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Sibu
诗巫
Clockwise from top left: Sanyan Tower, Swan Statue, Wong Nai Siong Memorial Park, The Yu Lung San Tien En Si Temple, Sibu Mosque, Fu Yong Methodist Church and 7 storey Pagoda Temple

Seal
Nickname(s): The Swan City / New Fuzhou
Sibu is located in Malaysia
Sibu
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 2°17′15″N 111°49′31″E / 2.2875°N 111.82528°E / 2.2875; 111.82528
Country  Malaysia
State  Sarawak
Government
 - Chairman of the Council Yang Berhormat (Y.B.) Datuk Tiong Thai King
Area
 - Total 8,278.3 km2 (3,196.3 sq mi)
Population (2009)[1]
 - Total 209,616
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 - Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC+8)
Postal code 96xxx
Mean solar time UTC + 08:00:00
National calling code +6084 (local landline only)
License plate prefix QSx (for all vehicles except taxis)
HQ (for taxis only)
Website Sibu Official Website
Sibu Municipal Council Official Website

Sibu is an inland town, and the capital of Sibu District (229.8 square kilometers) in Sibu Division, Sarawak, east Malaysia. It is located at the confluence of the Rajang and Igan Rivers, some 60 kilometers from the ocean. The population is dominated by Chinese especially the Fuzhou as well as indigenous Melanau, Malay, and Iban. The district population (per year 2009 census) is 264,000.

Sibu is the main tourist gateway to the Upper Rajang River, with its small riverine towns and its many Iban and Orang Ulu longhouses.

There is no known adjective for the people from Sibu, although there have been many unofficial suggestions: Siburian, Sibuian, Sibunite, Sibu-yan - none are officially recognised.

There has been a marked increase in public buildings in recent years. Sibu now boasts the largest town square in Malaysia, and the tallest building in Sarawak - the Sanyan Tower (三洋大厦,"Wisma Sanyan" in the official Malay language), a newly refurbished waterfront, and a large number of public parks. Sibu also has university-level courses offered by Laila Taib College (Previously known as United College Sarawak), which has built a campus on the site of the old Sibu airport.

Sibu Jaya, located 25 km away, is being developed as a satellite town. Sibu Airport, built during World War II, was relocated to its present site 23 kilometers from town near Sibu Jaya in 1994.

Contents

History

Sir James Brooke (1803–1868)
Wong Nai Siong (1849─1924)
Rosli Dhobi (1933–1950)

Establishment

Sibu has a reputation as a rough, frontier town on the riverside. Even today, it is one of the most bustling towns in East Malaysia. It was originally called “New Foochow” after the Foochow (福州) immigrants from the Fujian province of China, who settled in Sibu in the early 20th century at the invitation of Rajah Charles Brooke.

However, there were many Fujianese immigrant from China at that time, such as Heng Hua (兴化), Hokkien (福建) and others. These people brought a lot of positive changes to Sibu town, putting effort to make a greater Sibu. The new settlement was located next to a small Melanau village that had been established in the 1850s. The first group of Chinese immigrants from Fuzhou, China, led by Pastor Wong Nai Siong (黄乃裳牧师), reached Sarawak in year 1900.

With the Rajang River becoming increasingly bustling with economic activity, Sibu served an important role in the Brooke administration as a trading centre between the coast and the vast upriver hinterland. Sibu continues to fulfill this role today.

Sibu Fort

There used to be a Sibu Fort, which was built by Rajah Brooke in 1862. The fort was located at Race Course Road, however it no longer exists now. It was common for the White Rajah to build such forts to stake his territorial claim as well as means of protection.

The existence of Sibu Fort is proven by historical writings:

...There is a fort in Sibu, as indeed there is at most of the river places in Sarawak. The fort at Sibu was close to the Resident Dr. Hose's house and was attacked by Dayaks only a few years ago. Johnson, one of Dr. Hose's assistants, showed me a very long Dayak canoe capable of seating over one hundred men...

