Sarikei is a town, and the capital of the Sarikei District (985 square kilometers) in Sarikei Division
Sarikei Division
Sarikei Division is one of the eleven administrative divisions in Sarawak, east Malaysia, located on the island of Borneo. Formerly part of the Third Division, which included Sibu and Kapit, Sarikei Division has a total area of 4,332.4 square kilometers, and is the second smallest of the...

, Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

, east Malaysia. It is located on the Rajang River
Rajang River
The Rajang River is a river in Sarawak, Malaysia. The river is located in northwest of Borneo and it originates in the Iran Mountains. The river flows approximately 563 km to the South China Sea, making it the longest river in Malaysia....

, near where the river empties into the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

. The district population (year 2010 census) was 56,798. The population is culturally mixed, with mostly Iban
Iban people
The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. In Malaysia, most Ibans are located in Sarawak, a small portion in Sabah and some in west Malaysia. They were formerly known during the colonial period by the British as Sea Dayaks. Ibans were renowned for practising headhunting and...

, Melanau
The Melanau are a people who live on the island of Borneo, primarily in Sarawak, Malaysia, but also in Kalimantan, Indonesia. They are among the earliest settlers of Sarawak, and speak a Northwest Malayo-Polynesian language .-Origins:...

, Malay
Malay people
Malays are an ethnic group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, including the southernmost parts of Thailand, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations...

 and Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....


The economy of the town is primarily agricultural, and Sarikei is famed for its pineapples and its pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

. The center of town has many old Chinese shophouses from the 1930s. It is also a major transportation hub for traffic on both the Pan Borneo Highway
Pan Borneo Highway
Pan Borneo Highway , also known as Trans Borneo Highway, , ' is a network of federal roads connecting Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah. The Pan Borneo Highway project is a joint project between the governments of Brunei and Malaysia...

 and the Rajang river. Anybody traveling by road or express boat from Kuching
Kuching , officially the City of Kuching, and formerly the City of Sarawak, is the capital and most populous city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is the largest city on the island of Borneo, and the fourth largest city in Malaysia....

 to Sibu
Sibu may refer to:*Sibu, Sarawak in Eastern Malaysia*Sibu Division*Sibu , an impact crater on Mars*Pulau Sibu, an island off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia*Sibu , name of a goddess in the Bribri tribe, in Costa Rica...

 must pass through Sarikei.

The most distinctive feature of the bustling waterfront is a 3.6 m high pineapple statue.

The town itself consists of a main road, Repok Road which is bisected by another road leading to the new development in Kampung Seberang.

History and background

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
James Brooke
James, Rajah of Sarawak, KCB was the first White Rajah of Sarawak. His father, Thomas Brooke, was an English Judge Court of Appeal at Bareilly, British India; his mother, Anna Maria, born in Hertfordshire, was the illegitimate daughter of Scottish peer Colonel William Stuart, 9th Lord Blantyre,...

 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 4.1.1856 and the Julau Expedition on 19 June 1856, which was led by Sir Charles Brooke
Charles Brooke
Charles Brooke may refer to:* Charles Brooke , surgeon and inventor* Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak , head of state of Sarawak, Borneo*Charles Brooke -See also:* Charles Brook...

 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.


Medical needs are served by several hospitals and clinics. The main hospital is Sarikei Hospital, officially opened in 2006, costing RM250.4M.
There is also a polyclinic near the old hospital opposite the fire station.
Clinics are also available within the town area like Dr. Eric Wong Siong Kong, Dr. Jawi Masing, Dr. Sim, Dr. Law and Dr. Wong Hua Seh


There are several schools with decades of established history.

Primary Schools
  • Sk St. Anne Sarikei
  • SRB Su Kwong
  • SRB Kwang Chien (SK Kwang Chien)
  • SRB Methodist Anglo-Chinese School
  • SK Abang Haji Matahir
  • SRB Sze Lu
  • SJK(C) Su Lee
  • SJK(C) Su Lok
  • SJK(C) Wah Man
  • SK Ulu Bintangor
  • SK Adin Sare.
  • SK Agama Sarikei
  • SK Sg Paoh
  • SK Tiong Ho

Secondary Schools
  • SMK St. Anthony Sarikei
  • SMK Bandar Sarikei
    SMK Bandar Sarikei
    Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Sarikei or SMK Bandar Sarikei, also known as SMKBS,is a government secondary school in Sarikei.In 2009, SMK Bandar Sarikei have 1322 orang students, which are 652 male and 670 female...

