|Nickname(s): Pineapple Town/Swallow Town|
|• Council Chairman||Cr. Chan Phan Chan|
|• Resident||Michael Dawi|
|• Total||985 km2 (380 sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC)|
|National calling code||+6084 (local landline only)|
|License plate prefix||QR (for all vehicles except taxis)|
Sarikei (Chinese: 泗里街; pinyin: sì lǐ jiē) is a town, and the capital of the Sarikei District (985 square kilometres) in Sarikei Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. It is located on the Rajang River, near where the river empties into the South China Sea. The district population (year 2010 census) was 56,798.
The most distinctive feature of the bustling waterfront is a 3.6 m high pineapple statue and also the tallest building in Sarikei - Wisma Jubli Mutiara.
The town itself consists of a main road, Repok Road which is bisected by another road leading to the new development in Kampung Seberang which is known as Susur Jambu.
- 1 History and background
- 2 Population
- 3 Economy
- 4 Attractions and Recreation Spots
- 5 Landmarks
- 6 Shopping
- 7 Accommodation
- 8 Education
- 9 Healthcare
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Cuisine
- 13 Notable Figures from Sarikei
- 14 TV Programmes
- 15 References
- 16 External links
History and background
The origin name of Sarikei was hard to be identified. Once upon a time, Sarikei was the centre for buying and selling chickens and hence it was called "Sa-rie-kei" ("Sa-rie" in most Chinese dialects means "centre" and "kei" means "Town"). Later the spelling was changed to Sarikei.
The early history of Sarikei can be traced as far back as the early 19th century. There are many historical events to show its existence. For example, Rajah James Brooke first visited Sarikei on 30 April 1845. There were also resistance from the local people towards the Brooke’s administration, including the burning of Sarikei on 4 January 1856 and the Julau Expedition on 19 June 1856, which was led by Sir Charles Brooke to counter the native resistance in Julau.
The establishment of Sarikei as a new Division was mainly based on security consideration. Datu Wilson Baya Dandot, The Deputy State Secretary (Planning and Development) in his article entitled: Sarawak’s Unique Administrative Identity: Establishment of Divisional, District and Sub-District Machinery For Enhancing Development Administration said that the establishment of Sarikei as the Sixth Division then was due to the security threats posed by the communist insurgency which was at its height at that time. It was felt that with the establishment of a new Sarikei Division the government would be able to concentrate and focus more in its efforts to contain and counter the security problem in the area.
Also known as the "food basket" for the Land of the Hornbills, Sarikei started as a small village comprising the "Segalang" community and a few rows of Chinese shophouses. From a dead town, the once isolated and remote Sarikei has progressed and the people now enjoy infrastructural facilities and economic opportunities.
Sarikei has been known as The Fruit Basket of Sarawak. The economy of the town is primarily agricultural, and Sarikei is famed for its pineapples and its pepper. Besides that, the center of town also has many old Chinese shophouses from the 1930s.
Attractions and Recreation Spots
- Pineapple Festival also known as "Pesta Nanas" is an annual event held in Sarikei to promote Sarikei as a City of "fruits basket of Sarawak". During the festival, there are various activities organised by the organiser such as pineapple display competition, pineapple cooking competition, exhibitions, bazaar and so on. The 10th Sarikei Pineapple Fest 2013 was for the first time be run by the private sector, namely Embun Kiara (S) Sdn Bhd and TOP Event Management (M) Sdn Bhd.
- Sebangkoi Country Resort is a popular place to visit for the local populace. What was once a simple waterfall has now emerged as a multimillion-dollar development with landscaped gardens and accommodation.
- Sarikei Deer Farm is located 26 km (opposite the main entrance of Sebangkoi Country Park) away from Sarikei Town.
- Sarikei Wharf Esplanade is ideal for evening strolls and sunset watching. The sun sets in the west and that's the direction of the Rejang River's flow towards the river mouth at the South China Sea where it deposits its silt.
- Sarikei Lake Park, situated opposite the fire station, is one of the more popular spots for families and young couples to have a walk and generally hang out. It is built around an artificial lake and features gazebos and a jogging path.
