Sibu

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Sibu
Town
Chinese transcription(s)
 • Traditional 詩巫
 • Simplified 诗巫
Sibu is a town built on the banks of the mighty Rajang River. Seen here is the wharf and in the background is the historical Tua Pek Kong Temple.
Sibu is a town built on the banks of the mighty Rajang River. Seen here is the wharf and in the background is the historical Tua Pek Kong Temple.
Nickname(s): The Swan City / New Fuzhou
Sibu is located in Malaysia
Sibu
Sibu
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 2°17′16″N 111°49′51″E / 2.28778°N 111.83083°E / 2.28778; 111.83083
Country  Malaysia
State  Sarawak
Division Sibu Division
District Sibu District
Government
 • Type Local government
 • Chairman YBhg.Datuk Tiong Thai King
Area
 • Sibu 8,278.3 km2 (3,196.3 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Sibu 257,800
 • Density 116/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC+8)
Postal code 96xxx
National calling code +6084 (local landline only)
License plate prefix QSx (for all vehicles except taxis)
HQ (for taxis only)
Website Sibu365 Portal
Sibu Official Website
Sibu Municipal Council

Sibu (Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈsi bu], Chinese: 诗巫; pinyin: Shīwū) is an inland town, and the capital of Sibu District (229.8 square kilometres) 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.[2] The population is dominated by Chinese especially the Fuzhou as well as indigenous Melanau, Malay, and Iban. The town population (year 2010) is 257,800.

Sibu is the main tourist gateway to the Upper Rajang River, with its small riverine towns and its many Iban and Orang Ulu longhouses.[3]

There has been a marked increase in public buildings in recent years. Sibu now boasts the largest town square in Malaysia,[3] and the tallest building in Sarawak - the Sanyan Tower (三洋大厦,"Wisma Sanyan" in the official Malay language), a newly refurbished waterfront and a large number of public parks. For many years, Sibu already 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 Sept 2013, The University College of Technology Sarawak, located just opposite College Laila commenced its maiden intake of new undergraduate students. Another very well-established institution i.e. The Methodist Pilley Institute [ which has been awarded with a Gold banded status by ACCA, UK ] that offers tertiary educations e.g. CAT/ ACCA has also recently signed MoUs in offering UCSI & UK's bachelor degrees in B.A/ B. Mktg.

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.

History[edit]

Sir James Brooke (1803–1868)
Wong Nai Siong (1849─1924)

Establishment[edit]

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 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. This is due to the uprising Boxer Rebellion.

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.

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, Wong's plan was timely and very much appreciated.

So, when 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.[4]

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.

Sibu Fort[edit]

There used to be a Sibu Fort, which was built by Rajah Brooke in 1862. The fort was located at Race Course Road, however it no longer exists now. It was common for the White Rajah to build such forts to stake his territorial claim as well as means of protection.

The existence of Sibu Fort is proven by historical writings:

Rosli Dhoby[edit]

Main article: Rosli Dhobi
Rosli Dhobi (1933–1950)

Rosli Dhoby, a Sarawakian nationalist, is one of the more illustrious sons of Sibu. He is well known for his assassination of Sir Duncan George Stewart, the second governor of colonial Sarawak in 1948. He was then sentenced to death by hanging and was buried at the Kuching Central Prison in 1950. After 46 years of his remains resting in the prison compound, it was moved out from the Kuching Central Prison and buried at the Sarawak's Heroes Mausoleum near Sibu Town Mosque on 2 March 1996.

To honour his involvement in the anti-colonial movement and his struggle against the British, he and his associates who were involved in the assassination (Awang Ramli Amit, Bujang Suntong, and Morshidi Sidek) were later given a full state funeral by Sarawak Government.

Population[edit]

The population of Sibu experienced a slower growth rate compared to other towns and cities in Malaysia. There are many reasons resulting in a decline in the Sibu population.

However, the real numbers of people living today in Sibu is much higher due to high numbers of individuals not being counted in the census who live and work in other cities and countries.[6]

Year 1970 1980 1991 2000 2009 2010
Total
population
50,635 85,231 133,471 166,322 209,616 257,800

Government[edit]

Politics[edit]

The Sibu town has been the stronghold of the ruling Sarawak Barisan Nasional for many years. The Barisan Nasional in Sibu is usually represented by SUPP while DAP is the usual opponent to the Barisan Nasional. Recently, PKR would like to negotiate the allocations of state constituencies in Sibu with DAP to face the upcoming Sarawak state elections. The Sarawak Barisan Nasional is currently controlling 1 out of 2 parliamentary seats and 2 out of 5 state seats.

The Sibu town is represented in the House of Representatives of the Malaysian Parliament by 2 parliamentary constituencies (Lanang and Sibu) where Lanang parliamentary seat is further divided into Bukit Assek and Dudong seats for Sarawak state legislative assembly. On the other hand, the Sibu parliamentary constituency is divided into Bawang Assan, Pelawan, and Nangka state constituencies.[7] Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew was the Sibu member of parliament and the deputy transport minister in the Malaysian cabinet. On 9 April 2010, he passed away due to liver cancer. On 16 May 2010, a by-election is held and DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng, who is also the state assemblyman for Bukit Assek, won the by-election and become the new Member of Parliament for Sibu.

