- - - - - - ~

HISTORY
of
SERIAN BIDAYUH
.
In
SAMARAHAN DIVISION
SARAWAK
by
Dr-CHANG PAT FOH Ph.D.
. , • History of Biday"h in Serian ••.
1
CH PTER 1
ARAWAKIN GENERAL AND SAMARAHAN DIVISION
I) Introduction
Sarawak, the Land of Hornbills, is one of the
.hirt een states and the largest state in the Federation
: " Malaysia. Covering an area of 124,449.5 square
ilorn et res in north west of Borneo, it s area is about
37% of Malaysia total land area that is almost the
size of the whole of Peninsular Malaysia. It enjoys
_0 extensive coastline of 720 kilometres along the
Sout h China Sea. It is bounded by Brunei Darussalam
' n the north, Sabah in the northeast and Kalimantan
: donesia in the south, all in Borneo, the third largest
-.>land in the world.
The State of Sarawak is generally rugged and
:opographically complex. Swampy plainsextend along
"l ost of the coastal areas, backed by a broad belt of
. ndulatinq lowland intersected by many rivers which
erge out from the mountainous interior. Situated
' n the tropical region, the greater part of Sarawak is
still covered by primary forests and large portions of
:ne area are practically uninhabited. The remaining
.and is mainly used for agriculturaL purposes. The
· ·ghest mountain in the State is Gunung Murud which
' ; 2,424 metres high and the Longest river is none
:t her than Batang Rajang which runs 564 kilometres
: rough Kapit, Sibu, Sarikei and Mukah Divisions in
.ne central region of Sarawak. Batang Rajang has
: een referred to as "The PuLse of Borneo" because
its tentacles spread across the cent ral region of
Sarawak reaching the border of Kalimantan Borneo,
Indonesia.
II) Administrative Divisions
With effect from 26 -3-2002, Sarawak is
admini stratively divided into eleven divisions
(Swk. L.N.06). The two new divisions are Betong
Division and Mukah Division. Under the Admini strative
Areas Order 1987, all the divisions were renamed after
the divisional headquarters, nameLy:
Kuching Division
Samarahan Division
Sri Aman Division
Betong Division (with effect from 26-3-2002)
Sarikei Division
Sibu Division
Mukah Division (with effect from 1-3-2002)
Kapit Division
BintuLu Division
Miri Division and
Limbang Division
Each division is h.eaded by a Resident who is ,
assisted by District Officers each taking charge of a
district. There are altogether thirty-one administrative
districts and twenty-seven sub-districts in Sarawak.
-_ . . •• History of Bidayuli in Serian •••
Based on Yea r St ati st ics Sarawak 2002, ti r: area C:l i !J i. .st .ibuton by Divisions and Dist rict s
in Sarawak as at 7-2-2002 are as follows :­
-
Distri ct / Di visi on Area (sq. Io n)
,
Percen t age Di stribution
_ .
Kuching 1,862 .8 1.5
Ba u 884.4 0.7
Lundu 1,812. 3
,
1. 5
KU CHIN G 4, 559.5
I
3.7
Samarahan 4·07.1
I
0.3
Asa J aya 302.8 0 .3
Serian 2,039 .9 1.6
Simunja n 2, 217.6 1.8
SAfv\ ARAHAN DIVIS ION 4,967 .4 It.O
. - - -
Sri Aman 2,323 .7 1.9
Lu bok Antu 3, 142.6 2. 5
ISRI AM AN DIVISION
5, 466 .3 4.4
Bet ong (Saribas ) 2,493 .9 I
2.0
Saratok (I<a laka) 1,686 .9
I
1. 3
I
BETON G DIVISIO N 4, 180 .8
i
3.3
I Sibu 2,229 .8 1. 8
Kan owit 2, 253 .5 1. 8
Selangau 3,795 .0 3.0
SIBU DIVISIO N 8,278. 3
1
6.6
Mukah 2,536.0 2.0
Da lat 905.3 0. 7
Da ro 1.956 .3 1.6
I
I
Mat u 1600 .0 1. 3
fvlUKAH DIVISION 6, 997 .6 5.6
Sarikei
I
985.0 0.8
Meradong (Bi nta ngor) 719 .0 0.6
Jul au 1. 703 .4 1. 4
Pa kan
925.0 0.7
SARIKEI DIVISION
4,332 .4
3 5
3
spit 15,595.6 12.5
-
­
9 - - 3,935.2 3.2
:: ::.aga 19,403. 2 15.6
.PIT DIVISION
38,934.0 31.3
7,220.4 5.8
-
srau 4,945.8 4.0
DIVIS IO N
12,166. 2 9.8
in 4,707.1 3.8
3aram (Marudi) 22,070.0 17.7
IRI DIVISION 26,777.1 -
21.5
3.2 . irnbanq 3,978.1
. awas 3,811.9 3.1
DIVISION 7,790.0 6.3
: ARAWAK 124,449.5 100.0
: -urce: Dept. of Land & Survey, Sarawak.