- Sarikei Merdeka Park is one of the latest additions to the local government's effort to turn Sarikei into a more aesthetic town. Built in 2004, it consists of a central courtyard framed by two gazebos and Zen balls. The park was built on what used to be the Pasar Tamu of the town.
- Rumah Nyuka Longhouse is a longhouse build i955, located at Lubuk Lemba, Ulu Sarikei and 17 km from Bayong junction (Betong/Sarikei highway). You can try their local delicacies including manuk pansuh (bamboo chicken) flavoured with tapioca leaves, bamboo shoots, tapioca pastry, and penyaram (traditional cake).
- Wisma Jubli Mutiara: Tallest building in Sarikei with 10 Storey
- Wisma Methodist
- Civic Centre Sarikei
- Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry building
- Water Tower at Lake Garden Sarikei
- Clock Tower at wharf: officially opened on 29 June 1974
The major supermarkets in Sarikei are Ngiu Kee, Swee Hoon, Nam Leong, Everwin, Everrise and Friendly. However, in December 2013, Ngiu Kee shut down its operation and took over by BB Department Store & Supermarket. Later, BB Department store shut down their operation. Meanwhile, in April 2014, Everrise was end its operation and will take over by Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia.
Sarikei is a fast developing town nowadays. There are some local and international retail outlets open their branch in Sarikei in recent year like The Body Shop, Blackball - Original Taiwenese Tea & Dessert, ShareTea, Boluomi Tea, Singapore Chicken Rice (SCR), Watsons Personal Care Stores, Guardian, and so on.
This new township is under construction. The developer of Sarikei New Township is Tropical Rhythm Sdn Bhd. Sarikei New Township also targeted to non-Sarikeian investors with its introduction to Sarikei and its economy. The area will spread over 3.53 hectares. The 104 three-storey shops will have space ranging from 113-308 square meters per floor. The development coverage also include JKR and part of Jalan Siaw Ah Khoon from Jalan Bersatu up to Jalan Seng Lee (near to SMK St Anthony).
An open air food court sprawling over 667 square meters will be at the Jalan Bersatu area (Picture 1, left). A nine-storey high hotel will aim for the sky at the JKR area (Picture 1, right). It will feature 2 function and banquet halls and 133 rooms. A retail mall is rumoured to be in the podium of the block.
There are four major markets in Sarikei whereby people can buy local products and perishable goods, namely Sarikei Hawker Centre, Sarikei Rejang River Market, Sarikei Centre Market and Nyelong Weekend Market (tamu). The Sarikei Hawker Centre was opened on 14 April 1981 located at Bank Road bus terminal. At first floor of hawker centre, there have food court which separate by halal and non-halal section. There also have another food court near by hawker centre, namely Sarikei Hawker Food Centre.
Mostly hotel in Sarkei are budget hotel. Below are the list of hotel in Sarikei:
- 808 Lodge
- Dragon Inn
- Furama Hotel
- Garden Hotel (Sarikei New Township)
- Hiek Lik Hotel
- King's Inn
- Leh Hua Hotel
- Oriental Hotel
- Payang Puri Hotel
- Rajang Hotel
- Sebangkoi Country Resort
- Southern Hotel
- Tanjung Manis Hotel
- Yew Luen Lodging House
- Wawasan Inn
Sarikei has over 40 primary schools and 5 secondary schools including:
The national primary schools (SK) include:
- Sk St. Anne Sarikei
- SK Methodist Anglo-Chinese School
- SK Abang Haji Matahir
- SK Agama Sarikei
- SK Sg Paoh
- SK Selangan
- SK Sarikei
The Chinese primary schools (SJKC) include:
- SJK(C) Kwang Chien 广建小学
- SJK(C) Su Kwong 泗光小学
- SJK(C) Nam Kiew 南桥华小
- SJK(C) Tiong Ho 中和小学
- SJK(C) Sze Lu 泗卢小学
- SJK(C) Su Lee 泗利小学
- SJK(C) Su Lok 泗乐小学
- SJK(C) Wah Man 华民小学
- SJK(C) Bulat 巫叻小学
- SJK(C) Siung Hua 松华小学
- SJK(C) St. Martin 圣马丁小学
- SMK St. Anthony Sarikei
- SMK Bandar Sarikei
- SMK Tinggi Sarikei
- SMK Sg Paoh
- SMK Sarikei Baru (will operate in January 2015)
Others Learning Institution
The community college is located at Jalan Central, Sarikei. To date, Kolej Komuniti Sarikei offered a 20-month Culinary Certificate (in November 2014) and 16-month Computer Systems and Support Certificate (in March 2015). In addition, the community college also offered two-day courses (held on weekends), included preparation of frozen foods, western cuisine, cupcakes, make-up, hair styling, flower arrangement and ferro cement.
