is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo (Sabah being the other state). This territory has a certain level of autonomy in administration, immigration, and judiciary which differentiates it from the Malaysian Peninsula states. Sarawak is situated in northwest Borneo, bordering the state of Sabah to the northeast,Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, to the south, and surrounding the independent state of Brunei. The capital city, Kuching, is the economic centre of the state and the seat of the Sarawak state government. Other cities and towns in Sarawak include Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. As of the 2015 census in Malaysia, the state’s population is 2,636,000. Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. The state has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia; Bakun Dam, one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia, is located on one of its tributaries. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak.
Earliest human settlements in Sarawak date back to 40,000 years ago at the Niah Caves. The state had a trading relationship with China during the 8th to 13th century AD. It came under the influence of the Bruneian Empire in the 16th century. The state was governed by the Brooke family in the 19th and 20th centuries. During World War II, the state was occupied by the Japanese for three years before being ceded as aBritish Crown Colony in 1946. On 22 July 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government by the British. Following this, Sarawak became one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia (established on 16 September 1963) alongside North Borneo (now Sabah), Singapore(expelled in 1965), and the Federation of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia or West Malaysia). However, the federation was opposed by Indonesia, and this led to the three-year Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. The state also experienced a communist insurgency from 1960 to 1990.
The state exhibits notable diversity in ethnicity, culture, and language. The head of state is the Governor, also known as Yang di-Pertua Negeri, while the head of government is the Chief Minister. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and has the earliest state legislature system in Malaysia. The state is divided into administrative divisions and districts. English and Malay are the only two official languages of the state; there is no official religion. Sarawak State Museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. The state is known for its traditional musical instrument, the sapeh. The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is one of the premier music events in Malaysia. Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia to celebrate the Gawai Dayak festival.
Sarawak has abundant natural resources, and its economy is strongly export-oriented, mainly in oil and gas, timber, and oil palm. Other industries are manufacturing, energy, and tourism.