According to legend, there were two elephants, a male and a female, who were very good friends.
Wherever they went, they went together.
One day the bull elephant fell ill. When the female elephant learnt this, she felt very sad. Quickly she came to see the bull elephant.
"Lady Elephant, I am afraid that today I cannot go with you in search of food," said the bull elephant.
"Please don't say that, Bull Elephant. I will look for food for you," promised the female elephant.
"You are very kind," said the bull elephant with a break in his voice.
"You have a good heart too. Remember, once when a thorn pricked my foot, you tended to it," said the female elephant.
From that day, the female elephant looked for food for both of them. Day by day, the bull elephant got worse.
One day the bull elephant told her sadly, "Dear Lady Elephant, I feel that the time has come for me to leave you forever."
"Do not say such a thing, Bull Elephant. You will get better."
A few days later, the bull elephant died. The female elephant was grief stricken. For days she neither ate nor drank. She stayed by the side of the dead elephant.
Soon, she too fell ill. After a few days she breathed her last by the side of her dead companion.
That is the story of two true friends whom even death could not part.
In the beginning, the people called the place where the elephants died, 'Setiakawan' or 'True Friends'. In time 'Setiakawan', which is in Perak, became 'Setiawan'.