed highlands extending to the Kalimantan border.
by the Chief Minister, who is assisted by a Cabinet of About 80 per cent or almost 10 million hectares of
Ministers and Assistant Ministers. Sarawak’s total land area is covered with forest (natural
as well as secondary and planted forests). The remaining
Demographics 2.3 million hectares are under setlements, towns,
The state capital is Kuching, which has a populaion agricultural crop culivaion and naive customary rights
of 650,000. Major ciies and towns include Miri (pop. land. Sarawak’s rainforest is acknowledged to be among
300,000), Sibu (pop. 250,000) and Bintulu (pop. the world’s most disinct and species-rich.
180,000). At the most recent census (2010), the state
populaion was 2.4 million. The populaion density is 20 Climate
people per sq km, the lowest in Malaysia. Sarawak has an equatorial climate. The temperature
Sarawak ‘s populaion is divided into anything between is relaively constant throughout the year - within
27 and 40 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups (depending the range of 23 degrees C early in the morning to 33
which classiicaion method is used). The largest are degrees C during the day. In highland areas such as
the Iban (29%), the Chinese (24%), the Malays (23%), Bario, the temperature ranges between 16 and 25
the Bidayuh (8%), the Melanau (6%) and the Orang Ulu degrees C during the day and gets as low as 11 degrees
(a collecive term for a host of upriver tribes and sub C on some nights.
groups, 5%). The northeast monsoon, usually between November
and February, brings heavy rain, while the southwest
Geography monsoon from June to October is usually milder.
Sarawak’s land area of 124,450 sq km makes it almost The average rainfall per year is between 3,300 mm
as large as Peninsular Malaysia or England and slightly and 4,600 mm, depending on locality. Humidity is
larger than North Korea or New Mexico. It is located consistently high in the lowlands, ranging from 80 % to
immediately north of the Equator between 0° 50° and over 90 %.
5°north and 109° 36’ and 115° 40’ east. It stretches
some 800 kilometres along the northwest coast of
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