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1.a region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo
2.(MeSH)A parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch in southeast Asia, consisting of 11 states (West Malaysia) on the Malay Peninsula and two states (East Malaysia) on the island of BORNEO. It is also called the Federation of Malaysia. Its capital is Kuala Lumpur. Before 1963 it was the Union of Malaya. It reorganized in 1948 as the Federation of Malaya, becoming independent from British Malaya in 1957 and becoming Malaysia in 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore (which seceded in 1965). The form Malay- probably derives from the Tamil malay, mountain, with reference to its geography. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p715&Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p329)
'Abd Allah III al-Salim al-Sabah • 'Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • 'Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah • 1986 Sabah riots • 1991 Sabah political arrests • 20-point agreement (Sabah) • A1 road (Sabah) • A2 road (Sabah) • Abdallah I al-Sabah • Abdullah I Al-Sabah • Abdullah II Al-Sabah • Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah • Adel Sabah • Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah • Amer Sabah • Amir Sabah • Beaufort, Sabah • Berhala Island, Sabah • Bishop of Sabah • Bugis of Sabah • Coats of arms of Sabah • Coşkun Sabah • Dahiyat Sabah al-Kheir • Daily Express (Sabah) • Dina Al-Sabah • Diocese of Sabah • Dok čekaš sabah sa šejtanom • Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • Flag of Sabah • Haidar Sabah • History of Sabah • House of Al-Sabah • Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah • Jaber I Al-Sabah • Jaber II Al-Sabah • Jabir Al-Ahmad Al-Jabir Al-Sabah • Jabir I al-Sabah • Kadazandusun Cultural Association Sabah • List of Chief Ministers of Sabah • List of schools in Sabah • MV Sabah • Maktab Sabah, Kota Kinabalu • Michel Sabah • Miguel Sabah • Mubarak Al Sabah • Mubarak Al-Kabeer Al-Sabah • Mubarak Al-Sabah • Mubarak al-Lahab Al Sabah • Mubarak al-Lahab bin Sabah Al-Sabah • Muhammad Al-Sabah • Muhammad Al-Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah • Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah • Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • New Sabah Times • Omar Sabah Jassim • Oued Sabah • Papar, Sabah • Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah • Parti Bersatu Sabah • Pitas, Sabah • Protestant Church in Sabah • Public holidays in Sabah • Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah • Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah • Saad I Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah • Sabah (disambiguation) • Sabah (film) • Sabah (movie) • Sabah (newspaper) • Sabah (singer) • Sabah Air • Sabah Al Sabah • Sabah Al Salem Stadium • Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah • Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jabir Al-Sabah • Sabah Al-Sabah • Sabah Al-Salem • Sabah Development Corridor • Sabah Electricity • Sabah FA • Sabah Fakhri • Sabah Gas Industries • Sabah Hamamou • Sabah I bin Jaber • Sabah I bin Jabir • Sabah II Al-Sabah • Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah • Sabah Khoury • Sabah Museum • Sabah Parks • Sabah People's United Front • Sabah Progressive Party • Sabah Qabbani • Sabah State Mosque • Sabah State Railway • Sabah Tanah Airku • Sabah Theological College • Sabah Theological Seminary • Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School • Sabah Wildlife Department • Sabah al Sabah • Sabah al-Sabah • Sabah al-Saedi • Sabah bamboo pitviper • Sabah bin Jaber • Sabah state election, 1985 • Sabah state election, 1994 • Sabah state election, 2008 • Salem Al-Ali A-Sabah • Salem Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah • Salim Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah • Saud Nasir Al-Sabah • Saud Nasir al-Sabah • Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah • Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah • Shaikh Badr bin Ahmad Al-Sabah • Sheikh Sa'ad Abdullah Al Sabah • Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Salim Al Sabah • Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jabir Al Sabah • TV Sabah • Trusan, Sabah • Trusan, Sabah, Malaysia • United Sabah National Organization • Universiti Malaysia Sabah • Weston, Sabah
parts; area; region; part of the country; district[ClasseParExt.]
île de la Mer de Chine Méridionale (fr)[Classe...]
Malaysia Orientale (fr)[Situé]
Asia, Southern Asia[Hyper.]