II . CLimate
Sarawak lies just above the Equator from
.atit ude 0° 51' Nto 5° Nand extends from 109° 36'
:0 115° 40' EMerindians of longitude. It has a hot­
et equato rial climate.
Sarawakenjoysa tropical climatewith coverage
dayt ime temperature hovering between 24 degrees
::0 32 degrees Celsius. At night, on rainy days, the
mercury might dip to a minimum of 22 degrees ·
Celsius. Sarawa kcan be visitedat anytime throughout
t he year. The monsoon season or Landas is between
November and February. While there are occasionally
days when it rains continuously during the Landas,
'TI ore likely than not the showers fall abruptly and
are over just as quickly as it comes. The average
annual rainfall is bet ween 330 centimetres and 460
centimetres.
IV. PopuLation
Sarawak is the most multiracial st at e iJ1
Malaysia with 27 ethnic groups living togethe r. The
theme of Sarawak is harmony and, hence, living in
harmony is a way of life among the people in the
State.
The population ofSarawak based on the 1990
figures provided by the Statistics Department was
1,670,000. However, according to the Yearbook of
Statistics Sarawa k 2001, Sarawak had a population
of 2,071, 506 in the year 2000;I t is made up of the
following ethnic groups:
• • • History of Bidayuh if! Serian •• •
6
(V) Main Ethnic Groups In Sarawak
1) The Malay
At present, more than half of the Malay
populations live in both Kuching Division and Samarahan
Division at the south-western endofthe State. However,
this community can be found throughout t he length
and breadth of Sarawak. It was believed that the origin
of the Malay community came from Minangkabau in
Su matra via Datu Merpati and his followers. Some said
their ancestors migrated from Java and others believed
they came from Johore, Brunei or Kalimantan Indonesia
as far as Putussibau and Pontianak. Although they are
coastal people, they can be found in all the principle
inland towns, living mostly in villages along riverbanks.
Amajor portion is employed in the civil service, private
sectors or involving themselves in various businesses.
Many ofthemare fishermen andfarmers. Ethnically they
are a mixture of races. This is a result of their varied
history and physical as well as cultural assimilation of
different people who have settled along the coast of
Sarawak. Islam is the cultural force that unites them.
2) The Iban
The Iban, Kayan dialect"Ivan" means "wanderer"
or Iban's own version means "Person" areformerly known
as Sea Dayak. They originated from Kapuas and
Ketungau, Kalimantan Indonesia as early as 1540 are
by far the largest indigenous group in Sarawak as it
forms nearly a third of the total population, They
comprise of halfthe total number of people engaged in
agriculture, the main part of which is hill paddy
cultivation and small-holdings of cocoa, rubber, oil palm
and pepper. However, many of them have been engaged
••• History of Bidayuh in Serian •••
in public services, private sectors and commercial
activities. The Ibans arefound throughoutthe lowlands
of .Sarawak. living mostly in long houses along the
streams and riverbanks. A relatively large number of
them are now Christians, although they have a strong
cultural identity of their own. The Ibans are exclusively
renowned for the weaving of Pua Kumbu and ma king
wooden carvings.
3) The Bidayuh
The Bidayuh formerly known as Land Dayak are
the fourth largest ethnic group in Sarawak. In Bidayuh
language, "Bi" means "people" and "Dayuh" means
"Land". Hence, "Bidayuh" means "people of the land".
