Sitiawan celebrates its naming origins with a monument of elephant friendship

SITIAWAN: In a tribute to the origins of its name, the town of Sitiawan in Perak has immortalised its historical roots through a monument depicting two elephants.

According to Peraktastic, this new sculpture commemorates the spirit of camaraderie that played a pivotal role in how the town received its name.

Aptly named 'Setia Kawan' (Loyal Friends), the monument tells a poignant tale of loyalty and friendship between two elephants.

"The story behind the sculpture 'Setia Kawan' is about an elephant that refused to leave another elephant trapped in the river. When the river water rose, the elephant didn't leave its 'friend', resulting in both of them dying.

"Following this incident, the river was later named Sungai Gajah Mati (Dead Elephant River) and the village Kampung Gajah Mati (Dead Elephant Village)," the report said.

The story behind the 'Setia Kawan' sculpture reflects a heartbreaking event that ultimately gave the area its name. Following a disaster that struck Kampung Gajah Mati, the village's name was changed to signify the enduring bond between the two elephants.

In 1886, a smallpox outbreak devastated the village, prompting the village head to request the Perak Resident to change the name from Gajah Mati to Setia Kawan. From then on, it was known as Setia Kawan, with the locals shortening it to Sitiawan.

The unveiling of the monument was part of the Chinese New Year celebrations, officiated by the Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming. The event was also attended by the Manjung Municipal Council President, Syamsul Hazeman Salleh.

The 'Setia Kawan' monument not only serves as a historical marker but also as a reminder of the values of loyalty and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

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