Sabah (n.) [MeSH]
|— State —|
|Negeri Di Bawah Bayu
Land Below The Wind
|Motto: Sabah Maju Jaya|
|Anthem: Sabah Tanah Airku
(Sabah My Homeland)
|• Yang di-Pertua Negeri||Juhar Mahiruddin|
|• Chief Minister||Musa Aman (BN)|
|• Total||73,631 km2 (28,429 sq mi)|
|• Density||42/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|Human Development Index|
|• HDI (2010)||0.643 (medium) (14th)|
|Postal code||88xxx to 91xxx|
|Calling code||087 (Inner District)
088 (Kota Kinabalu & Kudat)
089 (Lahad Datu, Sandakan & Tawau)
|Vehicle registration||SA,SAA,SAB (Kota Kinabalu & Kota Belud)
SD (Lahad Datu)
|Former name||North Borneo|
|Brunei Sultanate||16th century|
|British North Borneo||1882|
|British Crown Colony||1946|
|Self-governance||31 August 1963|
|Accession with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia||16 September 1963|
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia, and is its easternmost state. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south. In spite of its status as a Malaysian state, Sabah remains a disputed territory; the Philippines has a dormant claim over much of the eastern part of the territory. The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton. Sabah is often referred to as "Land Below The Wind", because of its location just south of the typhoon-prone region around the Philippines.
The origin of the name Sabah is uncertain, and there are many theories that have arisen. One theory is that during the time it was part of the Bruneian Sultanate, it was referred to as Saba because of the presence of pisang saba, a type of banana, found on the coasts of the region. Due to the location of Sabah in relation to Brunei, it has been suggested that Sabah was a Bruneian Malay word meaning upstream or the northern side of the river. Another theory suggests that it came from the Malay word sabak which means a place where palm sugar is extracted. Sabah is also an Arabic word which means sunrise. The presence of multiple theories makes it difficult to pinpoint the true origin of the name.
The western part of Sabah is generally mountainous, containing the three highest mountains in Malaysia. The most prominent range is the Crocker Range which houses several mountains of varying height from about 1,000 metres to 4,000 metres. At the height of 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia . The jungles of Sabah are classified as rainforests and host a diverse array of plant and animal species. Kinabalu National Park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2000 because of its richness in plant diversity combined with its unique geological, topographical, and climatic conditions.
Lying nearby Mount Kinabalu is Mount Tambuyukon. With a height of 2,579 metres, it is the third highest peak in the country. Adjacent to the Crocker Range is the Trus Madi Range which houses the second highest peak in the country, Mount Trus Madi, with a height of 2,642 metres. There are lower ranges of hills extending towards the western coasts, southern plains, and the interior or central part of Sabah. These mountains and hills are traversed by an extensive network of river valleys and are in most cases covered with dense rainforest.
The central and eastern portion of Sabah are generally lower mountain ranges and plains with occasional hills. Kinabatangan River begins from the western ranges and snakes its way through the central region towards the east coast out into the Sulu Sea. It is the second longest river in Malaysia after Rajang River at a length of 560 kilometres. The forests surrounding the river valley also contains an array of wildlife habitats, and is the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia.
Other important wildlife regions in Sabah include Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, Tabin, Imbak Canyon and Sepilok. These places are either designated as national parks, wildlife reserves, virgin jungle reserves, or protection forest reserve.
Over three quarters of the human population inhabit the coastal plains. Major towns and urban centres have sprouted along the coasts of Sabah. The interior region remains sparsely populated with only villages, and the occasional small towns or townships.
Beyond the coasts of Sabah lie a number of islands and coral reefs, including the largest island in Malaysia, Pulau Banggi. Other large islands include, Pulau Jambongan, Pulau Balambangan, Pulau Timbun Mata, Pulau Bumbun, and Pulau Sebatik. Other popular islands mainly for tourism are, Pulau Sipadan, Pulau Selingan, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Tiga, and Pulau Layang-Layang.
National or state park areas in Sabah are under the protection of Sabah Parks. Other reserves or protected areas are under the governance of the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Foundation.
Earliest human migration and settlement into the region is believed to have dated back about 20,000–30,000 years ago. These early humans are believed to be Australoid or Negrito people. The next wave of human migration, believed to be Austronesian Mongoloids, occurred around 3000 BC.
