Before Miri was founded, Marudi was the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak. Miri was founded in 1910 when the first oil well was drilled by Royal Dutch Shell. The discovery of an oil field in Miri has led to rapid development of Miri town. Miri became the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak by 1929. During World War II, the Miri oil fields were destroyed by the Brooke government to sabotage Japanese operations in Southeast Asia but to no avail; Miri town was the first landing point of Japanese troops in Borneo. The subsequent Japanese occupation led Miri to become a target of Allied air raids which caused the destruction of oil refinery facilities in Miri. The petroleum industry continued to be a major player in the city's economy after the war. Oil exploration has moved offshore since the 1950s, but subsequently new inland oil fields were found in 1989 and 2011. In 1974, the formation of Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas led to co-operation between Petronas and Shell on oil exploration in the Miri region. In 2005, Miri became the 10th city in Malaysia to be granted official city status, the first non-state capital city to be bestowed such status.
A picture of the Eagle Square (Dataran Helang) in Langkawi, Malaysia. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang - which is shortened to "lang", while kawi is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.
Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata Kedah), is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On 15 July 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Langkawi Island with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Tuba Island. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.
20 April: Puntung, one of only three Sumatran rhinoceroses left in Malaysia, regained consciousness after a successful operation conducted by a multinational team of veterinary experts.
19 April: Malaysia Airlines has become the first airline in the world to sign up to a new satellite flight tracking system for its fleet. The system will enable Malaysia Airlines to monitor its planes in areas where there is currently no surveillance, including polar regions and remote areas of sea not covered by existing systems.
5 April: Shabudin Yahaya, the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor, came under heavy criticism from other politicians and the public after stating that victims of rape would have a brighter future if they married their rapists, and that girls as young as nine are "physically and spiritually" ready for marriage.