The opposition won the Sibu parliamentary seat in 1982 and Lanang seat in 1990 with a slim majority. The Bukit Assek and Pelawan state constituencies fell into the hands of opposition in 1996 state election. In 2006 state election, the opposition regained the Bukit Assek state constituency. Wong Ho Leng, the state assemblyman for Bukit Assek, is the chairman of Sarawak DAP. On 2010 Sibu by-election, DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng won the parliamentary seat for Sibu with a majority of 398.

During the 2013 General Election,DAP successfully retains the Sibu seat under its new candidate,Oscar Ling while Lanang was wrestled from BN through Alice Lau.

Local government[edit]

The current chairman of Sibu Municipal Council is Tiong Thai King who is also the Lanang member of parliament. He was appointed municipal chairman in 2004. However, the deputy chairman, Daniel Ngieng Kiong Ann lost his Bukit Assek constituency to DAP in 2006 Sarawak state election. The councillors are normally chosen by the state government. The Sibu Municipal Council is responsible for improving the quality of life of Sibu community by active and effective local administration. Some of the roles assumed by the municipal council includes facilities management, regular roads and drain services, effective traffic control, maintenance of street lightning, public health and vector control, licensing, building plans processing and grass cutting services.

Tourism[edit]

National Chinese Cultural Festival[edit]

The United Chinese Association (UCA)(华团) Sibu holds its pride for hosting the 18th and the 26th National Chinese Cultural Festival. The cultural festival has always been officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Cultural village and the Lantern Riddles are among the activities organised during the festival.

Borneo Cultural Festival[edit]

Sibu played host to the Borneo Cultural Festival, a week-long celebration of food, music, and dances celebrating the diverse cultural background of the town in 2005. Since then, it has become an annual occasion and a trademark of Sibu.However,for the first time ever since the creation,it will not be held in 2011;which caused waves of protests from locals,including key players in Sibu Tourism Industry.However,Sibu Municipal Council announced that 2011 BCF is postponed to 2012,after discussion with State Government.And in 2012,BCF was held from 6 June to 15 July 2012.

Swan Symbol for Sibu[edit]

To promote itself to tourists and for branding purpose, Sibu Municipal Council under the former Chairmanship of Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, adopted the swan as the symbol of Sibu town. According to the Sibu Chinese community, when the early immigrants arrived in Sibu in the mid 19th century and early 20th century, the present Rajang River reminded them of Swan River in Fuzhou, China. However, due to the fact that such a bird is non-existent in the town (except for the numerous huge artificial swan statues) or anywhere in Malaysia, the majority of the Sibu community, especially the natives, feel that such a choice is too artificial and does not invoke any special or deep feeling toward the so-called "Symbol of Sibu".

Visit Sibu Year 2009 & Pandaw River Cruise[edit]

Year 2009 was declared as 'Visit Sibu Year 2009', to boost the tourism industry in the central region. A new attraction is Pandaw River Cruise, which was started on 1 July 2009. This is a nine-day cruising up the Rajang river deep into the Pelagus Rapids Resort in the rural interior of Sarawak with Sibu Express Wharf Terminal as the first stop. The tourists in the cruise can enjoy the scenery of the tropical rainforest as well as visiting traditional and modern longhouses.[8]

However,In March 2012,the river cruise ceased its operations due to poor respond and also high operating costs.

Sibu BASE Jump[edit]

The annual event is held at Wisma Sanyan,Sarawak's highest building since 2009.[9] The event is organised by Sibu Tourism Task Force Group with technical support by BASE Jumper from Australia and Malaysia. For the 2013 edition, the event will be held between 20 and 23 September 2013.[9]

Sibu International Dance Festival[edit]

The festival was privately debuted in 2012,[10] and will be held from 13 to 17 August 2013. 14 international dance groups will participate in the 2013 edition of the festival, attracting groups from Lithuania, Southern Thailand, Singapore and local groups.[10] Indoor and outdoor performances will be held throughout the festival.

Cityscape[edit]

Geography and climate[edit]

Sibu features a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification. The Sibu town has warm summers with average high temperatures of 30–31 °C (86–88 °F) and lows of around 23 °C (73 °F). Precipitation is generally very heavy throughout the year with an annual total of roughly 3500 mm.

Comparison Sibu average rainfall of 2013 with other places in Malaysia can be seen in Annual Mean Rainfall 2013 Locations In Malaysia

Climate data for Sibu Precipitation In 2013 (Mean Rainfall : 2009-2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Precipitation mm (inches) 129.4
(5.094)
381.2
(15.008)
212.2
(8.354)
224.8
(8.85)
195.2
(7.685)
63
(2.48)
133.6
(5.26)
266.8
(10.504)
210.8
(8.299)
189.2
(7.449)
261
(10.28)
507.6
(19.984)
2,774.8
(109.247)
Rainfall mm (inches) 499.3
(19.657)
323.8
(12.748)
401.8
(15.819)
239.4
(9.425)
256.8
(10.11)
199.8
(7.866)
206.4
(8.126)
201.9
(7.949)
142.2
(5.598)
303.2
(11.937)
386.2
(15.205)
380.8
(14.992)
3,541.6
(139.432)
Source: Department Of Irrigation & Drainage Malaysia