Medical needs are served by several hospitals and clinics. The main hospital is Hospital Sarikei, officially opened in 2006, costing RM250.4M. There is also a polyclinic near the old hospital opposite the fire station, which was old building of Hospital Besar before the new hospital ready in 2006. Private Clinics are also available within the town area like Dr. Awang, Dr. Eric Wong Siong Kong, Dr. Jawi Masing, Dr. Sim, Dr. Law and Dr. Wong Hua She. Besides that, government also set up 1Malaysia Clinic in Jakar Bazaar (12 kilometres from central of Sarikei town) to serve about 5,000 people from Merudu, Sungai Paoh, Sebangkoi, Bayong and the surrounding areas.
Sarikei Express Wharf Terminal
There have two terminals provided water transport (boat express) in Sarikei. Terminal 1 is next to the clock tower and the pineapple statue. Meanwhile, Terminal 2 serves the bigger boats to Kuching.
Sarikei has two bus stations. The short distance bus terminal is located near the Sarikei Express Wharf Terminal while the long distance bus terminal located 1 km from town centre (started operate around year 2002). The short distance bus terminal is for the short distance travel within Sarikei town, and to Sibu and Bintangor. For long distance bus terminal, Sarikei Bus Terminal serves as the main hub for express buses to various destinations in Sarawak including Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri through the Pan Borneo Highway.
Taxis are available near the wharf terminals, the bus terminal as well as in the central taxi station at the first intersection of Jalan Repok.
Sarikei Public Library, situated at Jalan Kapur, has a floor area of approximately 2,000 square meters at a cost of around RM3.5 million and was opened to the public on 1 August 2003. It is one of the landmarks of the town given its unique architecture which sets it apart from the other government buildings in the town.
The major housing areas in the town are the Hua Tai, Sunny Spring, Kiong Soon Road, Jongkong Road, Getah Road, Rejang Road, Nyelong Park and the Meranti road housing estates. The majority of the houses in the estates are terrace houses with some semi-detached houses. There are also some bungalows and detached units.
For Islam, the primary place of worship for the Muslims is the town mosque adjacent to the Hua Tai residential area, namely Masjid Al-Muttaqin. The mosque is categorised as Gred 1 mosque located at Jalan Masjid Baru. Masjid Al-Muttaqin formerly known as Masjid Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman Yaakub. The design of Masjid Al-Muttaqin's building fully with high Muslim artwork to symbolise the spirit of unity and tolerance among Muslims in this region, especially Muslims in Sarikei.
Besides that, the town has a fairly large population of Christians. The majority of the Christians belong to the Methodist denomination which has about four churches in the town area and surrounding residential areas. The Roman Catholic parish of St Anthony's in Sarikei has its church along Repok Road. The mission also runs two schools, St. Anthony's Secondary School and St. Anne's Primary School as well as a kindergarten, St. Clement's. Other Christian churches include the Anglican Church centre in the Nyelong Park Housing Estate as well as the SIB (Borneo Evangelical Church). In 1999, a new church was built at Jalan Kwong Ming named the Sarawak Full Gospel Church (Sarikei Branch).
Sarikei Buddhist Orthodox Association is one of the religious place whereby Buddhist can having their prayers or joint the religion activities. The association located at Nyelong By Pass Sarikei.
The more famous local cuisine include:
- "Roti Bakar Aik Seng" (益星炭烤面包)：Also known as roti kahwin by Aik Seng coffee shop (益星茶室) at No. 21 Wharf Road. A roti pau kosong is used instead of sliced bread. This charcoal-toasted ‘roti bakar’ has three fillings – butter, ‘kaya’ and peanut butter. It's totally different with the toasted breads that offers by other coffee shop. Sarawak's former Yang Di-Pertua Negeri, Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng always came Aik Seng to enjoy ‘roti bakar’ when he visiting Sarikei.
