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Trip Planner Asia  /  Malaysia  /  Perak  /  Manjung District  /  Sitiawan


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Sitiawan is a region in Manjung District, Perak, Malaysia.The region covers an area of 331.5km2 and as of year 2000, its population was 95,920 and has risen to more than 150,000 by 2015. Sitiawan town, the principal town of Sitiawan sub-district, is located at.HistoryFolklore mentions Sitiawan as Kampung Sungai Gajah Mati. It became a thriving settlement for industrious migrants from Foochow (Chinese: Fuzhou). They were mostly from the district of Kutien in Fuzhou, China.According to legend, Kampung Sungai Gajah Mati (literally: "Dead Elephant River Village") was the place where two large elephants drowned after one of them, overladen with tin ore, got stuck in the mud of the Dinding River at low tide. Efforts to save the elephant were in vain and eventually, everyone gave up and left. However, the second elephant refused to budge and hung on to its friend, resulting in them drowning together in the rising tide. Thus the setia kawan (loyal friend) name was derived.In the late 19th century, tin, together with rubber sheets, formed the main commodities of commerce. They were often carried by elephants and loaded onto waiting steamships destined for Penang. In the 1870s, when an outbreak of smallpox struck the settlement, and in line with the Chinese belief of naming a place to enhance its feng-shui, the locals chose to name the locality Setia Kawan—the "loyal friend" -- to harmonise with nature and appease the dead elephants. The name eventually became shortened to Sitiawan.In September 1903, the settlement got a boost with the arrival of more than 360 Christian Foochows desperate to escape the violence against the Qings Dynasty.The Chinese Christians were attacked by the Boxer party also known as Yihetuan in Chinese 义和团 and the Qing Dynasty government support the cause causing mess in Fujian in 1901 also known as Boxer Rebellion. They were led by two Chinese pastors and settled down in what is today known as Kampung Koh. Most of these immigrants worked in rubber plantations in Sitiawan. The Foochows also built four wells, two in the 1930s and another two in the 1950s. These heritage wells still exist but are no longer used.
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