During the 7th century CE, a settled community known as Vijayapura, a tributary to the Srivijaya empire, was thought to have been the earliest beneficiary to the Bruneian Empire existing around the northeast coast of Borneo. Another kingdom which suspected to have existed beginning the 9th century was P'o-ni. It was believed that Po-ni existed at the mouth of Brunei River and was the predecessor to the Sultanate of Brunei. The Sultanate of Brunei began after the ruler of Brunei embraced Islam. During the reign of the fifth sultan known as Bolkiah between 1473–1524, the Sultanate's thalassocracy extended over Sabah, Sulu Archipelago and Manila in the north, and Sarawak until Banjarmasin in the south. In 1658, the Sultan of Brunei ceded the northern and eastern portion of Borneo to the Sultan of Sulu in compensation for the latter's help in settling a civil war in the Brunei Sultanate. In 1749, the Sultanate of Borneo ceded southern Palawan to Spain.
In 1761, Alexander Dalrymple, an officer of the British East India Company, concluded an agreement with the Sultan of Sulu to allow him to set up a trading post in the region, although it proved to be a failure. In 1846, the island of Labuan on the west coast of Sabah was ceded to Britain by the Sultan of Brunei and in 1848 it became a British Crown Colony. Following a series of transfers, the rights to North Borneo were transferred to Alfred Dent, whom in 1881 formed the British North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd. In the following year, the British North Borneo Company was formed and Kudat was made its capital. In 1883 the capital was moved to Sandakan. In 1885, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany signed the Madrid Protocol of 1885, which recognised the sovereignty of Spain in the Sulu Archipelago in return for the relinquishment of all Spanish claims over North Borneo. In 1888 North Borneo became a protectorate of the United Kingdom.
As part of the Second World War, Japanese forces landed in Labuan on 1 January 1942, and continued to invade the rest of North Borneo. From 1942 to 1945, Japanese forces occupied North Borneo, along with most of the island. Bombings by the allied forces devastated of most towns including Sandakan, which was razed to the ground. In Sandakan there was once a brutal POW camp run by the Japanese for British and Australian POWs from North Borneo. The prisoners suffered under notoriously inhuman conditions, and Allied bombardments caused the Japanese to relocate the POW camp to inland Ranau, 260 km away. All the prisoners, then were reduced to 2504 in number, were forced to march the infamous Sandakan Death March. Except for six Australians, all of the prisoners died. The war ended on 10 September 1945. After the surrender, North Borneo was administered by the British Military Administration and in 1946 it became a British Crown Colony. Jesselton replaced Sandakan as the capital and the Crown continued to rule North Borneo until 1963.
On 31 August 1963 North Borneo attained self-government. 1962, the Cobbold Commission was set up to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak favoured the proposed union, and found that the union was generally favoured by the people. Most ethnic community leaders of Sabah, namely, Tun Mustapha representing the Muslims, Tun Fuad Stephens representing the non-Muslim natives, and Khoo Siak Chew representing the Chinese, would eventually support the formation. On 16 September 1963 North Borneo, as Sabah, was united with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore, to form the independent Federation of Malaysia.
From before the formation of Malaysia till 1966, Indonesia adopted a hostile policy towards the British backed Malaya, and after union to Malaysia. This undeclared war stems from what Indonesian President Sukarno perceive as an expansion of British influence in the region and his intention to wrest control over the whole of Borneo under the Indonesian republic. Tun Fuad Stephens became the first chief minister of Sabah. The first Governor (Yang di-Pertuan Negeri) was Tun Mustapha. Sabah held its first state election in 1967. Until 2008, a total of 11 state elections has been held. Sabah has had 13 different chief ministers and 9 different Yang di-Pertua Negeri as of 2009. Beginning 1970, Filipino refugees from the Mindanao began arriving in Sabah as a result of the Moro insurgency taking place in that region. On 14 June 1976 the government of Sabah signed an agreement with Petronas, the federal government-owned oil and gas company, granting it the right to extract and earn revenue from petroleum found in the territorial waters of Sabah in exchange for 5% in annual revenue as royalties.