- "Jakar Prawn Noodles" (椰甲虾面): A famous dishes by Peking Restaurant in Jakar Bazaar (12 kilometres from central of Sarikei town).
- "Kam Pua noodles" (干拌面) Two types. white noodles (onion and garlic flavour) and black soy sauce stir mixed. Looks similar like wan tan noodles but taste totally different. Major ingredients are fried onions, shallots, lard, and red yeast wine that make it so unique.
- "Erng Zhou Ark": Duck roasted with a concoction derived from the by-product of the red yeast wine making process.
- "Kompyang" (光饼): pronounced kom-pyang; Jian'ou dialect: Guang-biang, a local hard & dry, mild salty bread. Best eaten hot. Besides Sarikei, kompyang also can find in Sibu town, Sitiawan, Ayer Tawar, Sepang & Yong Peng towns of Peninsular Malaysia where predominated by Fuzhou Clan, Fuzhou city of China and even far west to Jammu and Kashmir (Srinagar) of India also selling similar kind of bread like this.
- "Jin Tung Pian" (征东饼): "conquer eastern bread", rather bigger size, soft and sweet taste.
- "Bien Nuik"(扁肉): The local version of the "wan tan". In Fuzhou, called (扁肉燕).
- "Bek Ting Yuok"(八珍药): ‘Eight Precious Herbs’, the soup of eight essences - nice, sweet, tasty and nutritious Chinese soup made of at least eight types of Chinese herbal materials. Usually cooked with pork leg or duck. Known as Ba Zheng in Mandarin. In Sarikei, you can buy ‘Eight Precious Herbs’ which sold in packets in various combinations in Kiong Ann Tong Drug Store (健安堂).
- "Tian Miang Ngu"(鼎边糊): The rice slices soup, cooks with mu er (mushroom), minced pork balls and cuttlefish (octopus)slices. Best served with pepper, similar as Taiwan's 鼎邊銼. The soup stock is made using pork bones and dried squid.
- "Zhou Cai Hung Ngan" (糟菜粉干): Preserved mustard cooked with shark fillet rice noodles soup.
Notable Figures from Sarikei
- Syarif Masahor (a famous Malay warrior of Hadhrami descent)
- Panglima Rentap (a Dayak (Iban) rebel leader in Sarawak, Malaysia during the Brooke White Rajah era)
- Tun Abang Haji Openg bin Sapiee (first Sarawak Governor or Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak (1963-1969); ex-student of St Anthony's School Sarikei)
- Syawe @ Siaw Ah Khoon 萧南坤 (An English speaking man in Sarikei in the 1920s)
- Y.B. Tan Sri Dato' Seri Law Hieng Ding (former Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, member of parliament Sarikei from 1982-2008)
- YB Datuk David Teng Lung Chi (former Assistant Minister of Food Industries & Local Government)
- Lee Chai Fong 李采霞 (1980s pop star in the cassette era)
- Wong Tee Kue (former National Athlete, held the Malaysian record for hammer throw for 12 years and broke 2 SEA Games records)
- Stella Chung Siaw Yih 钟晓玉 (Malaysian Singer/Artist)
- Nick Chung 钟盛忠 (Malaysian Singer/Artist, born in Sibu and grown in Sarikei)
- Mr. Ding Kuong Hiing (former MP of Sarikei, 2008-2013)
- Prof Dr Morshidi Sirat (5th Vice-Chancellor of UNIMAS (1–16 April 2013); Former Higher Education Department director-general (retired, until June 2014)
- Mr. Wong Ling Biu (MP of Sarikei, 2013 till now)
- Jakie Wong Siew Cheer (National Athlete, broke the Malaysian record in Men’s hammer record of 59.75m in Myanmar SEA Games - Bronze)
- Grace Wong Xiu Mei (Athlete, broke the record with a distance of 55.82m in female's hammer throw in Perlis SUKMA 2014 - Gold)
Sarikei has been featured in several local and international TV pragrammes.