The river at Sibu was of great width, over a mile across, in fact, and close to the bank is a Malay village, and a bazaar where the wily Chinaman does a thriving trade in the wild produce of the country, and makes huge profits out of the Dayaks and other natives on this river.[2]

Rosli Dhoby

Rosli Dhoby, a Sarawakian nationalist, is one of the more illustrious sons of Sibu. He is well-known for his assassination of Sir Duncan George Stewart, the second governor of colonial Sarawak in 1948. He was then sentenced to death by hanging and was buried at the Kuching Central Prison in 1950. After 46 years of his remains resting in the prison compound, it was moved out from the Kuching Central Prison and buried at the Sarawak's Heroes Mausoleum near Sibu Town Mosque on March 2, 1996.

In order to honour his involvement in the anti-colonial movement and his struggle against the British, he and his associates who involved during the assassination (Awang Ramli Amit,Bujang Suntong,and Morshidi Sidek)was later given a full state funeral by Sarawak Government.

Population

The population of Sibu experienced a slower growth rate compared to other towns and cities in Malaysia. There are many reasons resulting in a decline in the Sibu population.

However, the real numbers of people living today in Sibu is much higher due to high numbers of individuals not being counted in the census who live and work in other cities and countries.[1]

Year 1970 1980 1991 2000 2009
Total
population
50,635 85,231 133,471 166,322 209,616

Government

Politics

The Sibu town has been the stronghold of the ruling Sarawak Barisan Nasional for many years. The Barisan Nasional in Sibu is usually represented by SUPP while DAP is the usual opponent to the Barisan Nasional. Recently, PKR would like to negotiate the allocations of state constituencies in Sibu with DAP in order to face the upcoming Sarawak state elections. The Sarawak Barisan Nasional is currently controlling 2 parliamentary seats and 4 out of 5 state seats.

The Sibu town is represented in the lower House of Representatives of Malaysian Parliament by 2 parliamentary constituencies (Lanang and Sibu) where Lanang parliamentary seat is further divided into Bukit Assek and Dudong seats for Sarawak state legislative assembly. On the other hand, the Sibu parliamentary constituency is divided into Bawang Assan, Pelawan, and Nangka state constituencies.[3] Robert Lau Hoi Chew, the Sibu member of parliament, is the deputy transport minister in the Malaysian cabinet.

The opposition won the Sibu parliamentary seat in 1982 and Lanang seat in 1990 with a slim majority. The Bukit Assek and Pelawan state constituencies fell into the hands of opposition in 1996 state election. In 2006 state election, the opposition regain the Bukit Assek state constituency. Wong Ho Leng, the state assemblyman for Bukit Assek, is the chairman of Sarawak DAP.

Local government

The current chairman of Sibu Municipal Council is Tiong Thai King who is also the Lanang member of parliament. He was appointed municipal chairman in 2004. However, the deputy chairman, Daniel Ngieng Kiong Ann lost his Bukit Assek constituency to DAP in 2006 Sarawak state election. The councillors are normally chosen by the state government. The Sibu Municipal Council is responsible for improving the quality of life of Sibu community by active and effective local administration. Some of the roles assumed by the municipal council includes facilities management, regular roads and drain services, effective traffic control, maintenance of street lightning, public health and vector control, licensing, building plans processing, and grass cutting services.

Tourism

National Chinese Cultural Festival

The United Chinese Association (UCA)(华团) Sibu holds its pride for hosting the 18th and the 26th National Chinese Cultural Festival. The cultural festival has always been officiated by the prime minister of Malaysia. Cultural village and the Lantern Riddles are among the activities organised during the festival.

Borneo Cultural Festival

Sibu played host to the Borneo Cultural Festival, a week-long celebration of food, music, and dances celebrating the diverse cultural background of the town in 2005. Since then, it has become an annual occasion and a trademark of Sibu.

