Kuching is the capital of Sarawak State, part of Malaysia located in the Borneo Island. The city is situated on the Sarawak River at the southwest tip of the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo and covers an area of 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi) with a population about 165,642 in the Kuching North administrative region and 159,490 in the Kuching South administrative region.
Kuching has a unique history where Kuching was the third capital of Sarawak in 1827 during the administration of the Bruneian Empire. In 1841, Kuching become the capital of Sarawak after Sarawak was ceded to James Brooke for helping the Bruneian empire in crushing a rebellion.
The Brooke dynasty ruled Sarawak for a hundred years and became famous as the “White Rajahs“, accorded a status within the British Empire similar to that of the rulers of Indian princely states. In contrast to many other areas of the empire, however, the Brooke dynasty was intent on a policy of paternalism to protect the indigenous population against exploitation. They governed with the aid of the Muslim Malay and enlisted the Ibans and other “Dayak” as a contingent militia. The Brooke dynasty also encouraged the immigration of Chinese merchants but forbade the Chinese to settle outside of towns to minimise the impact on the Dayak way of life. Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, established the Sarawak Museum, the oldest museum in Borneo.
In the early part of 1941, preparations were afoot to introduce a new constitution, designed to limit the power of the Rajah and give the people of Sarawak a greater say in government. Despite this democratic intention, the draft constitution contained irregularities, including a secret agreement drawn up between Charles Vyner Brooke and his top government officials, financially compensating him via treasury funds.
Japan invaded Sarawak and occupied the island of Borneo in 1941, occupying Miri on 16 December and Kuching on 24 December, holding both territories for the duration of World War II until the area was secured by Australian forces in 1945 and managed under the British Military Administration. Charles Vyner Brooke formally ceded sovereignty to the British Crown on 1 July 1946, under pressure from his wife among others. In addition, the British Government offered a healthy pension to Brooke. Anthony Brooke, the designated heir, opposed the cession of the Rajah’s territory to the British Crown, and was associated with anti-cessionist groups in Sarawak, consisting of a majority of the native members of the Council Negri (Parliament)
Until 1963, Sarawak joined Malaysia together with Sabah. Here is a brief chronological events of Sarawak.
Brunei Sultanate 15th century–1841
Brooke dynasty 1841–1946
Japanese occupation 1941–1945
British Crown Colony 1946–1963
Self-government 22 July 1963
Malaysia Agreement 16 September 1963
From the Feng Shui point of view, you will see that Kuching is surrounded by a network of rivers. The main river that divide the city into 2 half is the Sarawak River. The part labeled A is more prosperous and was firstly developed. The part B is more recent and quiet area mainly comprising of Government administration buildings.
Continue reading “A City’s Feng Shui from San Yuan Perspective”