Landmarks[edit]

The first highrise building in Sibu was the Sarawak House hotel and shopping complex, built in the early 1970s by a group of local businessmen. Among the interesting landmarks in Sibu are Wisma Sanyan, a 28-storey building, which is the tallest building in Sarawak[3] (to be surpassed by Kuching Tower soon), Tua Pek Kong Temple and the Central Market. The completion of RH Hotel and the current Kingwood Hotel expansion project are to meet the tourism aspiration of the town. An 18-storey building (the right model in the picture) was constructed next to the original site of the hotel. The Civic Centre Museum (its official name was Dewan Kebudayaan dan Warisan;Cultural & Heritage Hall in English) had a display of Sibu's history, and Melanau, Iban, Malay, and Chinese artefacts and has been relocated to the new Sibu Cultural & Heritage Centre. The YMCA Resort is an outskirts resort getaway for camping and retreat. Another landmark is Old Sibu Municipal Council building, where formerly housed the Sibu Municipal Council Office and Public Library (before moving to its current building at Jalan Keranji in 1986) is now known as Sibu Heritage Centre (SHC) which houses the exhibits previously exhibited at the Civic Centre Museum. The Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum is the first medical museum in Malaysia, one of the oldest hospitals in Sarawak. It exhibits medical equipment and uniforms used by medical staffs at Lau King Howe Hospital.

Shopping[edit]

Shopping complexes[edit]

  • Wisma Sanyan – The tallest building in Sarawak, it was previously the biggest shopping centre in Sibu before the opening of Star Mega Mall. It houses Parkson (reopened for business on 1 Dec 2011,after months of extensive renovation) Giant Supermarket, and many other shops. The prices for goods here are reasonable.
  • Sarawak House – It was once a popular (and the only) shopping centre in Sibu. Its anchor tenant is Premier departmental store, complemented by King's Trioplex Cinema and several shops.
  • Medan Mall – Two anchor tenants here are Medan supermarket (previously Everise) and Medan departmental store. Smaller shops include VCD/DVD shops, fashion apparels and especially hair salons (reasonable price). There is a first ever car wash and auto parts service centre at Medan Mall Basement in Sibu.
  • Kin Orient Plaza - Well known for the Sing Kwong supermarket housed downstairs, it has another three higher floors of shops.
  • Sing Kwong Shopping Complex & Farley Departmental Store - located inside the Salim Suburb with numerous crowd as it together with Sing Kong Shopping Complex have a strategic location for the nearby small towns residents to shop here like Sarikei, Bintangor, Julau, Kanowit, Durin, Sibu Jaya etc.
  • Delta Mall - The latest trendy shopping mall in Sibu, opened around end of 2007. Delta Mall houses many new shopping outlets such as Popular bookstore, SenQ Digital Station, Gintell], Ogawa, Watson, Cinderella Jewelleries, Sony Centre, Hush Puppies, Skin Food, Giordano, Sonice Furniture Showroom, Signature Kitchen, Lea Centre, Lea Sports Centre, a supermarket –Delta- The Market Place and others.
  • Star Mega Mall - A current shopping mall which has finished construction and completion in July 2011 as the largest shopping mall in central region of Sarawak with a total gross area of 460,000 sq ft. .
  • Giant Hypermarket - Located at Jalan Ling Kai Cheng surrounded by one of the fastest growing housing area in the town together with some shop lots and terrace properties development. Other than Giant, the tenants here are SugarBun, LEA Centre, Giordano and etc.

Commercial centres[edit]

Recent years Sibu Town is rapidly expanded to outskirts or housing estates area with many commercial centres & outlets springing everywhere. This made town centre deserted during the night time as the people are scattered in various shopping, dining & clubbing places throughout the Swan City.

  • Kampung Bandong - Located in middle of Sibu town,Kampung Bandong has become a stopover for a variety of activities.A lively village with its famous seasonal kite tournament or gudi ;pronunciation: [ˈguˈD] also known as "Bersaok"."Pasa Bandong" is the center where all the business come to do business at night. Covers from traditional Malay cuisine to Chinese cuisine,all can be found "halal" here. Kampung Bandong is the most important location during the election and has always been the focus of politicians from both sides in Sibu.
  • Jaya Li Hua & Pahlawan Centre - Located surrounding long distance bus terminal at Jalan Pahlawan. Crowded day and night with one dry market, Public Bank,UOB Bank, Everwin Supermarket, Medan Hotel and many popular restaurants that like 鸿福,全家福,上海,500度, Secret Recipe, Boston 又一城 and also the newly built Good Happiness Restaurant (旺喜楼). Still left plenty premises under construction.
  • Pusat Pedada & Lot 9 - It was once a popular spot because of the old UCS Campus there. The area around Taman Muhibbah Food Court & Delta Mall is very lively during nighttime with numerous public go shopping & dining. The recently completed Lot 9(just opposite the Pusat Pedada) is less bustle with shops like LORENZO, Singapore Chicken Rice (SCR) & other offices.
  • Farley Commercial Centre & Sing Kwong - Two major attractions here are Farley supermarket & Sing Kwong Shopping Mall. Smaller shops include VCD/DVD shops, fashion apparels, Cafe & Maybank. Also crowd at night with rapid development of Salim-Bukit Lima Housing Area surround & also some of the mini concert or show from West Malaysian Artists is always have good response at Sing Kwong stage.
  • Chiew Siik Hiong Road - Houses the Rajang Medical Centre, ITA College, Amway, DXN, Electrical Appliance Shops and famous restaurant like Uncle Dom, Enjoy Cafe, Mitsu Shabu-Shabu, Sushi Tie & many coffee shops and cafée. Quite lively at night. Still left plenty premises under construction.
  • Pusat Suria Permata- Less Popular at night as houses the RH Group Building, Jaya Tiasa, Subur Tiasa, Rimbunan Sawit, RH Academy & Eon Bank Branch. Busy during day time with all the office employees.
  • Kampung Dato -Besides the Paramount Hotel. Also quiet at night as the building are mainly for office use of EPF, Banks, Insurance Company, Telecommunication Shops etc. Recently, the area also expanded with 33 units is under construction opposite the Paramount Hotel.
  • Pusat Tanahwang -One of the oldest commercial centres in the town. Still left some good coffee shops with the location near to town centre & 2 secondary schools.
  • Sibu Jaya -Sibu low cost housing area with estimated population around 40,000 with 6500 units of properties (include different types of houses and flats catering to the lower and middle income groups plus 165 shoplots and 179 industrial lots)

