Batang Mukah Bridge, one of the most notable structures of Mukah.
The Melanau Heartland
|Division Office location||Mukah|
|Local area government (s)||Majlis Daerah Dalat & Mukah (MDDM)|
|• Total||2,536 km2 (979 sq mi)|
|• Total||49,900 (District)|
|Resident||Awang Johari Bin Awang Mustapha|
|Walikota||Kr. Abdul Yakub bin Haji Arbi|
|Nickname||The Melanau Heartland|
Mukah is a coastal town which serves as the administrative center of the Mukah District (2,536 square kilometres) in Mukah Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. It is located by the South China Sea, about 2 hours by road from the city of Sibu. Mukah is also accessible by air by MASwings from Kuching and Miri. The duration of both flights is about one hour. There are also speed boats connecting the town of Dalat (about 30 kilometres from Mukah) to Sibu. The speed boat trip takes approximately 2 hours.
There are several versions of the origin of the name "Mukah". The word "Mukah" is similar to the Malay word "muka" which means face. It was said that the town was name after the face of a mysterious beautiful woman who helped three shipwreck merchants from Brunei. Another version was that a beautiful face appeared on the surface on the sea to fishermen. However, these does not explain on why the town adopted a Malay name instead of a Melanau name as the majority of the population here are the Melanau people. The Melanau name of a face is "jawai".
The Melanau people is the earliest indigenous group living in Mukah.The earliest documentation of Mukah can be found in the annals of the Majapahit empire where a place known as "Melano" was paying tribute to the empire. The place was then became part of the Bruneian Empire in the 13th century. Mukah was later sold to the Kingdom of Sarawak in 1860.
In November 1862, James Brooke rescued several civilians from the Moro Pirates after a pitched naval battle off the coast of Mukah. During the fighting, Brooke's steamer named Rainbow sank four prahus and damaged one other with cannon fire. Over 100 pirates were killed or wounded in the engagement while Brooke, the bishop Francis McDougall and their Sarawakian followers, were mostly unscathed.
Mukah and Dalat District Office is the governing body of the Mukah and Dalat districts, including the towns. The district office was established in 1947 as Native Local Authority (NLA). The district office then expands it power to Dalat, Oya, Balingian in 1981.
Geography and climate
In 2017, Mukah District had a projected population of 49,900.
In term of air connectivity, Mukah is served by Mukah Airport (STOLport). Mukah airport is only able to accommodate an 18-seater Twin-Otter aircraft. The airport operates routes to Kuching and Miri. An effort has been made to upgrade the Mukah airport.
UiTM Sarawak Mukah campus was started in December 2002 in order train enough manpower for Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). Its campus is located at 7.5 km away from the town centre. Among the courses offered were: Diploma in Business Studies, Diploma in Banking Studies, and Diploma in Plantation Management. Politeknik Mukah was founded in 2004. I offers courses such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and information and communication technology (ICT).
Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) Mukah was opened in 2010. It is a boarding school to provide good quality education for selected secondary school students. SMK Three Rivers was established in 1961 to serve the education needs of the people living in the Mukah, Oya, and Balingian river basins. SMK St. Patrick was established in 1905. SMK Mukah was opened in 1999.
Culture and leisure
Lamin Dana cultural Lounge is located in Kampung Tellian. It is a place where the residents of the village showcase their traditional arts, crafts, and authentic Melanau food. A Melanau delicacy named Umai is one of the popular dishes in the town. It is a raw fish salad served with sago pellets. Sago is the staple food for the Melanau people. They usually takes sago together with fish, Sambal, and Ulam.
Mukah Kaul festival is held at the third week of April every year. It was a traditional ritual by the Melanau people for thanksgiving and continuation of good fortune by appeasing the spirits of the sea, land, forests, and farms.
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- Laman Web Rasmi Majlis Daerah Dalat & Mukah
- Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Mukah
- Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Residen Mukah
- Mukah Polytechnic Website
- Mukah Kaul Festival on Virtual Malaysia Website
- Kaul Festival on STB website
- Mukah Pictures
- Kaipulehone has written materials (RB1-002, RB2-003) on Mukah, as well as audio recordings