Saturday, December 7, 2013

Map of Bintulu in the 1960's compared with 1980's

Map of Sarawak showing the 4 administrative divisions
Bintulu is in the Fourth Division of Sarawak
Source : Vernon Mullen (1967) The Story of Sarawak, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur.
 In the 1960's Bintulu was just a remote district in the Fourth Division which was having its administrative headquarters at Miri.  Administratively it was under the control of Miri for much of the time it was under the colonial days or pre -1963 era.  The above map shows its location in a massive division and thus little could be done to develop it as resources were mainly directed at developing the headquarters of the 4th Division..i.e. Miri.  Bintulu was then in the backwaters of development.
Map of Bintulu District Area in 1981 showing the full area covered under the responsibility of BDA (Bintulu Development Authority)
The same boundary was used to demarcate the area of the Bintulu Division when Bintulu became a new division on 1st January, 1987.

However, Bintulu's fortunes changed in the late 1970's with the formation of Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) which spearheaded the development of the Bintulu region with its vast reserves of natural gas offshore.  1979 marked the beginning of the first boom in Bintulu.  With effect from 1st January 1981 the BDA designated area was extended to cover the whole of the Bintulu District Area, some 4,574 sq. miles of land mass.  In 1981, Bintulu had an estimated population of 58,000.  To enable Bintulu to move forward faster it was made into a Division on the 1st of January, 1987.