Commercial centres (under construction)[edit]

  • Sibu Sentral - More than a regional long-distance bus terminal, Sibu Sentral provides convenience and comfort for shoppers and travellers alike. Poised to be a retail and transportational hub for Sibu, this strata-titled shopping centre cum terminal will set a new standard in the way people travel and shop.
  • Medan Jaya - Located along Jalan Wong King Huo. A medium size project with already finished Medan Mall, shop lots and flats.Now entering a new phase of development consisting of 1 block 7-storey (138 rooms) Hotel, 2 blocks 4 storey apartments and 138 units of 3 to 4 storey shophouses
  • Wazoon Commercial Centre - Located along Jalan old airport near 花悦纺, Wisma Persekutuan, Ulu Sungai Merah Housing Area & Also Sungai Merah Bazaar.
  • Regent Commercial Centre - Located along Jalan TAR just beside the Star Mega Mall. Near the housing area of Taman Soon Hup, Permai & New Taman Tiong Ung Siew. It is planned to build two hundred more shophouses with few phases.
  • Ding Brothers Commercial Centre - Located at Jalan Ding Lik Kong. Near the Igan bridge & west banks of Sibu Town.
  • River Palm City - Located at Pulau Kerto after passing through the Batang Rajang Bridge. A new satellite town in the planning with housing & shopping area.
  • Swan City - A project which will built GIANT Hypermarket & also commercial shoplots at Jalan Ling Kai Cheng.
  • Nan Shang Commercial Centre - Located at Jalan Ulu Sg. Merah with comprising 55 units 2 storey shoplots plus a supermarket to cater the needs of surrounding properties booming at Ulu Sungai Merah.
  • Sungai Merah Commercial Centre - Located beside the Wazoon Commercial centre. Consists of 38 units 3 storey shophouses.
  • Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Commercial Centre - Located beside the SMK Bukit Assek together with the double storey terrace and Semi-Detached housing development by Soon Kion. Consists of 50 units 3 storey shophouses.
  • Sunhill Development Project - The project, to be undertaken by Sunhill Development Sdn Bhd, will see the development of a RM35 million nine-storey hotel, a RM5 million two-storey food court and 20 units of shophouses worth RM20 million.

The area at the town's outskirts like Soon Hup Garden, Teku area near the Igan Bridge & also the road to Rantau Panjang Shipping Industrial Zone, Ulu Sungai Merah, Salim, Kemuyang & of course the ever expanding satellite town of Sibu Jaya still have many on-going housing & shoplots developments together with the completion of Sibu-Tanjung Manis Road & other infrastructure facilities will make Sibu one of the fastest growing and bustling town in Sarawak.

Sibu Night Market[edit]

The Pasar Malam (Night Market) is situated in the town centre. Local traders will usually set up their mobile stalls at around 7 pm-11 pm. Items on display are general Malay and Chinese delicacies, clothing, daily necessities, handicrafts and others. The vibrant Night Market sets up every afternoon around 5pm and operates until 10pm or sometimes later. The stalls offer all manners of household goods, footwear, fashion items, and all varieties of food. Even the Prime Minister made a brief visit here on 5 July 2009, as he was attending the launch of 6th Tionghua Cultural Festival, in conjunction of Borneo Cultural Festival 2009.

Sibu Central Market[edit]

The indoor view of the market.

The Central Market is the biggest indoor market in Malaysia. It is home to thousands of stalls selling everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to live poultry. 23 February was an historic moment for the Central Market, as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made a brief visit to the Central Market, before returning to Kuala Lumpur on the same day. There are 2 photographs of his visit to the Central Market on PM's official Facebook page.

Cultural attractions[edit]

Iban Longhouse[edit]

A trip to the Sibu area is incomplete without taking the opportunity to visit Rumah Panjai or Iban Longhouse. Although the Ibans in the Sibu area are modern people who have fully embraced the 21st century, they still practise many traditional customs and retain their adat or traditional law.

