Travel Tips

Climate / Weather

On the whole, Sarawak has an equatorial climate. The temperature is relatively uniform within the range of 23°C to 32°C throughout the year. During the months of March to September, the weather is generally dry and warm.

Humidity is consistently high on the lowlands ranging from 85 per cent to 95 per cent per annum. The average rainfall per year is between 3,300 mm and 4,600 mm, depending on locality, and the wettest months are from November to February.

Government

Sarawak is presently divided into 11 administrative divisions – Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Sarikei, Kapit, Kota Samarahan, Bintulu, Mukah and Betong. Kuching is the seat of government for modern Sarawak and is home to some 458,300 people making it the highest populated city in Sarawak and the 7th highest populated city in Malaysia. Sarawak has a Chief Minister, which heads a Cabinet of Ministers.
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri (or Governor), from amongst members of the State’s Legislative Council. Elections are held every five years. The present Chief Minister is YAB Pehin Sri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud. Kuching is also where the Head of the State of Sarawak, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) His Excellency Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng resides.

State Flag

flag_Sarawak

Red symbolises the courage, confidence and sacrifices of the people in their efforts to achieve and maintain progress in the state. Yellow represents the supremacy of the law and the unity found amongst Sarawak’s diverse races. Black denotes the abundant natural resources of Sarawak: petroleum and timber. The yellow nine-pointed star represents the nine divisions and the aspirations of the people to improve their quality of life.

State Flag

gov_logo_Sarawak

The Bunga Raya (Hibiscus) – the national flower appears on the right and left of the bird’s legs while the banner or ribbon on which the bird’s stand carries the new State Motto “Bersatu, Berusaha, Berbakti” (United, Industrious, Dedicated). Positioned on the bird’s chest is a shield bearing the state colours-black, red and yellow.

State Anthem (Malay)

Sarawak Tanah Air Ku
Negeri Ku Tanah Air Ku Sarawak
Engkaulah Tanah Pusaka Ku
Tanah Tumpah Darah Ku
Ibu Pertiwi Ku
Rakyat Hidup Mesra dan Bahagia
Damai Muhibbah Sentiasa
Bersatu Berusaha Berbakti
Untuk Sarawak Ku Cintai
Sarawak Dalam Malaysia
Aman Makmur Rahmat Tuhan Maha Esa
Kekallah Sarawak Bertuah
Teras Perjuangan Rakyat
Berjaya Berdaulat

Economy

The economic activity of Sarawak is mostly dominated by mining, agriculture and forestry sectors. Other sectors like manufacturing, wholesale, retail trading and construction also contributed to the State’s income. The primary sectors (i.e., mining, agriculture, and forestry) make up about 40 per cent of the state’s total real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), followed by the secondary sector (i.e., manufacturing and construction) with about slightly more than 30 per cent of total real GDP.

Sarawak is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. LNG and petroleum have provided the mainstay of the state’s economy for decades. Sarawak is also one of the world’s largest exporters of tropical hardwood timber. However, the state government has imposed strict log-production quotas over the recent years to ensure sustainable forestry management. Sarawak still, however, produces approximately 9 to 10 million cubic metres of logs annually.

With such vast land expanse, Sarawak has large tracts of land suitable for commercial agricultural development. Approximately 32 per cent or about 4.0 million hectares of the state’s total land area have been identified as suitable agricultural land. Nevertheless, less than 9 per cent of this is planted with productive permanent crops, while the balance is still under shifting cultivation for hill paddy (rice) that is estimated at more than 1.6 million hectares.

The main commercial crops are oil palm, which has been increasing steadily over the years as well as sago, and pepper. Since the 1980s, Sarawak has started to diversify and transform its economy into a more industrialised one. This endeavour has been seeing continuing success, with manufacturing and hi-tech industries now playing a significant role in shaping the economic expansion of the state.

Immigration

Every person entering Malaysia must possess a valid national Passport or internationally recognised Travel Document valid for travel to Malaysia. Any person not in possession of a Passport or Travel Document that is recognised by the Malaysian Government must obtain a Document in lieu of Passport. Application for the Document in lieu of Passport can be made at any Malaysian Representative Office abroad. Holders of Travel Documents like a Certificate of Identity, Laisser Passer, Titre de Voyage or a Country’s Certificate of Permanent Residence must ensure that their return to the country that issued the document or the country of residence is guaranteed. The documents shall be valid, for more than six (6) months from the date of entry into Malaysia.

Visa Requirement

Foreign nationals who require a Visa to enter Malaysia must apply and obtain a Visa in advance at the Malaysian Representative Office before entering the country. A visa is an endorsement in a passport or other recognised travel document of foreigner indicating that the holder has applied for permission to enter Malaysia and that permission has been granted.

Foreign nationals who require a Visa to enter Malaysia must apply and obtain a Visa in advance at any Malaysian Representative Office abroad before entering the country. Visa that has been granted is not absolute guarantee that the holder will be allowed to enter Malaysia. The final decision lies with the Immigration Officer at the entry point.

Read more here for Visa requirement by Country

Return Travel Ticket and Sufficient Funds

A visitor is also required to present proof of his financial ability to finance his/her stay in Malaysia together with a confirmed return ticket to another destination.

Non Prohibited Person

Any person classified under Section 8 of Immigration Act 1959/63 will not be allowed to enter Malaysia even though he/she is in possession of a valid Passport or Travel Document, Visa, travel ticket and sufficient funds.

Arrival/Departure Card (IMM.26)

A visitor is required to complete the Arrival/Departure Card (Imm.26) upon arrival at the gazette entry points. This card is obtainable at any entry point, Malaysian Representative office abroad or travel agencies.

A visitor must present his/her passport together with the duly completed arrival / departure card to the Immigration officer on duty and he/she must ensure that the passport or travel document is endorsed with the appropriate pass before leaving the immigration counter.