Swan Symbol for Sibu

In order to promote itself to tourists and for branding purpose, Sibu Municipal Council under the former Chairmanship of Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew (Former Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government and Deputy Minister of Transportation of Malaysia), adopted the swan as the symbol of Sibu town. According to the Sibu Chinese community, when the early immigrants arrived in Sibu in the mid 19th century and early 20th century, the present Rajang River reminded them of Swan River in Fuzhou, China. However, due to the fact that such a bird is non-existent in the town (except for the numerous huge artificial swan statues) or anywhere in Malaysia, the majority of the Sibu community, especially the natives, feel that such a choice is too artificial and does not invoke any special or deep feeling toward the so-called "Symbol of Sibu".

Visit Sibu Year 2009

Year 2009 has been declared as 'Visit Sibu Year 2009', as it will boost tourism industry in the central region. Another latest attraction is Pandaw River Cruise,which was started on 1 July 2009. This is a nine-day cruising up the Rajang river deep into the Pelagus Rapids Resort in rural areas of Sarawak with Sibu Express Wharf Terminal as the first stop. The tourists in the cruise will be able to enjoy the sceneries of the tropical rainforests as well as visiting traditional and modern long houses.[4]

Cityscape

Sibu skyline by Rajang river

Geography and climate

The Sibu town has warm summers with average high temperatures of 30–31 °C (86–88 °F) and lows of around 23 °C (73 °F). Precipitation is generally moderate throughout the year.

Climate data for Sibu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 30
(86)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
31
(88)
Average low °C (°F) 23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
Precipitation cm (inches) 28.1
(11.1)
18.8
(7.4)
20.99
(8.3)
20.47
(8.1)
18.77
(7.4)
15.25
(6)
12.63
(5)
15.47
(6.1)
19.6
(7.7)
22.65
(8.9)
24.15
(9.5)
26.13
(10.3)
Source: MSN Weather[5] 2009-06-11

Landmarks

The first highrise building in Sibu is the Sarawak House hotel/shopping complex built in early 70s by a local group of businessmen. Among the interesting landmarks in Sibu are Wisma Sanyan, a 28-storey building which is the tallest building in Sarawak (to be surpassed by Kuching Tower soon), Tua Pek Kong Temple and the Central Market. The completion of RH Hotel and the current Kingwood Hotel expansion project are to meet the tourism aspiration of the town. An 18-storey building (the right model in the picture) will be constructed next to the original site of the hotel. The Civic Center Museum (its official name was Dewan Kebudayaan dan Warisan;Cultural & Heritage Hall in English) has a display of Sibu's history, and Melanau, Iban, Malay, and Chinese artifacts. The YMCA Resort is an outskirts resort getaway for camping and retreat.Another landmark is Old Sibu Municipal Council building,where formerly housed the Sibu Municipal Council Office and Public Library (before moving to its current building at Jalan Keranji in 1986)currently undergoes major reconstruction.Upon its completion,it will be a location for MICE,which stands for Meeting,Incentives,Conferencing,Exhibitions.This building will also house the new site for Cultural & Heritage Hall (which its current location at Sibu Civic Center),where the artifacts are currently exhibited at Civic Centre Museum.Besides than that,Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum is also not to be missed.It's the first medical museum in Malaysia,in honor of one of the oldest hospital in Sarawak,and it exhibits medical equipments and uniforms used by medical staffs at Lau King Howe Hospital.

Shopping

Shopping complexes

  • Wisma Sanyan - The highest building in Sarawak, it is the biggest shopping center in Sibu. It houses Parkson, Giant, and many other shops. The prices for goods here are reasonable.
  • Sarawak House - It was once a popular (and the only) shopping center in Sibu. Its anchor tenant is Premier departmental store, complemented by several shops.
  • Medan Mall - Two anchor tenants here are Medan supermarket (previously Everise) and Medan departmental store. Smaller shops include VCD/DVD shops, fashion apparels and especially hair salons (resonable price).
  • Kin Orient Plaza - Well-known for the Sing Kwong supermarket housed downstairs, it has another three higher floors of shops.
  • Farley Departmental Store - located near the Salim Road.
  • Sing Kwong - recently opened opposite to Farley,in Salim Road
  • Delta Mall - The latest trendy shopping mall in Sibu, opened around end of 2008. Delta Mall houses many new shopping outlets such as Popular Bookstore, SenQ Digital Station, Gintell, Ogawa, Watson, I.P.Zone, Cinderella Jewelleries, Sony Centre, Hush Puppies, Skin Food, Giordano, Valleta, Sonice Furniture Showroom, Signature Kitchen, Lea Centre, Lea Sports Centre, a supermarket –Delta- The Market Place and others.
  • Star Mega Mall - A current shopping mall which is under construction as of June 2009 & will be completed in June 2011.
  • Giant Hypermarket - Located at Jalan Ling Kai Cheng surrounded by one of the fastest growing housing area in the town together with some shoplot & terrace properties development. Still in the early groundwork stage.

