A new check-in landmark for Sitiawan will be constructed beneath the banyan tree behind the old market, Pusat Komuniti Kg Koh, and to be named “Friends under the Banyan Tree.”

History of the Statue:
According to folklore, Kampung Sungai Gajah Mati (literally: “Dead Elephant River Village”) was the place where two large elephants drowned. One of them, overloaded 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 name “setia kawan” (loyal friend) was derived.

During the 1870s, a smallpox outbreak struck the settlement, and locals chose to rename the locality Setia Kawan — the “loyal friend” — to honour and appease the spirits of the dead elephants. This action is also in line with Chinese beliefs of naming a place to enhance its feng-shui. Over time, the name was shortened and eventually became Sitiawan. (Excerpt from Wikipedia;

The ancient banyan tree symbolises the people of Fuzhou in Sitiawan. Therefore, the new landmark will incorporate the legendary two elephants (representing Sitiawan) and a banyan tree (symbolizing the people of Fuzhou). It is anticipated to be completed before the upcoming Lunar New Year and will be open to the public for visitation and check-ins.

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