Most of them came from Sungkung, Bugau and other
parts along Kalimantan Barat, Indonesiaabout twenty
generations ago before Karakatao eruption on 27-8­
1883. This indicated that the Bidayuh community had
settled down in Sarawak sometime in 1380s. Initially,
they settled around Kuching area. However, in later
years, when they were being attacked byother stronger
groups, they moved to the hilly areas in Kuching and
Samarahan Divisions till today. Their population
distribution was Limited to the Kuching andSamarahan
Divisions in the olden days, but today Bidayuhs can
be found throuqhout the length and breadth of
Sarawak. Some Bidayuhs still live in Longhouses but
most of them stay in individual houses in the
Kampungs. Most of them are still paddy farmers,
planting cocoa and other cash crops. Many of them
involve themselves in oil palm plantations. Majority
of the Bidayuh population are Christians while there
are still some small groups preferto remai n as pagans
and a few of them prefer to be convertedto Islamand
Bahai religions.
7 _---- - - - - ­
- oOi cial
ands
: the
of
.tonq
/ely
. : <mg
are
.: /uh
?ns

.

. --8­
-ad
- jer
: nd
: In
_-an
:an
of
.it
: 11
:'-- Q
- ' - - hs are divided into four main different
-: . .alect groups as follows:
:: ukar/ Sadori q dialect (Serian Di strict)
iat ah dialect (Kuching Di st rict)
Si gaij Jagoi dialect (Bau District)
.:: lakau and Lara dialects (Lundu District).
he Orang Ulu
- ese groups of people known as "upriver
: ..:: or "people of the interior" are found in the
. -- ighlands of Miri, Limbang and Kapit Divisions.
_. _. refers to the 21 minorityindigenous groups
ak. Their origin came from Apau Kayan River
: '-- ant an, Indonesia in the 1800s. Of these, the
are semi-nomadic and live in the remote upper
f the Rajang and Baram Rivers. The Kayan
- ;0 _ ah people, though quite distinct, are often
.: in association and live in the regions of the
::. :: and upper reaches of the main rivers in Sarawak
: 'i antan, Indonesia. They are primarily farmers,
- ::- - - hill paddy and rubber as well as rearing pigs
::. try. They are also outstanding craftsmen who
s at wood carving, making good knives and
--= as well as building fine longboats. The Kelabit
- _J O Bawang who literally means "people of the
::.::: or country" are the hill people inhabiting the
.: : eyond the navigable limitsofthe Baram, Limbang
::. . . san rivers. Most of them reside in longhouses
;:. pungs. Majority of them are followers of
_: anity but some of them are still pagans or being
=- red into Islam faith. Orang Ulu are generally
t: _.ined and courteous people. They have been
-=.-: ed with music and dancing culture since time
- - -: 1 rial.
5) The Melanau
The Melanau, often refe r themselve s as
"A-Li kou" which means "peopl e of the river" mainly
occupying along t he coastal belt of t he land extending
from the mouth of the Rajang River (Sarikei and Mukah
Divisions) to the mouth of the Baram River (Miri
Divi sion) and extending inland some twenty miles
from the sea. It was believed that their ancestors
came from Bali Island, Indonesia morethan 500 years
ago. Another group of ancestors werethe Malays from
Brunei when Mukah and the surrounding areas were
under Brunei rule. Some Melanaus also live in the
upriver areas of Batang Rajang. The Melanau language
is divided into 4 major dialect groups namely Rajang
area (Belawai, Rajang, Jerijeh, Igan, Bukit Kinyau
and Selalang), PalohjDarojMatu area, MukahjDalat ­
area and BalingianjTataujBintulu area. Ve ry often,
the se groups experience difficulty in understanding
each other's dialect especially Bintulu Melanau dialect
which differs to a high degree from that of the Mukah
Melanau. Generally, they can be categorised into three
subgroups: pagan, Mu slims and Christian Melanaus.
The Melanaus have traditionally been associated with
the production of raw sago and fishing. However,
today many of the minvolve themselves in business
and plantations. A number of them are being
employed in the civil service and private sectors .
6) The Chinese
The Chinese is ranked the second largest
community in Sarawak. They can be found in all the
divisions of Sarawak centralizing in the city, towns
and other urban areas. Most Chinese in Sarawak
originated from the provinceof Fujian and Guangdong
•• HiS/DIY of Bidayuh in Serian » > ­
8
in South China. Chinese contacts with Bo rneo
including Sarawak stretch over a period of more than
1,000 years. Most of the early contacts, however,
were primarily for barter trading. Although some
Chinese came to Sarawak well before the arrival of
Sir James Brooke in 1841 , the major Chinese
immigrants actually came after 1841 especially when
the Brooke regime needed more people to develop
Sarawak in all fields. Most of them are traders and
businessmen. However, those who stay in the rural
areas are small estate farmers, fishermen and miners.
