Sarawak Governor’s Birthday in Malaysia Date in the current year: October 12, 2024

Sarawak Governor’s Birthday in Malaysia Malaysia is a federal state where the birthdays of state rulers, regardless of whether they are hereditary monarchs or appointed governors, are official holidays in the respective states. For example, the official birthday of the governor of Sarawak is celebrated on the second Saturday of October.

Sarawak is a Malaysian state located in northeast Borneo. It is the largest state of Malaysia, with an area almost equal to that of Peninsular Malaysia, which consists of 11 states and two federal territories. Unlike most other states, Sarawak has no ruling dynasty because it has never actually been independent.

The coastal regions of Sarawak became part of the Bruneian Empire in the mid-15th century. Neighboring areas were governed by the short-lived Sultanate of Sarawak from 1599 to 1641, but eventually joined the Bruneian Empire, too. By the late 19th century, Brunei was in deep decline, and the Sultan of Brunei had little control over Sarawak. The area was controlled by semi-independent Dayak leaders who fought both the Sultan and one another.

In 1839, British adventurer James Brooke helped the Sultan of Brunei quell a Dayak revolt in Sarawak. The Sultan rewarded him with the governorship of Sarawak as a sign of gratitude. The Brooke family, known as the White Rajas, ruled the Raj of Sarawak from 1841 to 1941. Between 1941 and 1945, Sarawak was occupied by the Empire of Japan.

Following the capitulation of Japan, Charles Vyner Brooke realized that he had no resources to rebuild Sarawak after the war and ceded the region to Britain as a Crown Colony. In 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government and joined Malaya, Sabah (formerly known as North Borneo) and Singapore to form Malaysia. Since the Brookes had ceded Sarawak to Britain, it had no hereditary ruler anymore, so a governor appointed by the Supreme Head of Malaysia became the head of state.

As state governors in Malaysia change more often than hereditary rulers, even taking into account that most governors remain in office for several successive terms, an official birthday is usually celebrated in lieu of their actual birthday, and its date doesn’t change when a new governor takes office. For example, Sarawak governor’s official birthday is always celebrated on the second Saturday of October, although the incumbent (as of September 2020) governor of Sarawak was born on May 21.

Abdul Taib Mahmud has served as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (governor) of Sarawak since March 2014. He was born on May 21, 1936. After graduating from the University of Adelaide in Australia with Bachelor of Laws in 1960, he worked as a lawyer first in Australia and then in Sarawak. Taib’s political career began in 1963, when he joined the Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak party.

During his political career, Taib served as member of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly and held various positions in the state cabinet of ministers. In 1981, the governor of Sarawak appointed him as the chief minister of the state. Taib remained in office for almost 33 years, from March 1981 to February 2014. On March 1, 2014, the Supreme Head of Malaysia appointed him as the hew governor of Sarawak.

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