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How Sarawak, the Land of Hornbills, got its name

Located in the northwest Borneo island, the Malaysian state of Sarawak is the largest state in the country.

It is nicknamed ‘Bumi Kenyalang’ or ‘Land of the Hornbills’ as these birds are culturally significant for the native people of Sarawak.

Looking back at its history, Sarawak was first established as an independent kingdom from a series of land concessions acquired by a British former soldier and adventurer, James Brooke, from the Sultanate of Brunei since 1841.

Known as The Kingdom of Sarawak, it received recognition as an independent state from the United States in 1850 and from the United Kingdom in 1864.

But how does this former kingdom and today, a state that comprises part of the Federation of Malaysia, get its name?

Here are few versions of the origin of the name ‘Sarawak’:
1.The name of a mineral

First of all, there is no consensus on how the state got its name. However, the common understanding it was named after the Sarawak river.

But then what is the origin of the name of the river?

It is believed that the river was named after a type of mineral named ‘serawak’ or ‘serewa’, which was found in the area.

According to Chang Pat Foh in Legends and History of Sarawak, ‘serawak’ means antimony in old Sarawak Malay.

In 1823, there was a discovery of antimony in Siniawan area of Bau.

Chang stated, “Since Sarawak river flows through Siniawan, it is likely that people in the olden days referred the river which flows through antimony areas as ‘Serawak’ river. Even when Sir James Brooke wrote home while contemplating his navigational plans in 1839, he was aware of the antimony ore in Sarawak. He wrote, ‘My intention is first to visit Sarawak- a river whence they get antimony ore..'”

How Sarawak got its name
Sarawak may have been named after this river.
2.It is the name of a pineapple

Additionally, Chang shared another version stating it was the name of a pineapple.

Back in those days, the pineapple planted along the river was extraordinarily sweet, hence the name of the river.

3.‘Serah kepada awak’

There is this legend that the name is derived from ‘Serah kepada awak’ or ‘Give it to you’.

In the 15th century when the Brunei sultanate took over the area, the locals reportedly welcomed the move.

They told the Bruneians, “Serah kepada awak”.

Another theory was when Brooke helped Pangiran Muda Hashim in pacifying the Brunei-led rebellion, he handed the area to Brooke saying “Serah kepada awak”.

However, this legend is definitely incorrect. This was because the river was named Sarawak before Brooke arrived in this territory.

Plus, the word ‘awak’ is not part of Sarawak Malay vocabulary.

Do you know any theory or legend on how the state got its name? Let us know in the comment box.

Silat, pantun and many more at Kuching Heritage Race 2019

There were a lot of things going on other than racing at the fourth edition of Kuching Heritage Race (KHR).

Themed ‘Darul Hana Revisited’, the one-of-a-kind race kicked off at Chung Hua Middle School No 4 last Saturday on Feb 16.

About Kuching Heritage Race 2019

Almost like a small-scale Amazing Race, the race had a treasure hunt and maps were provided for participants to find stations or control points.

Every team made up of two to five people was given a ‘passport’ with clues for the location of each station. (About 60 teams took part, making this treasure hunt really competitive 😄)

At each station or checkpoint, the participants had to complete missions related to local culture and heritage.

Some of these tasks included performing the Malay martial art of silat, playing the kompang, making roti canai, completing a pantun and making air mawar.

Additionally, there were ‘brainy quizzes’ on the history and heritage of Kuching at some stations. Teams with the correct answers had a few minutes taken off their running time.

For the first time, this year’s Kuching Heritage Race took the participants through residential areas such as Kampung Muda Hashim, Kampung Dagok Timur, Kampung No. 4 and others.

With that, the race was able to introduce participants, both local and non-local, to Kuching’s heritage sites.

The team that was able locate all the stations and complete all the tasks in the shortest time was the winner.

Last year’s champion, the Sarawak Convention Bureau, was able to hold on to their title and become the overall winner once again.

Kuching Heritage Run is also aimed to raise money for deserving underfunded projects.

Proceeds from this year’s race were channeled to several organisations including Single Mothers Association, Kuching Parkinson Society, Sarawak Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).

Kuching Heritage Race was listed on Sarawak Tourism Board (STB)’s calendar of events.

Also present during the event were permanent secretary to Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) Mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahab Abang Julai, Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Brooke Trust director Jason Brooke.