The major Chinese dialect groups in Sarawak are
Foochow, Hakka (Kheh), Hokkien , Teochew,
Cantonese, Henghua and Hainanese.
7) The Indians
The Indians constitute less than one percent
of the population of Sarawak. However, they came
to the shore of Sarawak as early as the 12th century
for barter trading withthe natives in the State. During
the coLoniaL rule, small groups of Indian migrants
came to work in the coffee and tea plantations at
Matang . Asmall number of Punjabi was recruited to
join the police force after the Chinese RebelLion in
1860s. The last batch of Indian migration occurred
after World War II. The Indians in Sarawak comprise
of Tamil, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tegulu and Bengah.
(VI) Samarahan Division in GeneraL
Samarahan Division, the 8th Division of
Sarawak, is situated in between Kuching Division on
the west and Sri Aman Division on the east. It has
an area of 4,967.4 square kilometres and based on
••• History of Bidayuh in Serian •••
2000 census, it had a population of 197,220. The
majorityof the people are Malays, Bidayuhs, Chinese
and Ibans. Prior to 1-1-1987, Samarahan was part of
the then First Division with its headquarters based
in Kuching. However, after the declaration and
creation of the new division, Kuching Division remains
three districts, namely Kuching District, Bau District
and Lundu District whereas Samarahan Division has
also three districts namely Samarahan District, Serian
District and Simunjan District. Kota Samarahan,
formerly known as Muara Tuang was up-graded as
the Divisional Headqua rters of Samarahan Division
as well as the District Headquarters of Samarahan
District. With effect from 7-2-2002, Asa Jaya was
upgraded to a district. Hence, with effect from
7-2-2002, Samarahan Divi sion has four districts under
its administration. The Resident's Office was built at
Kota Samarahan and it WJS declared open by the
Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi
(Dr.) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud on 28-8-1992. In 1999,
there were 485 Karnpunqs/lonqhouses/settlernents
with 24,884 families in Samarahan Division.
Samarahan Division has three sub-districts namely
Tebedu Sub-district under Serian District, Sebuyau
Sub-district and Sadong Jaya Sub-district (formerly
known as Pendam) under Simunjan District.
As far as the settlement of Bidayuh villages is
concerned, they are all located within Serian District
totalling to 135 villages. There is no Bidayuh village
in Samarahan, Asa Jaya and Simunjan Districts. Hence
as far as this book is concerned, onLy the history of
the Bidayuh in Serian District is being recorded and
compiled.
- - -
9
- ,
- j
-_..
Resident's Office,
Kota Samarahan
declared open on
28-8-1992
I) Serian District
kilometres and based on 2000 Census, it had a
Serian District in General population of 82,042. The majority of the people
hereare the Bidayuhs, followed by the Ibans, Chinese
Serian is one of the four districts in Samarahan and Malays. The details of the population of Serian
' sion, The district covers an area of 2,040 square District in 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000 are as follows:­
: hnic Group Population
in 1970
Population
in 1980
Population
in 1991
_"dayuh 32,369 39,538 42,851
: inese 9,258 11,574 10,187
-'-an
6,034 9,378 10,474
lay 5,089 5,412 6,926
1=lanau
2 37 60
::her Indigenous 20 62 125
: t ers 866 1,152 1,241
-: tal
53,658 -67, 153 71,874
Population
in 2000
49,117
10,204
12,147
9,-519
149
180
-
726
82,042
_ ", ". Hist ory of Bidayuh ill Serian .,.
10
Serian Dist rict formerlyknown as Upper Sadong
Dist rict and Simunjan Dist rict formerly known as
Lower Sadong Di strict were formerlya dist rict known
as Sadong Di strict with Simunjan as the dist rict
headquart ers from 1901 to 1955. The first Di st rict
Offi cer of Sadong District at t hat time was Mr. LK.
Caldecot who st ationed at Simunjan for a period of 4
years from1901 to 1904. Upper Sadong Distri ct and
Lower Sadong District remained as a district for a
period of 54 years. In February, 1955, Serian was
officially split from Sadong Di strict and became a
full district with its dist rict headquarters at Serian
Town. At that time, Mr. W.C.R. Wilson was the first
Di strict Officer for Simunjan whereas the first Di st rict
Officer for Serian District was Mr. H. R. Harlow.
