Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang (‘Land of the Hornbills’), it is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia; the second largest, Sabah, lies to the northeast.
The administrative capital is Kuching which has a population of 579,900 (2006 census; Kuching City South - 143,500; Kuching City North - 133,600; Padawan- 3rd Mile/ 7th Mile/ 10th Mile - 302,800). The name Kuching literally means ‘cat’ (kucing). Major cities and towns also include Sibu (pop. 254,000), Miri (pop. 263,000) and Bintulu (pop. 176,800). As of last census (Dec 31, 2006), the state population was 2,357,500. For more details about the population see Demographics of Malaysia, though it is interesting to note that Sarawak is, like Sabah to the north, a multicultural state, with no ethnic majority. The majority of Sarawak's people are non-Muslim; there are over 30 ethnic (non-Malay) indigenous/natives groups in Sarawak.