The state government of Sabah ceded the island of Labuan and its 6 smaller islands to the Malaysian federal government and it was declared a federal territory on 16 April 1984. In 2000, the state capital Kota Kinabalu was granted city status, making it the 6th city in Malaysia and the first city in the state. Also this year, Kinabalu National Park was officially designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, making it the first site in the country to be given such designation. In 2002, the International Court of Justice ruled that the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan, claimed by Indonesia, are part of Sabah and Malaysia.
|This article's references may not meet Wikipedia's guidelines for reliable sources. Please help by checking whether the references meet the criteria for reliable sources. (December 2010)|
The Sultanate of Sulu was granted the north-eastern part of the territory as a prize for helping the Sultan of Brunei against his enemies and from then on that part of Borneo was recognised as part of the Sultan of Sulu's sovereignty. In 1878, Baron Von Overbeck, an Austrian partner representing The British North Borneo Company and his British partner Alfred Dent, leased the territory of Sabah. In return, the company was to provide arms to the Sultan to resist the Spaniards and 5,000 Malayan dollars annual rental based on the Mexican dollar's value at that time or its equivalent in gold. This lease was continued until the independence and formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963 together with Singapore, Sarawak and the states of Malaya. As of 2004, the Malaysian Embassy to the Philippines had been paying cession/rental money amounting to US$1,500 per year (about 6,300 Malaysian Ringgits) to the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu despite Spain and indirectly Sulu renounced all sovereignty according to Article III of Madrid Protocol of 1885.
On 12 September 1962, during President Diosdado Macapagal's administration, the territory of North Borneo, and the full sovereignty, title and dominion over the territory were ceded by the then reigning Sultan of Sulu, HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I, to the Republic of the Philippines. The cession effectively gave the Philippine government the full authority to pursue their claim in international courts. The Philippines broke diplomatic relations with Malaysia after the federation had included Sabah in 1963 but probably resumed it unofficially through the Manila Accord.
In 1968, Ferdinand Marcos was training a team of saboteurs on Corregidor for infiltration into Sabah but instead Marcos double-crossed the saboteurs. This event is known as the Jabidah massacre. Diplomatic ties resumed in 1989 because succeeding Philippine administrations have placed the claim on the backburner in the interest of pursuing cordial economic and security relations with Kuala Lumpur.
The population of Sabah is 3,117,405 as of the last census 2010 and is the third most populous state in Malaysia after Selangor and Johor. Sabah has one of the highest population growth rates in the country as a result of illegal immigration from the Muslim-dominated southern provinces of Philippines.
The population estimates based on ethnic groups in 2010 are as follows:
Malay language is the national language spoken across ethnicities, although Sabahan dialect called Baku is different from West Malaysian dialect of Johor-Riau. Sabah also has its own slang for many words in Malay, mostly originated from indigenous or Indonesian words. In addition, indigenous languages such as Kadazan, Dusun, Bajau and Murut have their own segments on state radio broadcast as well as English.
The people of Sabah are divided into 32 officially recognised ethnic groups. The largest non-bumiputra ethnic group is the Chinese (13.2%). The predominant Chinese dialect group in Sabah is Hakka, followed by Cantonese and Hokkien. Most Chinese people in Sabah are concentrated in the major cities and towns, namely Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau. The largest indigenous ethnic group is Kadazan-Dusun, followed by Bajau, and Murut. There is a much smaller proportion of Indians and other South Asians in Sabah compared to other parts of Malaysia. Cocos people is a minority ethnic residing in Sabah especially at the Tawau Division. Collectively, all persons coming from Sabah are known as Sabahans and identify themselves as such.
Sabah demography consists of many ethnic groups, for example:
As of 2010 the population of Sabah follows:
Sabah economy relies on three key development sectors; agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Petroleum and palm oil remained the two most exported commodities. Sabah imports mainly automobiles and machinery, petroleum products and fertilizers, food and manufactured goods.
Sabah was traditionally heavily dependent on lumber based on export of tropical timber, but with increasing depletion at an alarming rate of the natural forests, ecological efforts to save the remaining natural rainforest areas were made in early 1982 through forest conservation methods by collecting seeds of different species particularly acacia mangium and planting it to pilot project areas pioneered by the Sandakan Forest Research Institute researchers, however, palm oil has emerged as a choice of farmers to plant as crops. Other agricultural products important in the Sabah economy include rubber and cacao. America's lobster breeding company Darden will start a huge investment to breed lobsters in Sabah waters for export to the United States in the coming years. Agriculture sector is supported by Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture & Food Industry and Palm Oil Industrial Cluster.
Tourism, particularly eco-tourism, is a major contributor to the economy of Sabah. In 2006, 2,000,000 tourists visited Sabah and it is estimated that the number will continue to rise following vigorous promotional activities by the state and national tourism boards and also increased stability and security in the region. Sabah currently has six national parks. One of these, the Kinabalu National Park, was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2000. It is the first of two sites in Malaysia to obtain this status, the other being the Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak. These parks are maintained and controlled by Sabah Parks under the Parks Enactment 1984. The Sabah Wildlife Department also has conservation, utilisation, and management responsibilities. Tourism sector is supported by Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Environment and Sabah Tourism Board.