The first District Office Building
was constructed in 1955 and sit uat ed
on the existing site of District Offi ce,
Serian. It was made of Belian and other
wooden materials supplied by the local
communities. The building lasted for
about 15 years. In view of the rapid
expansion ofthe government machinery
in the new booming dist rict the old
building was pulled down somet ime in
1970 in order t o give way for a bigger
buil.ding. The present concrete building
of Di strict Office, Serian was constructed
at the cost of RM 123,000/- and it was
declared open bythe then Chief Mini ster
of Sarawak, YAB Tun Datu k Patinggi Haji
Abdul Rahman Ya' kub on 28-8-1971.
There are two versions as to how
. Seria n got its name. In the olden days,
••. History of Bidayuh in Serian .,.
there was a kind of snake called "Serianq" whi ch found
aplenty along Sungai Rian and its surrounding area.
Hence, t he local people called the place "Serianq"
and event ually, it was pronounced as "Serian",
However, there were also plenty of durian t rees around
Sungai Rian in the olden days. After the establishment
of t he sett lement along Sungai Ri an, people slowly
preferred t o call t he place from "Sungai Rian" to
"Se-Ri an" and eventually the name of Serian is used
until t oday. In actual fact Serian is a durian town
where good quality of durians is produced at nearby
Ka mpung and longhouse areas. Based on agricult ure
statistic, there were more than 80,000 durian trees
in the district in 1999. According t o Serian Agri culture
Report 2002, 780 hectares of land were planted with
Durian - The Sl!mbol of Serian Town
---------
;ound
: "rea.
-'ang"
c1an".
,,'ound
: -'nent
slowly
~ l " to
' S used
town
-earby
_ lt ure
- trees
. : lt ure
: :: wit h
~ 1 Town
;'
. Office Sedan declared open on 28-8-1971
t rees and produced 5,700 kilogrammes of
-= - fruits in Serian Di strict in the year 2002. That
'. Durian is the symbo l of the dist rict as well as
; - Town. In t his respect Serian District Co uncil
erect ed a giant monument of Durian fruits right
-:: middle of t he Council Market Square as well as
-=entrance of Serian Town at t he big round about
- uching Ci ty. Serian Town, about 64 kilomet res
',uching Ci ty by road, is t he administrative and
:-- -g cent re of Serian Dist rict and it isthe biggest
in Samarahan Division. Based on a survey carried
2003, there were 357 shophouses in Serian
Formation of Serian District/Town
Initially, t he t emporary Di st rict Office of Serian
.ocated at Gedong (now still under Simunjan
": :t). Gedong derived it s name from "Gedong
:. (Paddy Store)" because in the olden days,
: - ants built paddyst ores so t hat t hey could keep
- : 3ddy purchased from t he farmers. However, in
: ;. t he Di strict Office was initially moved from
11
Gedong to 37th Mile Kuching/Seria n Road for a few
years and in 1930 it was shifted t o a hilltop over
looking Tebakang. "Teba kang" is actually t he name
of an inland fish which is commo n in t he area and
its scientific name is Helostoma temmincki. A fort
known as Teba ka ng Fort was built on the top of a
small hill near Sadong River, behind Pangkalan
Enbong, Tebakang. Besides being used as a fort , t he
Dist rict Office, Upper Sadong (Serian) was also housed
t here. The st ructure of t he fort was built of Belian in
the Malay style.
The Di st rict Officer of Sadong Di st rict or his
Native Officers made occasional visits t o t he
administrative centre for Upper Sadong at Tebakang
from time to time. Traversing thi s community was a
tributary of Sadong River called Batang Kayan which
rest rict ed the nesting inclinat ion of t he Malays to
its left bankand t he Bidayuh and Chinese t o its right
bank. The Chinese Ha kkas who were t raders occupying
t he immediat e bank. The conscientious entrance of
a few Eu ropean Missionaries of t he Roman Cat holic
Church built the first school in t he dist rict in 1928.
Old District Office Building, Tebakang
_: .,. History ofBidayuh ill Serian . , .