Commercial Centres

Recent years Sibu Town is rapidly expanded to outskirts or housing estates area with many commercial centres & outlets springing everywhere. This made town center deserted during the night time as the people are scattered in various shopping, dining & clubbing places throughout the Swan City.

  • Jaya Li Hua & Pahlawan Centre - Located surrounding long distance bus terminal at Jalan Pahlawan. Crowded day and night with one dry market, Public Bank,UOB Bank, Everwin Supermarket, Medan Hotel and many popular restaurants that like 鸿福,富丽华,上海,好滋味 & also the newly built Good Happiness Restaurant( 旺喜楼).Still left plenty premises under construction.
  • Pusat Pedada & Lot 9 - It was once a popular spot because of the old UCS Campus there. The area around Taman Muhibbah Food Court & Delta Mall is very lively during nighttime with numerous public go shopping & dining. The recently completed Lot 9(just opposite the Pusat Pedada) is less bustle with shops like LORENZO,Singapore Chicken Rice(SCR) & other offices.
  • Farley Commercial Centre & Sing Kwong - Two major attractions here are Farley supermarket & Sing Kwong Shopping Mall. Smaller shops include VCD/DVD shops, fashion apparels, Cafe & Maybank. Also crowd at night with rapid development of Salim-Bukit Lima Housing Area surround & also some of the mini concert or show from West Malaysian Artists is always have good response at Sing Kwong stage.
  • Chiew Siik Hiong Road - Houses the Rejang Medical Centre, ITA College, Amway, DXN, Electrical Appliance Shops & famous restaurant like Uncle Dom, Enjoy Cafe, Mitsu Shabu-Shabu, Sushi Tie & many coffee shops & Cafe. Quite lively at night. Still left plenty premises under construction.
  • Pusat Suria Permata- Less Popular at night as houses the RH Group Building, Jaya Tiasa, Subur Tiasa, Rimbunan Sawit, RH Academy & Eon Bank Branch. Busy during day time with all the office employees.
  • Kampung Dato -Besides the Paramount Hotel. Also quiet at night as the building are mainly for office use of EPF, Banks, Insurance Company, Telecommunication Shops etc. Recently, the area also expanded with 33 units is under construction opposite the Paramount Hotel.
  • Pusat Tanahwang -One of the oldest commercial centres in the town. Still left some good coffee shops with the location near to town center & 2 secondary schools.
  • Sibu Jaya -Sibu low cost housing area with estimated population around 40,000 with 6500 units of properties(include different types of houses and flats catering to the lower and middle income groups plus 165 shoplots and 179 industrial lots)

Commercial Centres(Under Construction)

  • Medan Jaya - Located along Jalan Wong King Huo. A medium size project with already finished Medan Mall, Shoplots & flats.
  • Wazoon Commercial Centre - Located along Jalan old airport near 花悦纺, Wisma Persekutuan, Ulu Sungai Merah Housing Area & Also Sungai Merah Bazaar.
  • Regent Commercial Centre - Located along Jalan TAR just beside the Star Mega Mall. Near the housing area of Taman Soon Hup, Permai & New Taman Tiong Ung Siew.
  • Ding Brothers Commercial Centre - Located at Jalan Ding Lik Kong. Near the Igan bridge & west banks of Sibu Town
  • River Palm City - Located at Pulau Kerto after passing through the Batang Rejang Bridge. A new satellite town in the planning with housing & shopping area.
  • Swan City - A project which will built GIANT Hypermarket & also commercial shoplots at Jalan Ling Kai Cheng.
  • Sg Merah Square Commercial Centre - Located at Jalan Ulu Sg. Merah with comprising 55 units 3 storey shoplots plus a supermarket to cater the needs of surrounding properties booming at Ulu Sungai Merah.