There are hundreds of SMI and SME in Sabah and some companies have become a household name such as Gardenia. Sabah government is seriously pursuing industrialization with the Sabah Development Corridor plan specifically in Sepanggar area where KKIP Industrial Park and Sepanggar Container Port Terminal located. Sabah manufacturing are supported by Ministry of Industrial Development and Department of Industrial Development & Research.
There are currently 7 ports in Sabah: Kota Kinabalu Port, Sepanggar Bay Container Port, Sandakan Port, Tawau Port, Kudat Port, Kunak Port, and Lahad Datu Port. These ports are operated and maintained by Sabah Ports Authority. The major towns and city are:
In the 1970s, Sabah was ranked second behind Selangor including Kuala Lumpur as the richest state in Malaysia. As of 2010, Sabah is the poorest state in Malaysia. GDP growth was 2.4%, the lowest in Malaysia behind Kelantan. Proportion of population living below US$1 per day declined from 30% in 1990 to 20% in 2009 but still lag behind other states that have lowered poverty rate significantly from 17% in 1990 to 4% in 2009. Slum is nonexistent in Malaysia but the highest number of squatter settlements is in Sabah with households between 20,000 to 40,000. After Kuala Lumpur, most low-cost public housing units under the People's Housing Program were built in Sabah.
Cabotage policy imposed on Sabah and Sarawak is one of the reason behind the higher price of goods. The rules set in early 1980s made sure that all domestic transport of foreign goods between peninsula and Sabah ports are only for Malaysian company vessels. This leads to shipping cartel charging excessive costs and ultimately a higher cost of living in East Malaysia.
Cabotage rules also affected the industry sector. Tan Chong Motor is planning to build a Nissan 4WD factory in KKIP but higher cost of shipping stalled the plan that could provide new jobs. Lack of industry providing jobs for professional and highly skilled workers forced large numbers of Sabahans to seek opportunities in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and United States.
The 5% fixed oil royalty Sabah currently receives from Petronas according to Petroleum Development Act 1974 is also an issue of contention. The three oil producing states namely Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu demanded Petronas to review the agreement and increase royalty to no avail.
Sabah is a representative democracy with universal suffrage for all citizens above 21 years of age. However, legislation regarding state elections are within the powers of the federal government and not the state.
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri sits at the top of the hierarchy followed by the state legislative assembly and the state cabinet. The Yang di-Pertuan Negeri is officially the head of state however its functions are largely ceremonial. The chief minister is the head of government and is also the leader of the state cabinet. The legislature is based on the Westminster system and therefore the chief minister is appointed based on his or her ability to command the majority of the state assembly. A general election representatives in the state assembly must be held every five years. This is the only elected government body in the state, with local authorities being fully appointed by the state government owing to the suspension of local elections by the federal government. The assembly meets at the state capital, Kota Kinabalu.
|#||Chief Minister||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||Tun Fuad Stephens (1st term)||September 16, 1963||December 31, 1964||Alliance (UNKO)|
|2||Peter Lo Sui Yin||January 1, 1965||May 12, 1967||Alliance (SCA)|
|3||Mustapha Harun||May 12, 1967||November 1, 1975||Alliance (USNO)|
|4||Mohamad Said Keruak||November 1, 1975||April 18, 1976||Barisan Nasional (USNO)|
|5||Tun Fuad Stephens (2nd term)||April 18, 1976||June 6, 1976||Barisan Nasional (BERJAYA)|
|6||Harris Salleh||June 6, 1976||April 22, 1985||Barisan Nasional (BERJAYA)|
|7||Joseph Pairin Kitingan||April 22, 1985||March 17, 1994||Parti Bersatu Sabah
|Barisan Nasional (PBS)
|Parti Bersatu Sabah
|8||Sakaran Dandai||March 17, 1994||December 27, 1994||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)|
|9||Salleh Said Keruak||December 27, 1994||May 28, 1996||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)|
|10||Yong Teck Lee||May 28, 1996||May 28, 1998||Barisan Nasional (SAPP)|
|11||Bernard Dompok||May 28, 1998||March 14, 1999||Barisan Nasional (UPKO)|
|12||Osu Sukam||March 14, 1999||March 27, 2001||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)|
|13||Chong Kah Kiat||March 27, 2001||March 27, 2003||Barisan Nasional (LDP)|
|14||Musa Aman||March 27, 2003||present||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)|
|Composition of Sabah State Legislative|
|Source: Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya|
Members of the state assembly are elected from 60 constituencies which are delineated by the Election Commission of Malaysia and may not necessarily result in constituencies of same voter population sizes. Sabah is also represented in the federal parliament by 25 members elected from the same number of constituencies.