".i. ?
opt ing out of t his community was
a srnall Chinese family, sandwi ched between the
Sa dong Ri ver and its tribut ary, Sungai Rian about 13
kilometres coastward from Tebaka ng, began serving
the trading needs of its neighbouring villages. Thi s
was the very shop that sta rted the establishment of
a town - Seri an . In early 1930's , due to the
administrative and governmental reasons, the District
Headquarters was shifted from Tebakang to overlook
this lone settlement and it was renamed after the
tributary although the governing tongue in those
years found it easier to pronounce "Se-Rian" than
Sungai Ri an. On 24.9.1930, the construction of the
old winding KuchingjSri Aman (Simanggang) road
reached Serian Town. It was on this date that Serian
was officially accessible by land from Kuching . In
the past one had to use boats from Kuching via
Simunjan and it took at least 2 days to reach the
destination. Today, one can reach Serian Town from
Kuching within one hour.
Irnmediately followi ng the government
adjustment the 1934 Order of Roman Catholic Bishop
endorsed Serian as its district headquarters causing
the transfer of its school (St. Te resa's Prima rySchool)
to its present site and the Chu rch (St. Te resa's Cathol.ic
Church) established on the firm ground. By then,
with the arrival of a few more Chinese traders, a
trading cent re had taken shape where the first shop
was established. However, because the site was
subjectedto floods that often resulted in great losses,
it was later abandoned and Sungai Serian (the name
of the t ributary was officially assumed) was crossed
fo r the higher ground beyond it. The structures which
doted this landscape was Serian Town in its infant
stage. By 1939, the town had well over 10 wooden
... His/on ' ofBidavuh in Serian .. •
shophouses. Within the same year the first bicycle
rid den by the Roman Catholic Priest Father Frans
Hulsbosch appeared on its dusty road.
Sett lements sprang up in access of the town
especially along both sides of Kuchingj Serian Road.
I<amp ungs and Chinese settle ments which were in
natural isolation now became exposed to a world of
commerce and vehicletraffic. To some extend, Serian
Town owed its founding and growth to the
government ambitions t o make it an administrative
cent re for Uppe r Sadong District (Serian District).
Nevertheless, in the intervening years before the
Second World Wa r, its growth was morethan the result
of human needs. New shophouses were constructed,
the town grew and business flourished. It was only
disrupted byt he sudden arrival of the Japanese from
the land of Rising Sun in Dece mber, 1941.
Tebakang Fort remained as it was. In the 1950s
it was renovatedto accommodate various government
agencies. During World War II , it was the
administrative centre. In 1994, it was used as Pusat
Giat MARA until today.
(3) Pre-Japanese Occupation
Before the Japanese invasion during the Wo rld
War Two in 1941, the racial disaffection was inherent
in the invaders to the Chinese in Sarawak especially
to those began to relish the prosperity of their
business in Serian. The shopkeepers began to desert
and desolate the town. It was struggling to survive
as Banana Currency overflowing through some shop
windows and doors whose owners had not bothered
to shut these apertures as their economic and
13
.own
- oad.
-= e in
. of

t he
stive
-':ct).
: the
-sult
. rted.
_ only
: , om

-,ent
-= t he
: Jsat
orld
--= 'ent
-.·ally
: eir
: -sert
-vive
. : ;") op
- ered
: and
. :_. - : ; , il worsened, preferring to just pack
__ -_- t he isolat ion of the less harsh jungle
o . ' anticipat ionof peace. Along withthem
__s·ness knowledge, which later accounted
_- : - 0 " such bazaars as Tebedu and Balai
- and iviua ra Mon gkos.
: cs ese Occupation and its Effect.
:-e meant i me, the Japanese were
_- 9 the construction of the Kuchi ngjSerian
. - =ol. etion and the abortiveirrigation project
: - an. Nat ives, Chi nese and other foreig ners
View ofSerian Town in the 19505
caught in the war tide were compulsory recruited to
provide the labour required. Under the strain of
physical exploitation rebellious tendencies surfaced
in sporadic quarrels only to be quelled by some
Japanes e-handpicked local force who spied, policed
and reported on those who trod on the "Words of the
Emperor". Construction of the Sadong Bridge had
also begun, but was completed onlyafter the invaders
had left. The Japanese Emperor's dream to link
Kuching by road with North Borneo (Sabah) through
Serian remained a dream. Anti-Japanese feeling was
saturating by 1945. It finally culminated during the
transitional months of the year in a macabre incident
••• History of Bidayuti ill Serian •••
.. ..
