MANJUNG, The expression 'Setia Kawan' or true friend deeply ingrained in the identity of Sitiawan is now brought to life through a sculpture now serving as a new landmark in the area. The rock sculpture of a pair of elephants, which stands as a tribute to the unwavering friendship depicted in the historical narrative of how Sitiawan town earned its name, was officially unveiled by Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming today. 'Named 'Setia Kawan' the sculpture holds remarkable historical significance, including the inspiring tale of an elephant refusing to abandon its trapped companion in the river. "When the river surged, the elephant remained steadfast by its 'friend's' side until both met their demise, giving rise to the names Sungai Gajah Mati and Kampung Gajah Mati," he told a press conference after officiating the Setia Kawan sculture at Kampung Koh Heritage Community Centre here today. Also present were Tourism Perak chief executive officer, Nurmalis Musa, Manjung Municipal Council (MP M) president Syamsul Hazeman Md Salleh, Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, Astaka assemblyman Jason Ng Thien Yeong and Pantai Remis assemblyman Wong May Ing. According to Nga, after the village faced a calamity, its name was changed to Setia Kawan in 1886. "In that year, a smallpox outbreak hit the village, resulting in many deaths and a few villagers led by village head known as Mohd Ali, wrote to the then Perak Resident, Sir Hugh Low, requesting that the name Gajah Mati be changed to Setia Kawan. 'Since then, it has been known as Setia Kawan, with the villagers eventually shortening the name to just Sitiawan," he said. Elaborating, Nga said MPM has allocated RM600,000 in the Kampung Koh area to ensure that the Setia Kawan Cultural Alley in Kampung Koh becomes a significant tourist attraction in the district. 'The murals and lights adorning the walls of old buildings here have the potential to become another exciting attraction for visitors. 'Similarly, sales in the shops still operating in the old building s within the next year will ensure that Kampung Koh is ready to be one of the places to visit in the lead-up to 'Visit Malaysia 2026'," he said. Source: BERNAMA News Agency