  • SMB Tinggi Sarikei
  • SMK Sg Paoh

The government has also recently added several schools across Sungai Baji in the new development zone. Schools include a religious school (SK Agama Sarikei). Sarikei has also a private Chinese secondary school called SM Ming Lik some distance out of town.


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.


  • Water Transport: Sarikei Wharf Terminal. Terminal 1 is next to the clock tower and the pineapple statue. Terminal 2 serves the bigger boats to Kuching.
  • Land Transport: Sarikei Regional bus terminal located 1 km from town centre serves as the main hub for express buses to various destinations in Sarawak including Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri.
  • Taxis: 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.

Attractions and Recreation Spots

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 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.

Agricultural sector

Bukit Huang Pineapples & Vegetables Plantation is one of the largest farms at the Rejang Delta region. 30% of Sarikei's local vegetable supply and 50% of famous Sarawak pineapples production place.


There are five major supermarket in Sarikei, namely Ngiu Kee, Nam Leong(the newest shop), Everwin, Everise and Friendly.

Religious Places

The main religions in the town are Christianity, Buddhism and Islam.

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 Evagelical Church). In 1999, a new church was built at Jalan Kwong Ming named the Sarawak Full Gospel
Full Gospel
The term Full Gospel is often used as a synonym for Pentecostalism, a Protestant movement originating in the 19th century. Early Pentecostals saw their teachings on baptism with the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and divine healing as a return to the doctrines and power of the Apostolic Age...

 Church (Sarikei Branch).

The primary place of worship for the Muslims is the town mosque adjacent to the Hua Tai residential area.


The more famous local cuisine include:
  • "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
    Kompyang , also known as kompia, is a biscuit popular in the Malaysian townships of Sitiawan, Sibu, Ayer Tawar, Sarikei and other places where the dominant Chinese community is of Foochow ancestry. Kompyang originates from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province of the People's Republic of China...

    " (光饼): a local hard & dry, mild salty bread. Best eaten hot. Can find in Sibu town, Sitiawan, Air 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": 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.
  • "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.

(note: the names are rendered in the Fuzhou dialect
Fuzhou dialect
Fuzhou dialect , also known as Foochow dialect, Foochow, Foochowese, Fuzhounese, or Fuzhouhua, is considered the standard dialect of Min Dong, which is a branch of Min Chinese mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province. Native speakers also call it ' , meaning the language spoken in...

, which is often radically different from Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....


Famous person

  • [Syarif Masahor]] - Malay warrior and the Resident of Sarikei during White Rajahs
    White Rajahs
    White Rajahs refers to a dynasty that founded and ruled the Kingdom of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946, namely the Brookes, who came originally from England. A Rajah is a monarch in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.-Rulers:...

  • [Panglima Rentap] - Rentap
    Rentap or Libau was a famous Dayak warrior in Sarawak, Malaysia during the Brooke White Rajahs era in that state. "Rentap" in Iban means "Worldshaker". He was known as "Raja Darat" or "Raja Ulu"....

    (died 1863) was a famous Dayak (Iban) warrior in Sarawak, Malaysia during the Brooke White Rajahs era in that state. "Rentap" in Iban means "Worldshaker". He was known as "Raja Darat" or "Raja Ulu".

Essentially, Rentap's rebellion was due to the White Rajah's or James Brooke's action of eliminating the Ibans in Skrang because he thought they were pirates. Being a leader of the Ibans there, Rentap took the subsequent action of attacking James Brooke's fort at Skrang River called Nanga Skrang. Brooke then burnt Rentap's village after he successfully drove James Brooke's side out of Skrang. He retreated to Bukit Sadok and built himself a fort after a defeat at Sungai Lang, Ulu Skrang by James Brooke in 1854. There he gained a reputation and thwarted many plans by James Brooke to control the Skrang and Saribas areas. Only after many attempts and with the aid of bigger cannons did James Brooke defeat Rentap in 1861. Though defeated, Rentap never officially surrendered. He retreated to Bukit Sibau, Ulu Wak, Pakan District and died in same place. In Malaysia, he is not only renowned in Sarawak, but he is also a national hero in both Sabah and the Peninsula as both a national hero and a freedom fighter.

Rentap's battle cry was Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban!! which means I will fight as long as I will live!!. This legendary battle cry later became Malaysia's Royal Ranger Regiment motto.

External links

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