The present elected state and federal government posts are held by Barisan Nasional (BN), a coalition of parties which includes United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).
||This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (January 2012)|
Prior to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the then North Borneo interim government submitted a 20-point agreement to the Malayan government as conditions before Sabah would join the Federation. Sabah entered Malaysia as an autonomous state with a Christian Kadazan-Dusun chief minister, but soon succumbed to Kuala Lumpur's vision of a one-party unitary Islamic state dominated by the indigenous Muslim Bajau and Bruneian Malay. This has created considerable friction and even occasional calls for secession. These tensions are further inflamed by Kuala Lumpur's colonial mentality towards Sabah, wherein 95% of the profits from Sabah's immense natural resources are taken by the federal government, leaving the state government with only 5%. Aside from nominally separate immigration controls, little evidence remains of Sabah's theoretical autonomy.
Until the Malaysian general election, 2008, Sabah, along with the states of Kelantan and Terengganu, are the only three states in Malaysia that had ever been ruled by opposition parties not part of the ruling BN coalition. Led by Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, PBS formed government after winning the 1985 elections and ruled Sabah until 1994. Due to certain internal troubles, BN took over the government in 1994 despite PBS winning the elections. PBS subsequently joined the BN coalition in 2002.
A unique feature of Sabah politics was a policy initiated by the BN in 1994 whereby the chief minister's post is rotated among the coalition parties every 2 years regardless of the party in power at the time, thus theoretically giving an equal amount of time for each major ethnic group to rule the state. This extremely weakens the executive branch of the state government, which was formerly much at odds with the federal government in Kuala Lumpur. It also serves to give a disproportionate power to the indigenous Muslim Bajau ethnic group, at the expense of the mainly Christian indigenous Kadazan-Dusun, the largest ethnic group. This practice has since stopped with power now held by majority in the state assembly by the UMNO party, which also holds a majority in the national parliament.
There has been a conspiracy theory that the chief minister post rotation system was implemented to allow UMNO to control the post permanently by abolishing the whole system once it was UMNO's turn to hold the post. It has never been proven but it is considered impossible for UMNO to get a hold of the post through any other method. The conspiracy theory was brought up once again when a division from UMNO proposed to implement the same rotation system in Penang, when it was under BN rule. It was one of the two states which were not controlled by UMNO but was under BN rule (the other state being Sarawak). The proposal was raised even though UMNO abolished the system in Sabah by declaring it a failure.
UMNO had a quick rise to power since its entry into Sabah in 1991 where before that both eastern Malaysian states were not penetrated by the party, whose president is the de facto leader of the ruling coalition BN and automatically the Prime Minister of Malaysia. This has given rise to dissent as the chief minister rotation system was halted just as UMNO was holding the post. Thus the 2004 general elections saw widespread disillusionment, coupled with an ineffectual opposition. The state assembly is now dominated by the ruling party BN with only one seat held by an opposition politician who is an independent candidate. This was caused by a general sentiment where a number of voters were reluctant to cast votes for BN whose victory was almost assured but did not trust the opposition parties, most of which were not vigorously active before the election. Therefore many cast votes for independent candidates.
Sabah politics, as are Malaysia's, is very much based upon party lines. An effort by PBS, a component party of BN, to hatch a co-operation with the one opposition candidate within the state assembly, who conversely was a former UMNO member competing independently because he was not nominated for the constituency by his party, in an unprecedented attempt at bipartisanship, was harshly criticised by UPKO, another component party of BN.