Serian New Township aLong Serian By-Pass
A section of Serian Bazaar in 1954
" - -­ ,
~ ,
I
)
Photo taken at District Office, Serian on 2-1-1982. Outgoing 0.0 Andrew SaLip Ridu was seen sitting 5th from
Left, incoming 0.0 Chang Pat Foh sitting 5th from the right. Pemanca Dipa seated 3rd from the right, Pengh...
William Rade stood 3rd from the Left and PenghuLu AmboL stood 4th from the Left alonq 1st row.
•• , History of Bidayuh in Serian • •.
15
_- -: pro-Japanese character was literally
- ec y t he town mob right in front of the
-rari ly defunct District Office, Serian.
- : Japanese surrendered on 14.8.1945 and
'C : 3me a British Colony on 1-7-1946.
nial Days
- - =taskof restoringorderwas left in the hands
- _•. onial power. Serian Town began another
= vt h. The Roman Catholic Church-owned
n as St. Teresa's School was restarted as
- - ; : chool. In 1946, the wooden shophouses
- :' azaar totalled nearly 20 and in that year,
=- at holic Priest, Fr. Frans Hulsbosch, who
== _bicycle, drove the first car everto appear
- sazaar street. In 1950 the KuchingjSerian
: - : :: mi nized and with the inception of the
from the
:lenghulu
Upper Sadong District Council in 1959, the town had
already far surpassed the booming days of the pre­
war period.
During the colonial rule, some improvements
here and there within Serian Town were in progress.
More wooden shophouses were built to cater the
increasing trade and population in the district. In
March, 1962, Serianwater supply was commissioned.
It meant that the town wa s not necessary to depend
on rain water or river water for consumption. In June,
1962, SerianjSri Aman (Simanggang) Road was
opened for public use. Hence, Serian Town became a
crossed road of Kuch ing Division (Kuching and
Samarahan Divisions) and Sri Aman Division (2nd
Division). More and more traffic as well as people
passed through Serian and Serian Town was getting
busier and more prosperous each day.
(6) Serian Town (2000).
Serian Town is fast
developing for the past 25 years
and it has now become the
biggest town in Samarahan
Division. Rubber gardens at the
back of Serian Old Bazaar gave
way to Council Market, Community
Hall and Bus Station. More
sho phouses, industrialized
buildings are added to Serian
Town. Landscape changed from a
small trading centre for Ulu
Sadong 70 years ago to a present
modern looking Serian Town .
Serian is a tourist centre where
••• History of Bidayuh in Serian ., .
- The District Headquarters of Serian District

'PbOl, w'rik'n "3 away from Serian
Town and Tasik Taman Danau (Lake Garden) ,
have attracted thousands of tourists to enjoy
the natural and cool surroundings. Some
tourists have commented that Serian Town
is one of the cleanest towns in Malaysia.
Native participation in commerce and
trade is very encouraging . With the
assistance from MARA, a row of 6 shophouses
was constructed to provide an opportunity
for Bumiputra to fulfill the New Economic
Policy. The Serian Co-operative shops, a three-storey
building was also put up in 1980 under the generous
loan from Co-operative Centre Bank. A RM3.5 million
of Nurses Training School Complex was constructed at
. the side of Serian District.Hospital in early 1982. The
Complex has not only enlarged the Serian Township
but also provided a training ground for the nurses in
the State.
Serian Town is blessed with a commercially
strategic location in that it is linked 64 kilometres
westward to the State Capital, Kuching City by the
best stretch of highway in Sarawak and northward to
SriAman and Sibu. The onlytea plantationin Sarawak
is located at Mayang along Mongkos Road. The Bidayuh
long houses at Kampung Mujat and Mongkos are tourist
spots in the district. Serian District started to plant
oil palms in 1976and on 10-8-1996, the RM 20-million
Sarawak Palm Oil Mill was launched in Serian. The oil ·
palm estates and mills have created many employments
••• History oj Bidayuh. in Serian •••
Tasik Taman Danau, Serian
for the local people in the rural areas. Based on
Yearbook of Statistics Sarawak 2002, there were 79
Government & Aided Primary Schools. with 790teachers
and 12,287 students, 5 Government & Aided Secondary
Schools with 383 teachers and 7,947 students as well
as 1 Unaided Secondary School with 4 teachers and
52 students in Serian District in 2001. As far as health
service is concerned, Serian District is provided with 1
Hospital with 84 beds and 5 doctors, 8 Health Clinics
with 34 beds, 2 Maternal & Child Health Service, 5
Mobile Clinics, 1 Public Dental Clinic and 4 School
Dental Clinics.