Upon arrival to longhouse, the ibans will usually welcome their guests with Tuak (Traditional Iban Rice Wine). Visitors may try their hands at shooting with a blowpipe, weaving a Pua Kumbu, feasting on traditional Iban pastries such as Chuan and Sarang Semut, enjoy and experience the longhouse environment and the scenery of vast paddy field and the Mighty Rajang River.

The Ibans are a warm and hospitable people, and this hospitality, coupled with their rich and colourful customs and traditions, can be a memorable experience.

Chinese[edit]

Sibu is rich in Chinese cultural attractions, especially those of the Foochow community.

The Sungai Merah Heritage Walk is a landscaped park situated in a township called Sungai Merah where the earliest Foochow settlers first landed when they arrived in 1902. The Foochow Centennial Celebration Building commemorates 100 years of Foochow immigration to Sibu.

Sarawak is the only few states in Malaysia where Chinese words are printed on the traffic and street signs. Apart from the only few attractions Sibu could offer to the outsiders, for those who know Chinese, it could be an interesting job to study the street signs in Sibu both written in Chinese and Malay (although the accuracy of the translation could be in dispute). The main roads in Sibu are Brooke Drive (布律克路), Jalan Oya (乌驿路),Jalan Lanang (南兰律),Jalan Wong King Huo (黄景和路), Jalan Rajang (拉让花园), Jalan Au Yong (后洋路), Jalan Li Hua (丽华宝岛), Jalan Aup (后埔港路),etc.

Some residential streets which are less famous but with funny names are Jalan Pipit (麻雀路), Jalan Cherry (樱桃路), Jalan Rambutan (红毛丹路), Jalan Alan (阿兰路), etc.

Sibu Gateway, which is located on Pedada Road and Kampung Nyabor Road, houses displays of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals.

Another landmark of Sibu is the century old Tua Pek Kong Temple with its iconic 7-storey pagoda.[11]

Different from other parts of Malaysia, Sibu Chinese mostly believe in Christianity.

Parks and gardens[edit]

Hin Hua Memorial Park
Gu Tian Garden
Sibu Lake Garden

Sibu has a few urban and suburban parks for the leisure activities of locals and tourists. Gu Tian Park is a landscaped park situated at Bukit Lima Road. It was built by the Gu Tian(古田)Community. Another park is Hoover Park, a suburban park built by Methodist Church, Sibu and to be maintained by the town council. Being near Sungai Merah Heritage Walk, there are plans to integrate it into one tourist destination in the future.[citation needed]

Sibu also has forest parks such as Bukit Lima Forest Park and Forestry Recreation Park. Bukit Lima Forest Park has a 2 km plankwalk, which is ideal for jogging. The Forestry Recreation Park which covers 200 hectares of land at 18.5 km Ulu Oya Road, is managed by the Forestry Department. The park's facilities include a camping site, a 30-metre watch-tower, a cattle and deer farm, and a huge fish pond. A major attraction to be included soon is a butterfly farm.

Bukit Aup Jubilee Park[edit]

Bukit Aup Jubilee Park, located twenty minutes from Sibu town is a popular spot for sight-seeing, picnics, jogging and relaxing. The road to Bukit Aup Jubilee Park is tar sealed which is located less than 12 km from Sibu town. It has scenic views of the town, rivers and forests. The total undulating land for development is more than 200 acres (0.81 km2). Currently two phases have been completed comprising an observation tower, suspension bridge, sky steps, a pavilion, an amphitheatre, a children's playground, a lagoon, a canteen and other buildings. This is a special place for Sibu people to relax and get away from the hectic town life.

Accommodation[edit]

Hotels[edit]

Accommodation in Sibu ranges from budget hotels to luxurious hotels. Below are the star-rated hotels in Sibu.

  • RH Hotel (4 star)
  • Kingwood Hotel (4 star)
  • Premier Hotel (3 star)
  • Tanahmas Hotel (3 star)
  • Paramount Hotel (3 star)
  • Kawan Hotel (3 star)
  • The Orchid Hotel (2 star)
  • Garden Hotel (1 star)

Sibu also provide various selection of Budget hotel around the downtown

Li Hua Island[edit]

One of the most notable, luxurious housing estate in Sibu is the Li Hua island (丽华宝岛)(Pulau Li Hua in Malay) located off the Jalan Upper Lanang, near the Upper Lanang bridge, fronting the Rajang river. The housing estate is developed by Hock Peng Organisation. The house owners on the island have the leasehold term of 99 years, which will expire on 17 October 2098.[12] One of the mansions on the island was the temporary residence for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah during His Majesty's visit to Sibu in 2001,[13] but now the mansion is abandoned, and grass had grown tall. The estate is planned to include various accommodations and facilities such as hotels, yacht club, arcade shops, banks and esplanade park.[14]

Education[edit]

Primary[edit]

Sibu has over 50 primary schools and over 20 secondary schools and colleges. The Chinese primary schools which are well known in Sibu include:

