At the turn of the 20th Century, Chinese entrepreneurs began establishing Chinese entrepreneurial organizations in various cities and towns in Sarawak. They were self- governing entities and independent from one another.
In 1963, Sarawak became a part of the Federation of Malaysia. This led the KUCHING CHINESE GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (KCGCCI) to propose the formation of a State-wide Chamber together with 14 other Chinese entrepreneurial organizations. With their support, a regional chamber of local Chinese entrepreneurs in the state was officially formed on 10 April 1965.
The first president of the ASSOCIATED CHINESE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE OF SARAWAK (ACCCS) was Mr TAN TSAK YU, who was also the President of the KCGCCI.
In that same year, the ACCCS joined the ASSOCIATED CHINESE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF MALAYSIA (ACCCIM).
Datuk Amar WEE HOOD TECK succeeded as President of the ACCCS after Mr TAN TSAK YU’s term expired. Thereafter, ACCCS continued to be led by Mr CHIENG HIE KWONG, Datuk TING MING HIA and Datuk Sri CHIA CHIN SHIN. In 1978, Tan Sri Datuk Amar WEE BOON PING was elected President of the ACCCS. In the same year, he was also elected President of the ACCCIM. He continued to hold these two posts concurrently for the next 20 years, thus becoming the longest-serving President of the two bodies.
Under the leadership of Tan Sri Datuk Amar WEE BOON PING, ACCCS laid for itself a solid economic foundation, and enabled itself to play an important and active role in cultural and educational endeavors.
In 1998, Tan Sri Datuk Amar WEE BOON PING retired as President of the ACCCS. He was succeeded by Datuk TIONG SU KOUK, Dato SIM HOCK GUAN, Datuk WEE KOK TIONG, Mr TIONG KIONG KING, Mr TEO SENG CHUAN, Datuk SIA HIONG NGEE, Mr HU YU SIONG the current President, Mr Lee Khoi Yun.
In 1992, ACCCS underwent a name change to become known as, The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak, in short, the ACCCIS. In 2014, ACCCIS changed its Chinese name to “ 砂拉越中华总商会”, “ 砂中总”as the abbreviation.
Today, ACCCIS has 23 affiliates spreading across 12 Divisions in Sarawak and over 5,000 members in various fields, ranging from wholesaling, retailing, external trading, manufacturing, servicing to primary industries and agricultural development. It is the single most regionally representative associated chambers in the state of Sarawak.
To promote closer liaison and co-operation among the various Chinese Chambers of Commerce in Sarawak for the protection, promotion and advancement of all interests of the members in respect of commerce, industries and other economic activities; to study and formulate views, observations and recommendations of the Chinese business communities in respect of the State’s and the Nation’s socio-economic development for the purposes of promoting better understanding between the communities and the Government or other private/ public organizations; to liaise with other Chambers of Commerce or economic organizations to organize and participate in meetings relating to economic matters, trade missions, exhibitions and other activities relevant to the promotion of economic co-operation; to promote social welfare, cultural and educational activities and to organize or sponsor programme and seminars beneficial to the economic development of the State; to collect and disseminate information relating to commerce, industry and other economic activities; to participate in commercial, industrial and agricultural investments with the approval of the appropriate authority.
The Annual General Meeting shall constitute the supreme authority of the ACCCIS. A Management Committee consisting of 27 persons (President, Deputy President, 6 Vice Presidents, General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, and 15 committee members) shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting. The Working Committee comprising a President, Deputy President, 6 Vice Presidents, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer will be formed automatically after the Management Committee. Currently, ACCCIS has formed 18 Small Working Groups, they are: 1.Finance and Planning Committee; 2.Special Task Committee; 3.Socio-Economic Research Committee; 4.SMEs and Human Resource Development Committee; 5.Commerce Committee; 6.Construction, Property and Infrastructure Committee; 7.Agriculture and Primary Industries Committee; 8.Legal Affairs Committee; 9.Public Relations and Tourism Committee; 10.Information and Communications Technology Committee; 11.International Trade and Industry Committee; 12.Logistics and Transport Committee; 13.Science, Technology and Innovation Committee, 14.National Unity Committee; 15.Young Entrepreneurs Committee; 16.Taxation Committee; 17.National Expo Committee; and 18.Malaysia-China Economic, Trade and Investment Promotion Committee