History and Background

The Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (Sarawak Topographic Mapping Division) was established on 1st January 1989 with the purpose of taking over mapping and geodetic works in the State previously conducted by the Sarawak Land and Survey Department.

This task acqusition is in accordance with the Inter-Governmental Report 1962 with the following rules: -

“12(b) (i) -     Topographical and Geodetic Surveys should be Federal subjects but should continue to be carried out as at present by the State Land and Surveys Department as agents for the Federal Government on repayment basis on a stated percentage of the annual cost being reviewed from time to time and to such surveys being made in confirmation with Federal Policy.

                        (ii) -     Cadastral Survey is State subject”

The provisions contained in this report have been accepted by the respective governments in the London Agreement of 1963 and have been the basis of the Constitutional rules to safeguard the particular interests of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and enable the establishment of Malaysia in a coalition of Malaya with the Sabah and Sarawak.

Thus, the Constitution has been set that cadastral surveys are under the responsibilities of the State of Sabah and Sarawak while matters regarding topography and geography will be under the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Then, a few committees such as the Intergovernmental Committee have been set up to review the report after 10 years of Malaysia's establishment. In 1975, the Ministerial Intergovernmental Committee made a resolution as follows:-

“The Federal Government should take over the responsibility for carrying out topographical and geodetic surveys in Sabah and Sarawak when the Federal Government is capable and ready to do so”

The fields of topography and geodesy is very broad. It includes activities related to surveying and mapping for various purposes such as infrastructure development, national security and others. Topographic maps produced are the basic source of information for such purposes. 

Currently the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (Sarawak Topographic Mapping Division) led by the Director of Survey of Sarawak Topographic Mapping Division is divided into sections, branches and regional offices as follows: -

Data Acquisition Section
Database Section
Geodetic Section
Aerial Photography Branch
Aerial Triangulation Branch
Stereo Digitization Branch
Mono Digitization Branch
Photogrammetry Editing Branch
Topography Editing Branch
Cartography Editing Branch
Geospatial Data Maintenance Branch
Geodetic Branch
Asset Branch
Boundary Branch
Information Management Branch
Administration and Finance Branch
Kuching Topographic Survey Regional Office
Sibu Topographic Survey Regional Office
Miri Topographic Survey Regional Office