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This council is the oldest state legislative assembly in Malaysia, with the first General Council meeting taking place at Bintulu in 1867.Members of the local community were encouraged by the Brooke regime to focus on particular functions within the territory: the Ibans and other Dayak people were hired as militia while Malays were primarily administrators.Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species.It has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park.A popular alternative explanation is that it is a contraction of the four Malay words purportedly uttered by Pangeran Muda Hashim (uncle to the Sultan of Brunei), "Saya serah pada awak" (I surrender it to you), when he gave Sarawak to James Brooke, an English explorer in 1841.
The creation of the Federation also resulted in a communist insurgency that lasted until 1990.
Sarawak has eight of the world's fifty-four species of hornbills, and the Rhinoceros hornbill is the state bird of Sarawak.
It was also during this time that witnessed the birth of the Sultanate of Sarawak, a local kingdom that lasted for almost half a century before being reunited with Brunei in 1641.
The Brooke family generally practised a paternalistic form of government with minimal bureaucracy, but were pressured to establish some form of legal framework.
Since they were unfamiliar with local customs, the Brooke government created an advisory Supreme Council, mostly consisting of Malay chiefs, to provide guidance.