In the year 2000, Serian Town hada population
00,121. Based on a survey conducted in July 2003,
there were altogether 357 units of shophouses
(exc\.udi ng the industri a\.i zedsnopuouses) at tne town
proper, near Karnpunq Cina andSerian By-Pass in Serian
Town . The details are as follows:­
_, Serian·
ssed on
: zere 79
-eachers
-:condary
- :5 as well
:: ers and
;5 health
: =: d with 1
.. Clinics
-srvice, 5
: 4 School
: opulation
2003,
-ophouses
the town
in Serian
17
- -,e of shoohouses
' . i n Serian Town
e-st orey wooden shophouses
- _ ble-st orey wooden shophouses
=: ole-st orey concrete shophouses
- ree-st orey concrete shophouses
: - -storey concrete shophouses
=- ble-st orey concrete shophouses along Serian By-pass
-- fee-st orey concrete shophouses along Serian By-pass
: - r-st orey concrete shophouses along Serian By-pass
- tree-storey concrete shophouses of Wi sma Cinmuk
tskirts of Sedan Town
uble-st orey wooden shophouses along Jalan Melor
No. of units
4
25
117
103
16
21
36
8
10
9
- utile-st orey concrete shophouses at Ayer Manis Housing Estate 8
z; :ansion of Serian Town is more towards Serian
ss area. With the construction of both Serian
:.:: : and SerianjTangga By-Pass, more fund is
. : annelled into the maintenance of the garden
: urban roads, sanitation, street light ings and
. -o'onal facilities in and around the town. The
n ofthe town warrants more housing estates
- 9 the low-cost housing projects are being
-- ent ed in the outskirts of the town. Besides,
;'e 31 units of lock-up shops, Council Market,
t', -ur lti purpose Hawker Centre and one cinema,
- -eat re, are built in the town. Moreover, Serian
out door stadium, an indoor mini stadium and
-'! - J community hall at the side of the town.
. - Township is still expanding rapidly. Upon
-: of more shophouses and factory areas,
_- si ll become a bigger town. By then, the vision
357
of Serian District Council to turn Serian Town into a
Municipal Centre by the year 2015 is not far from its
reality.
(7) Tebedu Sub-District
Tebedu is a sub-district of Serian and based
on 1991 Census, it had a population of 6,560. In
Bidayuh language, "Bedu" means a dry place. Tebedu
Bazaar, 42 kilometres from Serian is the legal and
only over land drive-in gateway from Sarawak to
Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. On 25-2-1991 , the
Tebedu Immigration Complex and the international
road connecting Tebedu with Entikong in Kalimantan
Barat, Indonesia was officially declared open. Anew
township known as Bandar Mu.tiara was being built
at the border point on 7-8-1993. In 2002, this border
•• • History of Bidayuh in Serian •••
18
tow n ha d 68 new conc ret e
sh opho uses but only a, fe w
shophouses with a small population
of 24 people are ope rati ng for
business. The old Tebedu Bazaar,
whi ch consists of 20 wooden
shophouses and wit h a population
of 146, is still t he centre for border
trading in the district. Di strict Offi ce
Tebedu and othe r gove rn ment
agencies have been shifted to the
new buildings at the side of the new
township, but Police Station built in
1953 st ill remains at the side of old
Tebedu Bazaar up to 2003. In 1996,
the construction of RM 64 million
Tebedu Hi ghway was completed and
it has benefited not only the stat e
economy but also the social ­
economic activ ities of th e local
populace. On 8-3-2003, the Minister
for Housing, Y.B.Datuk Michael Manyin
ak J awong announced that 150
hectares of land to be developed by
LCDA for Small-Me dium Industrial
(SMI ) Zone had been approved for
implement ation at Bandar Muti ara in
Tebedu. He di sclosed that th e
industrial activities would be wood­
based upstream and downstream
indu stri es. The e mpl oyment
opportunities in the indu strial
est ates would reduce rural-urba n
mig ration and at the same time
reduce social problems arising from
the migration .
•. . History ofBidavuh ill Serian • • .
Old Tebedu Bazaar
Tebedu/Entikonq Border Gate

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