Want to pick up a new skill? Women can go for these free classes at WWTC, Kuching

Calling out all women living in Kuching area! Did you know that you can take culinary, spa and beauty classes for free at Wisma Wanita Training Centre (WWTC)?

WWTC was officially launched by Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu on Oct 9, 2014.

It was established as a platform for women to pick up a new skill. At the same time, the training centre aimed to train women on how to earn extra income with the new skills they learned.

The classes are open to all women regardless of marital status, age or race.

All the participants need to do is find their way to the centre. However, spaces are limited, so remember to register early.

These two-day classes are mostly organised during weekdays but they do have some classes happening over the weekend.

Here are the classes available at Wisma Wanita Training Centre (WWTC) in 2019:
Free culinary classes at WWTC
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It is not too late to know how to use all of these ingridients. Credits: Pexels.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer cooking or baking, you can learn both at WWTC. From traditional Malaysian desserts such as onde-onde and seri muka to western cakes like butter cheesecake and Swiss rolls.

Additionally, interested participants can pick up how to whip up a dish or two to spice up your dinner table or start a food stall. There are classes to teach how to cook Nasi Kerabu, Ayam Goreng Berempah, Nasi Lemak Pandan, Shepard Pie, Nasi Tomato, Kimchi, Korean Hot Spicy Chicken and many more!

Free spa and massage classes at WWTC
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You can also learn how to do manicure and pedicure at WWTC. Credits: Pexels

Cooking or baking might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but no worries, there are free classes for those who are interested in beauty and spa.

The spa and massage classes at WWTC are organised weekly mostly on Thursdays and Fridays. Who knew there were so many different kinds of massage available out there?

Here, interested students can try to master the art of Thai, Japanese, Balinese massage or even Malaysian massage.

These days, there is a rising number of new mothers looking for postnatal care experts to make home visits. So, there are classes offer to teach postnatal care and massage.

Other classes include sauna and body scrub, foot spa, reflexology, stress reliever massage and more.

Free beauty classes at WWTC
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Learn how to do your own makeup for free at WWTC. Credits: Pexels

A makeup class can cost you at least RM200 these days depending on what kind of makeup and the popularity of your makeup gurus.

But at WWTC, you can learn how to touch up your face from day to night for free.

If you are looking to earn extra income as home-based makeup artist, this is a good place to hone your skill. Furthermore, there are different kinds of bridal makeup to choose from. Pick up a few hair-styling classes and lots of practices, you are ready to beautify a bride!

Take note that WWTC has the rights to change their schedule without prior notice. For more information on schedule and contact persons, check out their Facebook page here.

There will be certificates for those who complete these classes. Remember to dress up decently and appropriately for the class!

Alta Moda Sarawak could be a successful yearly event for Sarawak: Abdul Karim

While Sarawak has firmly established itself as THE place to go for world music, and as a Culture, Adventure and Nature destination (did you know Gunung Mulu National Park was a UNESCO World Heritage site?), it aims to be the leading fashion hub in this region with the upcoming lifestyle and fashion event ALTA MODA SARAWAK.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he was confident that ALTA MODA SARAWAK would become a successful yearly event to promote the state as a leading fashion hub in Asean and beyond.

“The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. This is because it involves a big group of people coming from all work and backgrounds, including those from production to design and marketing.

“There are also those who are making a good living out of writing, analyzing, shooting, commenting and blogging about fashion,” he said during a recent press conference at Restaurant Budaya Sarawak.

He added that the event could attract potential tourism and merchandise buyers domestically and internationally in support of Sarawakian designers and artists.

“It is therefore good for ALTA MODA SARAWAK to have the objective of promoting Sarawak as a state of diversity with different ethnic groups and cultures.”

Additionally, Abdul Karim believed that the event could be one of the catalysts and key players in helping to boost tourist traffic to Sarawak under the state’s tourism initiatives, which is why the Ministry suggested moving it from October last year to March 2019.

“This is to give more time for the organisers to make it a grand affair in conjunction with our ‘Visit Sarawak Campaign’ objectives.”

He also noted that ALTA MODA SARAWAK might be one of the last few events to be held at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building before it will be closed for renovations to transform it into a performing arts centre.

Alta Moda Sarawak 2019
Abdul Karim (center) speaking to the press at Restaurant Budaya Sarawak on Feb 2.
ALTA MODA SARAWAK as a brand platform for Sarawak’s designers

The Sarawak fashion industry has seen a gradual boom over recent years.