The area at the town's outskirts like Soon Hup Garden, Teku area near the Igan Bridge & also the road to Rantau Panjang Shipping Industrial Zone, Ulu Sungai Merah, Salim, Kemuyang & of course the ever expanding satellite town of Sibu Jaya still have many on-going housing & shoplots developments together with the completion of Sibu-Tanjung Manis Road & other infrastructure facilities will make Sibu one of the fastest growing & bustling town in Sarawak.

Sibu Night Market

The Pasar Malam (Night Market) is situated in the town centre. Local traders will usually set up their mobile stores at around 7 pm-11 pm. Items on display are general Malay and Chinese delicacies, clothing, daily necessities, handicrafts and others. The vibrant Night Market sets up every afternoon around 5pm and operates until 10pm or sometimes later. The stalls offer all manners of household goods, footwear, fashion items, and all varieties of food.Even the Prime Minister,Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made a brief visit here on 5 July 2009, as he was attending the launch of 6th Tionghua Cultural Festival,in conjunction of Borneo Cultural Festival 2009.

Sibu Central Market

The Central Market is the biggest indoor market in Malaysia. It is home to thousands of stalls selling everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to live poultry.February 23 was an historic moment for the Central Market, as the Prime Minister,Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made a brief visit to the Central Market,before returning to Kuala Lumpur on the same day.There are 2 photo of his visit to the Central Market on PM's official Facebook page. [1] [2]

Cultural attractions

Chinese

Sibu is rich in Chinese cultural attractions, especially those of the Foochow community.

The Sungai Merah Heritage Walk is a landscaped park situated in a township called Sungai Merah where the earliest Foochow settlers first landed when they arrived in 1902. The Foochow Centennial Celebration Building commemorates 100 years of Foochow immigration to Sibu.

Sarawak is the only few states in Malaysia where Chinese words are printed on the traffic and street signs. Apart from the only few attractions Sibu could offer to the outsiders, for those who know Chinese, it could be an interesting job to study the street signs in Sibu both written in Chinese and Malay (although the accuracy of the translation could be in dispute). The main roads in Sibu are Brooke Drive (布律克路), Jalan Oya (乌驿路),Jalan Lanang (南兰律),Jalan Wong King Huo (黄景和路), Jalan Rajang (拉让花园), Jalan Au Yong (后洋路), Jalan Li Hua (丽华宝岛), Jalan Aup (后埔港路),etc.

Some residential streets which are less famous but with funny names are Jalan Pipit (麻雀路), Jalan Cherry (樱桃路), Jalan Rambutan (红毛丹路), Jalan Alan (阿兰路), etc.

Sibu Gateway, which is located on Pedada Road and Kampung Nyabor Road, houses displays of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals.

Another landmark of Sibu is the century old Tua Pek Kong Temple with its iconic 7-storey pagoda.

Iban Longhouse

A trip to the Sibu area is incomplete without taking the opportunity to visit Rumah Panjai or Iban Longhouse. Although the Ibans in the Sibu area are modern people who have fully embraced the 21st century, they still practice many traditional customs and retain their adat or traditional law.

Upon arrival to longhouse, the ibans will usually welcome their guests with Tuak (Traditional Iban Rice Wine). Visitors may try their hands at shooting with a blowpipe, weaving a Pua Kumbu, feasting on traditional Iban pastries such as Chuan and Sarang Semut, enjoy and experience the longhouse environment and the scenery of vast paddy field and the Mighty Rajang River.

The Ibans are a warm and hospitable people, and this hospitality, coupled with their rich and colorful customs and traditions, can be a memorable experience.

