Picture of the Old Bintulu Town

The history of Bintulu stretched back to 40,000 years ago with the discovery of relics found in the Great Niah Caves, some 120 km to the North of Bintulu where civilization started. There were also indications of early trade carried out with ancient China. 

Bintulu was once under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate. However, in 1841, Sarawak was ceded to Sir James Brooke, an English adventurer who then became the First Rajah of Sarawak. In 1861, Bintulu, which was still part of Brunei, was also ceded to the Rajah and became part of Sarawak.

Situated close to Brunei, Bintulu played a very significant role in the history of democracy in Sarawak. On September 8, 1867, it became the first meeting place of the State Legislative Assembly, the Council Negeri. 

The Brooke family had ruled Sarawak for about 100 years before it was occupied by the Japanese between 1941 to 1945. When Charles Vyner Brooke, the Rajah, returned to Sarawak in 1946, he took steps to hand over Sarawak to Britain. Thus in July, 1946, Sarawak became a British Crown Colony. 

Colonial rule lasted until July 22, 1963 and then on September 16, 1963 Sarawak was formed the Federation of Malaysia.

Following the discovery of large reserves of natural gas offshore Bintulu in 1969, a feasibility study conducted in 1975 found in nearby Tanjung Kidurong a suitable site for Sarawak's first deep-water port. 

Realising the industrial potential in Bintulu, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) was established in 1978 by the State Government to undertake infrastructure development as well as to coordinate and promote industrial investment in the area. 

From 1979 onwards, Bintulu has witnessed unprecedented industrial development that looks set to continue beyond the year 2000. Already, Bintulu is Sarawak's leading industrial growth centre.