Abdul Karim said, “We too have our very own designers whose meteoric rise is something to be proud of. These include names like Paul Carling, Anna Sue, Ben Nazry, Melinda Omar, Sereni & Shentel, Latip’s Collection and more. With ALTA MODA SARAWAK, I hope that their star continues to rise.”

The organisers of ALTA MODA SARAWAK are confident that the designers taking part will be able to establish themselves as the fashion and lifestyle brands to be reckoned with and help propel the growth of Sarawak’s fashion industry.

“This development will, in return, be able to attract more tourist traffic into Sarawak and create demand for a growing domestic industry among the talented artisans and skillful beads craftsmen,” he said.

Meanwhile, ALTA MODA SARAWAK organising chairperson Datin Esther Mujan Balan said the organising team was excited to be holding the event in conjunction with Visit Sarawak Campaign, with the support and partnership from the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and Sarawak Tourism Board.

“We are determined and focused for ALTA MODA SARAWAK to be a successful yearly event to promote Sarawak as a leading fashion hub in Southeast Asia and attract potential tourism and merchandise buyers domestically and internationally for our Sarawakian designers and artists.”

She stated, “Another objective of the event is to provide up and rising Sarawakian designers the opportunity to make their mark in their own country rather than having to go abroad to make a name for themselves. It also aims to give local fashion followers the chance to have ‘high fashion at their doorstep.’”

Besides Abdul Karim, the three-day event is expected to be attended by the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife of the Governor of Sarawak Toh Puan Ragad Waleed Alkurdi.

The press conference also saw a short runway show featuring 11 out of the 24 designers that will be participating during ALTA MODA SARAWAK.

MARK YOU CALENDARS: The inaugural ALTA MODA SARAWAK will be held at the old State Legislative Assembly Building, Kuching on Mar 7 to 9.

The Iban woman who does Malay keringkam embroidery

Keringkam embroidery is a significant artistic heritage for the Sarawak Malay community.

The word ‘keringkam’ comes from the gold or silver thread called clinquant thread used to embroider motifs on shawls and headscarves.

With traditional Sarawak Malay attire, there are two types of scarves; the shorter ones called selayah and the longer types called selendang.

In the olden days, the women would wear these keringkam embroidered scarves for special occasions such as weddings.

Charles Brooke’s wife, Margaret, was known to have loved these fine traditional embroidery, as she had several in her keeping and had also taken portraits of herself wearing the selayah keringkam.

Depending on the size of the fabric and the detail of the motifs, a piece can take up to three months to complete.

Keringkam 2
There are several types of flower motifs in traditional keringkam embroidery. The one pictured above is the ‘motif rose mekar’, or ‘blooming rose motif’.

Nowadays, only a handful of artisans know how to do keringkam embroidery. One of them is a 41-year-old Iban lady, Doris Hilda Reji, who fell in love with this Malay traditional craft.

She also happens to be the only non-Malay keringkam embroiderer in Sarawak.

Hailing from Lundu, she currently lives in Kampung Siol Kandis, and first began keringkam embroidery in 2003.

She was part of Skim Inkubator Kraf, an incubator scheme to start handicraft businesses under Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation. She still does custom orders today.

When KajoMag met her, she was working from home embroidering keringkam as per customers’ orders.

Doris showing her first keringkam embroidering work.
Doris showing her first keringkam embroidering work.
KajoMag: How did you first learn how to embroider keringkam?

Doris: I was a single mother trying to learn extra skills to make a living. Back then, I took some courses at Sarawak’s Women and Family Department (JWKS) and they started to offer a keringkam embroidery class.

I was among the youngest in the group so some of the officers suggested that I sign up for it. They said since I was still in my 20s, my eyesight was still good; perfect to do intricate work of keringkam embroidery. Before taking the class, I had never heard of keringkam before.

When I first saw a selendang with keringkam embroidery, I told myself I had to learn and finish one myself. It took me about three months and I still have my first ever keringkam embroidering work.

Since I started, I did keringkam embroidery on not just scarves but clothes and decorations to put in a frame.

There were some people looking for unique souvenirs, so I turned keringkam embroidery into small bookmarks to cater for their requests.

KajoMag: How does it feel being the only non-Malay in this artistry?

Doris: I have always liked anything that is handmade so I was not choosy on what to do; as long as the finished product is something made by hand. Since there was an opportunity for me to learn, I took it without thinking about it.