  • SJK (C) Taman Rajang
  • SJK (C) Tiong Hin
  • SJK (C) Tung Hua
  • SJK (C) Methodist
  • SJK (C) Chung Hua
  • SJK (C) Sacred Heart
  • SJK (C) Perbandaran Sibu No. 4
  • SJK (C) Ek Thei
  • SJK (C) Su Lai
  • SJK (C) Chung Ung
  • SJK (C) Tiong Hin
  • SJK (C) Thai Kwang

The national schools (SK) in Sibu include:

  • SK Sacred Heart English
  • SK Sacret Heart Chinese
  • SK Abang Ali (The first Malay School in Sibu)
  • SK St Mary (one of the oldest Co-ed school in Sibu)
  • SK Hua Hin English
  • SK St.Rita (The only Girls National School in Sibu)
  • SK Agama Sibu
  • SK Jalan Deshon

Secondary[edit]

The secondary schools which are well-known and recognised as high performing schools in Sarawak and nationwide include:

  • SMK Bandar Sibu
  • SMK Chung Hua (Popular for its co-curricular activities and school activities)
  • SMK Deshon
  • SMK Jalan Oya (Known as SEMENJAYA, founded in January 1981)
  • SMK Kampung Nangka
  • SMK Lanang
  • SMK Luar Bandar Sibu
  • SMK Methodist (well known for its academic achievements and co-curricular activities)
  • SMK Rosli Dhoby
  • SMK Bukit Assek
  • SMK Sibu Jaya
  • SMK St. Elizabeth

(Created in 1935,it was formerly known as Sacret Heart Girls School, and the only Girls' school in Sibu)

  • SMK Sacred Heart

(well known for its co-curricular activities.It's the oldest Mission School in Sibu, founded in 1902.)

  • SMK Tung Hua
  • Sekolah Menengah Teknik Sibu
  • Sibu Technical Secondary School; Created in 1975 to cater students wishing to continue in technical & vocational studies.It was later renamed to Sibu Vocational College in 2013.
  • SMK Tiong Hin

Sarawak has the highest number of Chinese independent high schools (华文独中) in Malaysia, totalling 14 schools, 5 of which are located in Sibu. These are Catholic High School (公教中学), Wong Nai Siong High School (黄乃裳中学) and three others.

Tertiary[edit]

First University college in Sibu University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS)

There are several colleges in Sibu, serving the tertiary education needs of the locals. These include:

  • Methodist Pilley Institute, which is well known for its accounting.
  • Sarawak Maritime Academy for maritime studies (which was located at Former Public Works Department Sibu headquarter site)
  • Sibu Nursing college (Malay:Kolej Kejururawatan Sibu), a government-funded nursing college with its campus located next to Hospital Sibu
  • Sacred Heart College, the second and latest private college offering hospitality courses in Sibu
  • RH Academy, catering to the hotel and hospitality industry in Sibu
  • ITA College, specialising in nursing and other medical-related courses

Other than that, there were several long distance study centres here in Sibu, which are:

  • Open University Malaysia, whose Students from Sarikei, Kapit, Mukah and Bintulu also studied here, as Sibu Local Learning Centre was the OUM Sarawak Central Region Learning Centre. Its present location was at RH Academy in Lanang,after it relocates from the previous location,at Methodist Pilley Institute.
  • Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, with a facility dedicated for the students of Faculty of Medicine & Health Science undergoing training in Sibu Hospital.
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia – Long distance study centre located in Sibu Jaya.
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia – Long distance study centre, located in Lanang.

Healthcare[edit]

Sibu Hospital[edit]

The healthcare needs of Sibu are served by Hospital Sibu, a government-funded public hospital. It is the second largest hospital in Sarawak and the main tertiary care and referral hospital for the Central Region of Sarawak. It was formerly located in Pulau Road (Lau King Howe Hospital, and it was named in honour of Lau King Howe, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who donated a piece of his land to build a hospital for the people of Sibu), before its relocation to its current location and went into full operation in 1994.

Polyclinics[edit]

The primary healthcare needs of Sibu are served by Oya Polyclinic and Lanang polyclinic. Both are government-funded clinics. There is a plan to build new polyclinic in Sibu Jaya under the 10th Malaysia Plan. Recently, a new Government Community clinic named 1Malaysia Clinic commenced its operation in Teku, and another one was set up at Sungai Bidut as well. The 3rd 1Malaysia Clinic was set up in Rajang Park, to minimise the congestion at Oya Polyclinic.Later,another clinic was opened at Taman Permai,Lanang and the latest one in Bandong.

Private medical centres and clinics[edit]

Besides that, Sibu also has many private medical centres and clinics to serve the healthcare needs of the town people. The most notable medical centres are Rejang Medical Centre and Sibu Specialist Medical Centre.

Pharmacies[edit]

Sibu has many pharmacies, anging from traditional pharmacies such as BY Chan (located near Sentral Market) and Central Pharmacy (located at Premier) to modern pharmacies such as Cosway Farmasi (located near Bus Terminal, Medan Mall & RH Hotel).