Parks & Gardens

Hin Hua Memorial Park
Gu Tian Garden
Sibu Lake Garden

Sibu has a few urban and suburban parks for the leisure activities of locals and tourists. Gu Tian Park is a landscaped park situated at Bukit Lima Road. It was built by the Gu Tian(古田)Community. Another park is Hoover Park, a suburban Christian park built by Methodist Church, Sibu and to be maintained by the town council. Being near Sungai Merah Heritage Walk, there are plans to integrate it into one integrated tourist destination in the future.

Sibu also has forest parks such as Bukit Lima Forest Park and Forestry Recreation Park. Bukit Lima Forest Park has a 2 km plankwalk, which is ideal for jogging. The Forestry Recreation Park which covers 200 hectares of land at 18.5 km Ulu Oya Road, is managed by the Forestry Department. The park's facilities include a camping site, a 30-metre watch-tower, a cattle and deer farm, and a huge fish pond. A major attraction to be included soon is a butterfly farm.

Bukit Aup Jubilee Park

Bukit Aup Jubilee Park, which is located 20 minutes away from Sibu town is a popular spot for sight-seeing, picnics, jogging, and relaxing. The road to Bukit Aup Jubilee Park is tar sealed which is located less than 12 km from Sibu town. It has scenic views of the town, rivers and forests. The total undulating land for development is more than 200 acres. Currently 2 phases have been completed comprising an observation tower, suspension bridge, sky steps, a pavilion, an amphitheatre, a children's playground, a lagoon, a canteen and other buildings. This is a special place for Sibu people to relax and keep away from the hectic town life.

Accommodation

Hotels

Accommodation in Sibu ranges from budget hotels to luxurious hotels.Below are the star-rated hotels in Sibu.

  • RH Hotel (4 star)
  • Kingwood Hotel (4 star - it will soon become a 5-star hotel after the expansion)
  • Premier Hotel (3 star)
  • Tanahmas Hotel (3 star)
  • Paramount Hotel (3 star)
  • Kawan Hotel (3 star)
  • Garden Hotel (1 star)

Sibu also provide various selection of Budget hotel around the downtown

Li Hua Island

One of the most notable, luxurious housing estate in Sibu is the Li Hua island (丽华宝岛)(Pulau Li Hua in Malay) located off the Jalan Upper Lanang, near the Upper Lanang bridge, fronting the Rajang river. The housing estate is developed by Hock Peng Organisation. The house owners on the island have the leasehold term of 99 years, which will be expired on 17 October 2098.[6] One of the mansions on the island was the temporary residence for Yang di-Pertuan Agong during His Majesty visit to the Sibu town,but now the mansion is abandoned,and grass had grown tall. The estate is planned to include various accommodations and facilities such as hotels, yacht club, arcade shops, banks and esplanade park.[7]

Education

Primary

Sibu have over 50 primary schools and over 20 secondary schools and colleges. The Chinese primary schools which are well-known in Sibu include:

  • SJK (C) Taman Rajang
  • SJK (C) Tung Hua
  • SJK (C) Methodist
  • SJK (C) Chung Hua
  • SJK (C) Sacred Heart
  • SJK (C) Perbandaran 4
  • SJK (C) Ek Thei
  • SJK (C) Su Lai

The national schools (SK) in Sibu include:

  • SK Sacred Heart Inggeris
  • SK Abang Ali
  • SK St Mary

Secondary

The secondary schools which are well-known and recognised as high performing schools in Sarawak and nationawide include:

  • SMK Sacred Heart (well known for its co-curricular activities)
  • SMK Methodist (well known for its choir team - champions at state level)
  • SMK Tung Hua
  • SMK St. Elizabeth

Sarawak has the highest number of Chinese independent high schools (华文独中) in Malaysia, totalling 14 schools, 5 of which are located in Sibu. These are Catholic High School (公教中学) , Wong Nai Siong High School (黄乃裳中学) and three others.