|Release date||Channel (Country)||Programme||Topic of programme||Note|
|20 December 2009||AEC (Malaysia)||Malaysia, My Home
|Ep.4 Pepper Town in Sarawak, Sarikei
|Story of Sarikei Chinese|
|28 April 2012||TV1 (Malaysia)||Selamat Pagi 1Malaysia||Sana sini||Introducing Ahim Giant Burger 1Malaysia|
|4 June 2012 &
6 June 2012
|TV1 (Malaysia)||Khabar 1Malaysia||Ep.1 & Ep.2||Introducing Sarikei|
|Feb 2014||Jiangmen TV 江门台
China (Jiangmen, Guangdong)
|The Overseas Wuyinese
|Ep.3 & Ep.4 泗里街上三江人||Story of Sarikei Cantonese|
|Release date||Channel (Country)||Name of drama||Cast||Note|
|15 September 2012 (Premiere)
13 January 2013 (Repeat)
14 Jan 2013 (Repeat)
|TVi (Ch.180) (Malaysia)||Melodi Cinta Sarikei||Farah Dhiya, Tony Eusoff, Norman Hakim, Chomell Fana, Livonia Ricky, Dato' Aziz Singah||Telemovie|
|Estimate in November 2014||TVi (Ch.180) (Malaysia)||Iban Taiko||Danny Lang, Sharleyna, Stevenson, Bruce Walker||13-episode Iban Language mini series|
- Total population by ethnic group, sub-district and state, Malaysia, 2010, Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia, Retrieved 1 January 2014
- SARIKEI: Pusat Pertanian Komersil Wilayah Tengah, Rangkaian Khidmat Awam Negeri Sarawak, vol.2(2), 2002, Retrieved 1 July 2014
- History - Sarikei 1800's-1900's Chinese Migrants, Sarikei Time Capsule®, Retrieved 1 July 2014
- "Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism Sarawak".
- "Official website of Sarikei Administrative Division". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Pesta Nanas Sarikei (Pineapple Festival), Sarawak Tourism, Retrieved 21 July 2014
- Private sector to run Sarikei Pineapple Fest ’13, NegaraKita.com, Retrieved 26 July 2014
- Rumah Nyuka Longhouse, Sarawak Tourism, Retrieved 26 July 2014
- Scenes - Sarikei Pala Munsoh Waterfalls and Longhouse, Sarikei Time Capsule®, 2009-03-29, Retrieved 26 July 2014
- Hen Design Studio. "Everrise - One of the largest and fastest growing supermarket chains in Sarawak.". everrise.com.my.
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- "BlackBall - Original Taiwenese Tea & Dessert". blackball.com.my.
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- Traditional Foochow Biscuits 福州光饼 @ Eng Hin in Yong Peng, Johor, Johor Kaki, 29 April 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014
- Fuzhou Bakery and Noodle Maker @ Eng Hin Bakery, Yong Peng, Johor, Masak masak, 7 February 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2014
- "Fuzhou Snacks: Kompia". Lifeislikethat.com. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Sarikei’s long link to international trade, Borneo Post Online, 27 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2014
- John H. Walker (2002). Power and Prowess: The Origins of Brooke Kingship in Sarawak. University of Hawaii Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-8248-2500-4.
- History: Rajang Teachers' College - Teaching you a lesson, Sarikei Time Capsule®, 1 April 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- People - Sarikei Sports Giant, Wong Tee Kue, Sarikei Time Capsule®, 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- Prof Dr Morshidi Sirat Dilantik Naib Canselor UNIMAS Yang Baharu - Khaled, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 2 April 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- Anak jati Sarikei dilantik sebagai naib canselor kelima UNIMAS, Borneo Post Online, 2 April 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- Prof Dr Asma first woman appointed Higher Education D-G, New Strait Times Online, 13 June 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- "Hammer Throw Result" (PDF). www.data4.seagamesmm.com. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- Amazing Grace shatters Sukma record in Perlis, Borneo Post Online, 1 June 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014
- Fully Iban-language mini series to air on TVi, Borneo Post Online, 16 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarikei.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sarikei.|