Infrastructure and transportation[edit]

Sibu Airport[edit]

Sibu Airport (IATA: SBWICAO: WBGS), originally built during World War II, was relocated to its present site 23 kilometres from town near Sibu Jaya in 1994. In 2008, the airport handled 831,772 passengers on 14,672 flights and 735 metric tonnes of cargo.[15] On April 2009, the airport was allocated RM150 million by the federal government for the upgrade of the terminal building. Once completed, its terminal is larger than Miri Airport and Bintulu Airport. AirAsia, Malaysia's own home-grown low-cost airline, operates in Sibu airport with frequent flights to Kuala Lumpur. [1]

Upper Lanang Bridge[edit]

Upper Lanang Bridge or simply Lanang Bridge or less formally Assan Bridge is the bridge connecting Sibu to Sarikei and Bintangor. The ground breaking ceremony of the Upper Lanang bridge was held on 12 October 2003 and officiated by Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh. The bridge was completed on 24 April 2006, replacing the need for ferries carrying passengers and vehicles across the Rajang river. The private company building the bridge, Shin Yang Group, has the right to collect tolls for the next 30 years.[16]

Sibu Express Wharf Terminal[edit]

The Sibu Express Wharf Terminal also provides an alternative means of transport for people along the Rajang River. Among the destinations that can be reached by express boats from Sibu include Song, Kuching, Kapit, and Kanowit.

Bus terminals[edit]

Sibu has two bus stations. The short distance bus terminal is located near the Sibu Express Wharf Terminal while the new bus terminal is near the SMK Deshon. The short distance bus terminal is for the short distance travel within Sibu town and other local regions of Sarawak such as Sarikei and Bintangor. Among the buses put into the local services includes Lanang buses and Sibu Jaya buses. The new bus terminal is for long distance travel from Sibu to Kuching, Bintulu, and Miri through the Pan Borneo Highway. Among the long distance buses that offered their services are MTC express and Suria buses. However, there are several areas no longer served by buses, and people have to resort to illegal taxis (known as Kereta Sapu) to go to some downtown areas such as the Bandong area which have no serving bus company.

Cuisine[edit]

Sibu is known for its delicious and affordable local cuisine. The more famous dishes include: (note: the names are rendered in the Fuzhou dialect, which is often radically different from Standard Chinese.)

  • "Kam Pua" noodle (干盘面) (kampua) - noodles tossed in pork lard or vegetable oil, fried shallots, spring onions and sometimes soy sauce and/or chili sauce. It is available at almost all coffee shops and food stalls. The taste for "gam mua" differs from person to person. Popular establishments serving good "gam mua" include Aloha Cafe (town centre), Rasa Sayang (new bus terminal) and a hawker stall above Central Market (at night), among others. The most delicious one will be at Palace Cafe (皇宫茶室),located just beside the Eight-Corner Malay Stalls (八角亭),behind Premier Hotel. Even 'Halal' (food prepared according to Muslim rites) "gam mua" is also available as well.
  • "Duёng Mian Ngu"(鼎边糊) (Dian Mian Hu)- a savoury soup with soft rice cake is available at several stalls as a hefty breakfast or a late night supper. It is often served with fish balls and squid. A popular joint is in an alleyway by Jalan Blacksmith.
  • "Bian Nyuk"(扁肉, also called wonton, 雲吞) - a meat dumpling which can be served dry or in a soup. Stalls serving good "gam mua"
  • "Gom bian" (光饼) (or Kompia)- a Foochow delicacy made with flour, baked in an oven and eaten either with or without meat and a special gravy. It is somewhat similar to a bagel. However, it can be either in a crisp or soft version. Nice traditional soft kompia dipped in pork sauce can be sought from Chung Hua road and the Sunday Market at Pedada road. There are deep fried variations available throughout Sibu town. It's a hit not just for Chinese, but Malay and Iban community as well. There's a shop sells only the non-filling version of it, which is Seng Kee, located at Market Road and its branch at Workshop Road.
  • "You Zhar Gui" (油炸桧, also called 油條 in Chinese)(Yau Char Kway, pronounced as Kueh Cakoi in Malay) - deep fried twin dough batter often dipped in soup or chili sauce. It is also a great with porridge or "Bak Kut Teh(肉骨茶)"
  • "Bek Ding Yuok" (八珍药 in Chinese)(or pek ting ngor): The soup of eight essences - nice, sweet, tasty and nutritious Chinese soup made of at least eight types of Chinese herbal materials.
  • "Rojak Kassim": Indian-style rojak (known as pasembur or Mamak Rojak). Back then, the owner itself (Hj.Kassim) used to sell it at a coffee shop located at Jalan Morshidi Sidek, Now the business entity is just named "ROJAK" at Popular Cafe, opposite Star Cineplex.The business had been taken over by Hj.Kassim's Ex-daughter in law.

Developmental Issues[edit]

Economic[edit]

Sibu faces a number of economic developmental issues. There is serious income inequality in the town. The situation is not aided by the level of corruption present, which often extends into the corridors of power as is often the case in Malaysia.

Sibu has fallen behind its regional rivals, Kuching, Miri and Bintulu, in its level of economic development and from an aesthetic point of view. Sibu does not appear to be attracting major state support in terms of development. Kuching has developed a major regional airport with the aim of becoming a gateway for international tourism into the Sarawak and Borneo regions but Sibu's airport is still run-down.[17] It is likely that the state authorities do not see much potential in Sibu for future development and progression.