Tertiary

There are several colleges in Sibu, serving the tertiary education needs of the locals. These include:

  • United College Sarawak (UCS), which is well known for its quantity surveying and civil engineering programmes.Recently,Sarawak State Government,through Yayasan Sarawak (Sarawak Foundation),had taken over the operations of the College,and on March 1, 2010,it was relaunched as Kolej Laila Taib (KLT)(Laila Taib College (LTC) in English),and aimed for University-College and University status in 3–4 years time.[3]
  • Methodist Pilley Institute, which is well-known for its accounting
  • Sarawak Maritime Academy for maritime studies (It was located at Former Public Works Department Sibu headquarter site)
  • Sibu Nursing college (Malay:Kolej Kejururawatan Sibu), a government-funded nursing college with its campus located next to Hospital Sibu
  • Kolej ITA, a private nursing college.Its student also undergoes training alongside their colleagues from Sibu Nursing College in Sibu Hospital.
  • RH Academy,catering to the hotel and hospitality industry in Sibu.
  • Sacred Heart College,the 2nd and latest private college offering hospitality courses in Sibu.

Other than that, there were several long distance study centers here in Sibu, which are:

  • Open University Malaysia ,where their local learning center is located together with Methodist Pilley Institute.(Students from Sarikei,Kapit,Mukah and Bintulu also studied here,as Sibu Local Learning Center was the OUM Sarawak Central Region Learning Center.)
  • Universiti Malaysia Sarawak,where a facility dedicated for the students of Faculty of Medicine & Health Science undergoing training in Sibu Hospital.
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia-Sekolah Pendidikan Profesional dan Pendidikan Berterusan (School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE),was recently opened,and also located together with Methodist Pilley Institute and Open University Malaysia Sibu Local Learning Center.
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia-Long distance study center located in Sibu Jaya.
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia-Long distance study center,located in Lanang.

Healthcare

Sibu Hospital

The healthcare needs of Sibu are served by Hospital Sibu, a government-funded public hospital. It is the second largest hospital in Sarawak and the main tertiary care and referral hospital for the Central Region of Sarawak.Before that,it was located in Pulau Road (Lau King Howe Hospital, and it was named in honor of Lau King Howe, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who donated one of his land to build a hospital for the people of Sibu),before its relocation to its current location and went into full operation in 1994.

Polyclinics

The primary healthcare needs of Sibu are served by Oya polyclinic and Lanang polyclinic. Both polyclinics are government-funded clinics.There is a plan to build new polyclinic in Sibu jaya under 10th Malaysia Plan. Recently,a new Government Community clinic named 1Malaysia Clinic commenced its operation in Teku,there were suggestions from local for government to open more of this clinics in other parts of Sibu.

Private medical centres and clinics

Besides that, Sibu also has many private medical centres and clinics to serve the healthcare needs of the town people. The most notable medical centres are Rajang Medical Centre and Sibu Specialist Medical Centre.

Infrastructure and transportation

Sibu Airport

Sibu Airport (IATA: SBWICAO: WBGS), originally built during World War II, was relocated to its present site 23 kilometers from town near Sibu Jaya in 1994. In 2008, the airport handled 831,772 passengers on 14,672 flights and 735 metric tonnes of cargo.[8] On April 2009, the airport was allocated RM150 million by the federal government for the upgrade of the terminal building. Once completed, its terminal not larger than Miri Airport and Bintulu Airport. AirAsia, Malaysia's own home grown low-cost airline, operates in the Sibu airport with frequent flights to Kuala Lumpur. [4]

Upper Lanang bridge

Upper Lanang bridge or simply Lanang bridge or less formally Assan bridge is the bridge connecting Sibu to Sarikei and Bintangor. The ground breaking ceremony of the Upper Lanang bridge was held on 12 October 2003 and officiated by Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh. The bridge was completed on 24 April 2006, replacing the need of ferries carrying passengers and vehicles across the Rajang river. The private company building the bridge, Shin Yang Group, has the right to collect tolls for the next 30 years.[9]

Sibu Express Wharf Terminal

The Sibu Express Wharf Terminal also provides an alternative way of transport for Sibu people along the Rajang River. Among the destinations that can be reached by express boats from Sibu include Song, Kuching, Kapit, and Kanowit.