KajoMag: Do you have any plans on teaching your children how to embroider keringkam?

Doris: I taught my daughter how to embroider over the three months as we waited for her SPM results. She did that before she went off to further her studies. Even now, she occasionally sits next to me and helps embroider with me.

I don’t think she would take it seriously as a career, but at least she has some basic skills on how to do it. I always welcome those who are willing to learn from me at an affordable fee.

KajoMag: What is your hope for the future of keringkam embroidery in Sarawak?

Doris: As far as I’m concerned, pua kumbu is still widely known among the Iban community because we still use it to this day, so the younger generation knows about pua kumbu.

For keringkam, however, perhaps there are not many who are familiar with this art.

There is always room to promote more about keringkam among the younger generation. If they do not learn about it, then they would have no interest in wearing anything with keringkam embroidery on it.

A closer look at Doris’ keringkam embroidery work.

How a father’s rage led to the origin of oil in Miri

British Charles Hose was the one responsible for the discovery of oil in Miri, Sarawak.

After his appointment as the Resident of Baram in 1890, Hose started mapping oil seeps in and around Miri.

He reportedly gave his findings to the Sarawak government but an oil exploration was an impossible mission back then due to its poor logistic conditions.

No one pursued the idea again until Hose retired and returned to England. There, he showed his map of oil seeps to Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak.

After a series of meetings, Sarawak signed the first Sarawak Oil Mining Lease in 1909, allowing the oil in Miri to be exploited.

However, according to legend there was another man who not only discovered oil, but was responsible for the origin of oil in this northern city of Sarawak.

How does the legend of the origin of oil in Miri go?
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History writer Lee Fook Onn wrote in Miri Legends and Historical Stories about a family that lived in the middle course of Baram river many years ago. They came down to live there from Usun Apau highlands.

The family consisted of Balai and his wife, their son and their two daughters, Miri and Seria.

They were a happy family, with Usung famous for his hunting skills as well as Miri and Seria for their beauty.

The family owned a mortar from which black-coloured fluid would continuously flow but would never overflow.

Balai and his family would dip a piece of wood or leaf into the fluid to light a fire. This made their life easy and convenient as they saved a lot on firewood.

Time passed and the two daughters married, going off to live with their own families. Their only son Usung had died a while ago in a hunting mishap, and so Balai and his wife began to feel lonely in their own home.

The good thing was that Miri and Seria both lived nearby, so they often came back to visit their parents.

Every time they returned to their own homes, however, they brought the black fluid back with them.

Balai was not happy with that. However, their mother was more than willing to give and even used bamboo pipes to store the black fluid for her daughters.

One day, Balai caught his wife pouring the black fluid into the pipes. This time, he was so furious that he took a knife to cut the pipes. In his rage, he broke the mortar as well.

In the midst of his temper tantrum, Balai lost his balance and fell. As he struggled to get up, according to legend, he stamped the ground so hard that a heap of soil was formed. The black fluid then seeped through the ground and flowed into the sea.

This heap of soil is what Sarawakians recognise as Canada Hill today. Baram river, Sungai Melayu and several other rivers separating Miri and Seria towns (named after Balai’s daughters) are the ‘cuts’ made by Balai.

And the black fluid is the oil which now can be found in Miri and Seria.

Since Balai’s tantrum, oil has not been found in the middle course of Baram river to this day.

A night of storytelling and poems at Nusi Poetry

Nusi Poetry was back for its second edition last Feb 2 in conjunction with the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.

Initiated by Nading Rhapsody, an Avant-Garde Borneo ethnic world music ensemble, vocalist Opah Aspa explained that Nusi Poetry was an inter-ethnic and inter-language event.

“In each edition, we will show a different mosaic. This edition, we are presenting Nusi Poetry: Mosaic -Ngebat Mimpi which means ‘weaving dreams’ in Iban.”

She added, “Each and everyone of us we all have our own dreams. We spend our lives riding our own journey, weaving our way to our own dreams.”

During the event, 12 presenters from different walks of life shared their stories about achieving their dreams through poetry, chants and lyrics.

A night of storytelling and poems at Nusi Poetry

Teacher Philomina Wilson for instance, shared her story by reciting a poem called ‘Heaven’s Very Special Child’ by Edna Massimilla.

As a mother to an autistic son, she related with Massimilla who wrote the poem for her daughter who had Down syndrome.