As Sibu now has an airport under reconstruction, the potential for development remains to be seen as the new airport and state sponsored activities attempt to capture a piece of the action going on around Sarawak.

Floods[edit]

There have been regular floods in Sibu, especially at Hua Kiew Road, (华侨路)in Bukit Assek state constituency. The flooding caused many problems for the Sibu-siders; many residents have moved to other areas while others have had no choice but to endure the situation. However, the Sibu flood mitigation project has been underway at Hua Kiew Road and Bandong, to solve the flooding problems in the area. The Mitigation project at Bandong area is expected to be completed in July 2010.

Notable Figures from Sibu[edit]

  • Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng (Sarawak 3rd and current Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak)
  • Late Tun Datuk Patinggi Ahmad Zaidi Adruce (Sarawak fifth Yang Dipertua Negeri)
  • Late Tun Datuk Patinggi Tuanku Bujang Tuanku Othman (Sarawak second Yang Dipertua Negeri)
  • Late Datuk Lau Hui Kang (Founder of KTS Group)
  • Late Datuk Lau Hui Siong (Founder of See Hua Group)
  • Late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew (Former Member of Parliament for Sibu & Deputy Minister of Transport)
  • Late Ainie Dhoby (Rosli Dhoby's younger brother, and also community leader in 1960s)
  • Late Tan Sri Tai Sing Chii (Chairman of Pan Sarawak (PANSAR) Group)
  • YBhg.Tan Sri Dr.Wong Soon Kai (Former Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak & President, Sarawak United People's Party)
  • YBhg. Dato' Awang Bemee Awang Ali Basah (Former Sarawak State Legislative Member for Nangka & Chairman of Kuching Port Authority)
  • YBhg. Vincent Goh Chung Siong (Former Sarawak State Legislative Member for Pelawan & Former Chairman of Rajang Port Authority)
  • YBhg.Temenggung Datuk Haji Wan Hamid Edruce (Sibu Malay Community Leader)
  • YB Wong Ho Leng (Former Member of Parliament for Sibu, Sarawak State Legislative Member for Bukit Assek & Chairman, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak Branch)
  • YB Datuk Fadillah Yusof (Minister of Public Works & Member of Parliament for Petra Jaya, Kuching)
  • Late Datuk Seri Wong Tuong Kwang (Founder of WTK Group and Philanthropist)
  • Mr Chew Peng Cheng
  • Ting Ming Siong (Food stall operator, known as the Guinness World Record Holder for the Most wedding attended by a best man – from September 1975 to 2 February 2006 he attended 1,393 weddings)[2]
  • Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King (Chairman of Rimbunan Hijau Group, and elder brother of Datuk Tiong Thai King. Listed as one of the 10 richest Malaysians, and also one of the Malaysians receiving the knighthood from the British Government)
  • Gloria Ting Mei Ru, Miss Malaysia World 2004
  • YB Dr.Annuar Rapaee (Cardiologist & Sarawak State Legislative Member for Nangka)
  • Datuk Dr.Nor Daim @ Matnor Daim (Former Director of Education,Malaysia & Recipient of 'Tokoh Kepimpinan Pendidikan Kebangsaan 2011' Award in conjunction of National Level Teachers Day 2011 in Kuching)
  • Hazel Desmond (RTM Newscaster)
  • YB Oscar Ling Chai Yew (Member of Parliament for Sibu)
  • YB Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (Member of Parliament for Lanang)
  • Andrew Nari (Malaysia Airlines Steward; Chief Steward of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing on 8 March 2014)

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sarawak: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". The World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sibu, Malaysia". Geonames. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Chris Rowthorn; Muhammad Cohen; China Williams (1 June 2008). Borneo. Lonely Planet. pp. 185–. ISBN 978-1-74059-105-8. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Frank N. Pieke (2004). Transnational Chinese: Fujianese migrants in Europe. Stanford University Press. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-8047-4995-4. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  5. ^ H. Wilfrid Walke. "Wanderings Among South Sea Savages". Sibu fort. Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  6. ^ And this does not make sense. Helders, Stefa. "Malaysia:Metropolitan area". World Gazettee. 
  7. ^ List of parliamentary and state constituencies in every states (Malay version) SPR official website
  8. ^ Borneo Pandaw Cruises Rajang River - Into the Heart of Borneo URL assessed on 15 December 2009
  9. ^ a b SIBU BASE JUMP 2013 URL assessed on 17 August 2013
  10. ^ a b SIBU INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL (SIDF) URL assessed on 29 July 2013
  11. ^ China Williams (2008). Southeast Asia on a shoestring. Lonely Planet. pp. 499–. ISBN 978-1-74104-726-4. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Pulau Li Hua Exclusive 99 years detached housing lot for sale URL assessed on 15 December 2009
  13. ^ Sibu residents have fond memories of the late King
  14. ^ Pulau Li Hua, Sibu URL assessed on 15 December 2009
  15. ^ Sibu Airport, Sarawak at Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
  16. ^ Upper Lanang bridge, Sibu URL assessed on 15 December 2009
  17. ^ Kuching International Airport: Present and Future Kuching. Retrieved 30 March 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 2°18′N 111°49′E / 2.300°N 111.817°E / 2.300; 111.817