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During the years of the Brooke administration, the residents of Sarikei proved to be very resistant towards the Brooke rule as can be seen through numerous confrontations with the Brooke administration such as the burning of Sarikei and the Julau Expedition. These clashes led to the establishment of Sarikei as a new division, a decision made out of security considerations. Early settlements in Sarikei began as a small village comprising of the ‘Segalang’ community and a few rows of Chinese owned shop houses. The steady development of this remote village gradually brought infrastructural facilities and economic opportunities to the community.
The weather in Sarikei is similar to many other parts of Sarawak, and enjoys a warm tropical climate throughout the year with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 31°C. The town also experiences significant rainfall annually.
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