Bus terminals

Sibu has two bus stations. The short distance bus terminal is located near the Sibu Express Wharf Terminal while the new bus terminal is near the SMK St. Elizabeth. The short distance bus terminal is for the short distance travel within Sibu town and other local regions of Sarawak such as Sarikei and Bintangor. Among the buses put into the local services includes Lanang buses and Sibu Jaya buses. The new bus terminal is for long distance travel from Sibu to Kuching, Bintulu, and Miri through the Pan Borneo Highway. Among the long distance buses that offered their services are mtc express and Suria buses.However,there are several areas no longer served by buses,due to several reasons.People would have to resort to illegal taxis (known as Kereta Sapu) in order to go to downtown area,especially in Bandong area where there are no bus company serving that area.

Cuisine

Sibu is known for its delicious and affordable local cuisine. The more famous ones include: (note: the names are rendered in the Fuzhou dialect, which is often radically different from Standard Mandarin.)

  • "Gam Mua" noodle (干盘面) (kampua) - noodles tossed in pork lard or vegetable oil, fried shallots, spring onions and sometimes soy sauce and/or chili sauce. It is available at almost all coffee shops and food stalls. The taste for "gam mua" differs from person to person. Popular establishments serving good "gam mua" include Aloha Cafe (town centre), Shi Shan Sui Cafe (town centre), Rasa Sayang (new bus terminal) and a hawker stall above Central Market (at night), among others. The most delicious one will be at Palace Cafe (皇宫茶室),located just beside the Eight-Corner Malay Stalls (八角亭),behind Premier Hotel.Even 'Halal' (food prepared according to Muslim rites) "gam mua" is also available as well.
  • "Duёng Mian Ngu"(鼎边糊) (Dian Mian Hu)- a savoury soup with soft rice cake is available at several stalls as a hefty breakfast or a late night supper. It is often served with fish balls and squid. A popular joint is in an alleyway by Jalan Blacksmith.
  • "Bian Nyuk"(扁肉, also called wanton, 雲吞) - a meat dumpling which can be served dry or in a soup. Stalls serving good "gam mua"
  • "Gom bian" (光饼) (or Kompia)- a Foochow delicacy made with flour, baked in an oven and eaten either with or without meat and a special gravy. It is somewhat similar to a bagel. However, it can be either in a crisp or soft version. Nice soft kompia dipped in pork sauce can be sought from Chung Hua road and the Sunday Market at Pedada road. There are deep fried variations available throughout Sibu town.
  • "You Zhar Gui" (油炸桧, also called 油條 in Chinese)(Yau Char Kway,pronounced as Kuih Cakoi in Malay) - deep fried twin dough batter often dipped in soup or chili sauce. It is also a great with porridge or "Bak Kut Teh(肉骨茶)"
  • "Bek Ding Yuok" (八珍药 in Chinese)(or pek ting ngor): The soup of eight essences - nice, sweet, tasty and nutritious Chinese soup made of at least eight types of Chinese herbal materials.
  • "Rojak Kassim" : Indian-style rojak (known as pasembur or Mamak Rojak).Back then,the owner itself (Hj.Kassim) used to sell it at a coffee shop located at Jalan Morshidi Sidek,but now his son took over his business,and renamed it Rojak Udin.The owner later moved to Kuching,and opened a stall at a coffee shop around Padungan area.

Developmental Issues

Economic

Sibu faces a number of economic developmental issues. There is serious income inequality in the town. The situation is not aided by the level of corruption present, which often extends into the corridors of power as is often the case in Malaysia.

Floods

There have been regular floods in Sibu, especially at Hua Kiew Road, (华侨路)in Bukit Assek state constituency. The flooding has caused many problems for the Sibu-siders; many residents have moved to other areas while others have had no choice but to endure the situation. However, the Sibu flood mitigation project has been underway at Hua Kiew Road, in order to solve the flooding problems in the area.

External links

Pictures and videos of Sibu

Sister cities

References

Coordinates: 2°18′N 111°49′E / 2.3°N 111.817°E / 2.3; 111.817

wg:Sibu


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