Meanwhile, Dr Deborah Chong gave a glimpse of her life as a successful fitness athlete through a poem she wrote called ‘Dare to Dream’.

Sharing how she lived her life as a dream chaser, Chong attributed her success to her seven-year-old son who was born prematurely.

As for Raziv from local metal band Myopia, it was the first time he would actually read the lyrics of his song to his audienxe, instead of singing and yelling them out as he normally would.

He shared about the scepticism he faced in his life for being passionate about metal music, something he experienced since he first discovered his passion at 9 years old.

Sticking true to the spirit of being an inter ethnic and inter language event, the presentations were done in different languages such as Iban, Sarawak Malay, English and Melanau.

Other poets and presenters were Gabriel Fairuz Louis, Opah Aspa, Kulleh Grasi, Ronney Bukong. Calvin Mikeng, Raygyna Hayden, Neyna Radzuan, Dauz Iezara, Zakaria Hassan and Venu K Puthankatil.

The audience was also entertained by the band Imaginasi founded in 2013 by Shahrol, Naz, Zair and Zul.

KajoPicks: Check out these four coffee places in Bintulu

Apart from shopping complex, Bintulu is currently witnessing the rising number of different kind of eateries.

These include coffee places offering good coffee from dirty coffee to nitrogen-infused java and relaxing ambience for patrons to just hang out.

Here are four coffee places in Bintulu, Sarawak you need to check out:
1.Coffee Dream

Located at Parkcity Commerce Square, this coffee place has been operating since 2014.

Besides coffee, Coffee Dream is famous among the locals for its western food.

Omelette sandwich, spaghetti bolognese, mushroom soup, cheesy beef balls, mushroom cheese omelette, eggs Benedict, chicken Caesar salad are just the tip of their wide range of menu items.

For rice eaters out there, don’t worry because Coffee Dream has a selection of Asian favourites to choose from such as the typical nasi lemak.

While you are at it, might as well end your meal with one of their freshly baked cakes for dessert.

2.The Coffee Code Bintulu
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Do you like it dirty? Dirty Code from The Coffee Code.

The Coffee Code is Sarawak’s very own cafe chains. The first one was opened in Sibu, then Bintulu at Ibraco Town Square and the latest was in Kuching at Saradise, BDC.

When you’re at Coffee Code, how about giving the Dirty Code a try? It is their in-house version of dirty coffee. It is one of the best coffee places in town to spend your tea time because it serves wide range desserts.

Their specialty is perhaps waffles which come with different kind of toppings.

Coffee places Bintulu
Waffles at The Coffee Code Bintulu.
3.Escape Coffee


You can’t satisfy your coffee craving early in the morning at Escape Coffee. But you can satisfy your coffee craving late at night here because it opens from 12pm till 12am.

It is perfect for the late night work hustle since it provides free wifi.

Feeling hungry? They have good options of food on their menu such as beef sirloin steak, mixed grill, lamb chop, butter chicken waffle and chicken macaroni fruit salad.

4.Melt Cafe

The current star of Melt Cafe Bintulu, no, not its famed grilled cheese sandwich but its Nitro Coffee.

If you have not tried Nitro Coffee before, just imagine Guinness draft beer, only it’s coffee! Since the drink is infused with nitrogen, it has this rich, creamy head similar to Guinness.

So if you are a big fan of coffee, this beverage is definitely worth a try.

Longing for dessert? Give Melt Cafe’s Burnt Cheesecake a try. Some described Burnt Cheesecake as the alter ego to the classic New York cheesecake. The differences are this cake is burnt outside with toasty edges and without the usual pressed cookie base.

Of course you cannot leave Melt Cafe without trying its signature grilled cheese sandwich.

Melt Cafe Bintulu
Nitro Brew Coffee at Melt Cafe. Look at its creamy head on top of the glass!
Melt Cafe Bintulu 2
How the Nitro Brew Coffee looks like after few minutes.

Style Series teams up with Miss World Malaysia 2018 for a good cause

Style Series is a series of events organised to share fashion concepts and empower emerging new talents in Southeast Asia and Europe.

The first of its event, Style Series Episode 1: China Rouge was held on Jan 27 at Chabo Dine and Bar.

And this time, the fashion event showcased a spectacular Chinese New Year Collection to raise funds for Miss World Malaysia’s Indigenous Digital Outreach Program (IDOP).

The Miss World Malaysia 2019 titleholder, Larissa Ping Liew explained that she collaborated with Kuching-based community building organisation to start IDOP.

