Bintulu Division includes the three Districts of Bintulu, Tatau and Sebauh. Bintulu town was a small fishing village located on the Kemena River when Rajah James Brooke first acquired it in 1861.

It remained a sleepy Melanau fishing village until 1969, when oil and gas reserves were discovered off the coast. Since then, its growth has been phenomenal and it became the centre of oil and gas as well as energy intensive industries at the Samalaju Industrial Park. Bintulu Port is also known to be the busiest in Sarawak.

Origin name of Bintulu

Bintulu was derived from the local comunity word of “Metu Ulau” which means “picking up heads” based on an event occur at a river in Bintulu. The river was named Metu Ulau.


The population is made up primarily of Iban, Chinese, Melanau and Malay. The ethnic mix in this Division is as varied as it is elsewhere in Sarawak with communities of other ethnic groups such as the Kedayan, Bidayuh and Punan. There is also a sizeable expatriate population.

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