She said, “One of the main reasons why I joined Miss World was because Miss World focuses so much on reaching out to people, especially underprivileged children around the world. Hence, I’ve collaborated with the Champions to run programs around the rural areas of Sarawak called the IDOP.”

IDOP’s first project was held in October 2018 where Liew and her team reached out to the Penan community nearby Long Seridan. There, they brought in computers, painted murals around the school, fixed their fans and lights as well as organised motivational sessions for the students.

“Why children in the rural areas?” Liew said, “We realised that there is a major education gap between the rural community and urban folk.”

According to the 20-year-old beauty queen, not many rural youth enjoy good quality education or have the opportunity to further their tertiary studies and change their status quo.

She continued, “Being there to experience the lifestyle of the children has motivated my team and I to do more this year.”

With funds raised from Style Series Episode 1, Liew and her team are hoping to reach out to ten different villages this year around Sarawak.

About Style Series

Style Series was founded by Geraldine Sim, Wong Kai Lee and Roselyn Ling.

The main aim of Style Series events is to connect designers through fashion, while fostering a community of collaboration and inspiration.

For its debut, the events featured collection from Yacutha Borneo, Romyda KL, TeeCode, Wynka, Rozie Khan, Mastuli Khalid, Emil Hamlyn and Melor.

There were 40 looks featured on the runaway with celebrity model Amber Chia took the closing spot for the fashion show.

7 Sarawak firsts in transportation history

‘Sarawak First’ may have become the main theme for newly registered Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), but when it comes to other firsts in Sarawak, here are some notable milestones in the region’s transportation history:

1.The first aeroplane to have landed in Sarawak

The first aeroplane which landed in the Land of the Hornbills was a sea plane. It landed on Oct 16, 1924 along the stretch of Sarawak river in front of Main Bazaar, Kuching.

1024px First aeroplane landed in Sarawak in 16 October 1924
The first aeroplane landed in Sarawak. Credits: Ho Ah Chon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sarawak tried to launch its own government air service in 1929. They had two planes, namely the Royalist and Venus. Nonetheless, the venture did not last long.

The first land plane to touch down in Kuching on Sep 26, 1938. It landed on the then newly-built Kuching Landing Ground.

2.When Sarawak’s streets were first lit

Sarawak installed its first street lamps in 1906 in Kuching. However, there were no records of which specific areas where the street lamps were installed.

3.The first bullock carts

After the Brooke government imported Indian cattle, the number of bullock carts used to carry heavy loads started to increase in the 1870s.

4.The first form of vehicles for hire before taxis

The first few rickshaws were brought in 1895 from Singapore. Eventually the number of rickshaws began to increase, which prodded the government to introduce rickshaw stands just like taxi stands today.

They also imposed standard rates such as one mile costs 12 cents and 10 miles-journey costs a dollar.

Some of these stands were located at India Street, Gambier Road as well as at the end of Main Bazaar.

Ho Ah Chon wrote in Kuching in Pictures 1841-1991 that some of the wealthier people who lived in town kept private rickshaws for their own convenience.

He stated, “Those, with a tendency towards overweight often employed two pullers, because, at the best of times, going up or down a steep hill in a rickshaw could be dangerous, many people were decanted onto the road, sometimes with quite serious results, at the hill to Padungan, and on the bend of Reservoir Road.

5.The first car, bicycles, motorcycle in Sarawak

The manager of Borneo Company Limited J.M. Bryan brought in the first car to Kuching in 1917 (although some records stated 1907). It was a 10-12 HP Conventry Humber.

Meanwhile the third Rajah, Vyner Brooke brought the first motorcycle into the country. Another popular means of transportation was the bicycle which was first introduced in the 1900s.

6.The first railway service

The only type of transportation service that is not available now in Sarawak is train. But Sarawak once had a small railway line in Kuching.

It was about 10 miles long spanning from Kuching town to the 10th Mile. It provided both cargo and passenger service. The journey took about 15 minutes.

There were three engines in those days called Bulan (moon), Bintang (star) and Jean. Due to financial losses, the service was shut down in 1931.

During World War II, the Japanese took over the railway service. By 1947, the line was officially closed while the tracks were sold for scrap in 1959.

7.The first lorry in Sarawak

An unnamed local trader brought in a lorry back in 1912. Then, he made use of the 2-tonne lorry to give Sarawak’s first public bus service in the same year.

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