These administrative divisions are, for all purposes, just for reference. During the British rule until the transition period when Malaysia was formed, a Resident was appointed to govern each division and provided with a palace (Istana). This means that the British considered each of these divisions equivalent to a Malayan state. The post of the Resident was abolished in favour of district officers for each of the district.
|Division Name||Districts||Area (km²)||Population (2010)|
|1||West Coast Division||Kota Belud, Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Penampang, Putatan, Ranau, Tuaran||7,588||1,067,589|
|2||Interior Division||Beaufort, Nabawan, Keningau, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Tambunan, Tenom||18,298||424,534|
|3||Kudat Division||Kota Marudu, Kudat, Pitas||4,623||192,457|
|4||Sandakan Division||Beluran, Kinabatangan, Sandakan, Tongod||28,205||702,207|
|5||Tawau Division||Kunak, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Tawau||14,905||819,955|
As in the rest of Malaysia, local government comes under the purview of state governments. However, ever since the suspension of local government elections in the midst of the Malaysian Emergency, which was much less intense in Sabah than it was in the rest of the country, there have been no local elections. Local authorities have their officials appointed by the executive council of the state government.
|Official Name in Malay||Name in English||Acronym|
|Universiti Malaysia Sabah||Malaysia Sabah University||UMS|
|Universiti Teknologi MARA||MARA Technology University||UiTM|
|Universiti Terbuka Malaysia||Open University Malaysia||OUM|
|Official Name in Malay||Name in English||Acronym||Website|
|Kolej Kinabalu||Kinabalu College|||
|Institut Seni Sabah||Sabah Institute of Art||SIA|||
|Kolej Yayasan Sabah||Sabah Foundation College||KYS|||
|Kolej Pelancongan Asia Antarabangsa||Asian Tourism International College||ATIC|||
|Sekolah Perniagaan AMC||Advanced Management College||AMC|||
|Politeknik Kota Kinabalu||Kota Kinabalu Polytechnic||POLITEKNIK|||
|Kolej Pentadbiran Dinamik Antarabangsa Sabah||Sabah International Dynamic Management College||SIDMA|||
|Institut Sinaran||Sinaran Institute||SINARAN|||
|Kolej Antarabangsa AlmaCrest||AlmaCrest International College||ACIC|||
|Kolej Eastern||Eastern College||EASTERN|||
|Institut Prima Bestari||Prima Bestari Institute||IPB|||
|Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman||Tunku Abdul Rahman College||TAR|||
|Kolej Informatics||Informatics College||INFORMATICS|
|Kolej INTI||INTI College||INTI|||
|Pusat Teknologi dan Pengurusan Lanjutan||Advanced Management and Technology Centre||PTPL|||
|Kolej Teknologi Cosmopoint||Cosmopoint Kota Kinabalu||COSMOPOINT|||
|Kolej Multimedia||Multimedia College||MMC|
|Institut Teknologi Sabah||Sabah Institute of Technology||SIT|||
|Institut Perguruan Kampus Gaya||Gaya Teachers Training Institute||IPGKG|||
|Institut Perguruan Kampus Keningau||Keningau Teachers Training Institute||IPGKK|||
|Institut Perguruan Kampus Tawau||Tawau Teachers Training Institute||IPGKT|||
|Institut Perguruan Kampus Kent||Kent Teachers Training Institute|||
|Kolej Masterskill||Masterskill College||MASTERSKILL|||
|Kolej MAHSA||MAHSA College||MAHSA|
Radio Televisyen Malaysia operates 2 statewide free-to-air terrestrial radio channels, Sabah FM and Sabah VFM as well as district specific channels such as Keningau FM. A local television channel is due to be launched called TV Sabah, also under RTM. KK FM is run by Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Bayu FM is only available through Astro satellite feed. Recently KL based AMP Radio Networks and Suria FM set up base to tap the emerging market. Sabahan DJs were hired and the content caters to Sabahan listeners.
Sabah's first established newspaper was the Sabah Times. The newspaper was founded by Tun Fuad Stephens, who later became the first Chief Minister of Sabah. Today the main newspapers are New Sabah Times, Daily Express and Borneo Post. Aside from New Sabah Times, other English daily are independent media thus making Sabah the state with the most freedom of the press in Malaysia.
The earliest known footage of Sabah comes from two movies by Martin and Osa Johnson titled 'Jungle Depths of Borneo' and 'Borneo'.
Bat*21 was a 1988 film directed by Peter Markle and shot at various location in West Sabah such as Menggatal, Telipok, Kayumadang and Lapasan.
Sabah's first homegrown film was Orang Kita, starring Abu Bakar Ellah. Sabah produced TV programs such as dramas or documentaries are usually aired on TV1 while musicals aired through special Sabah slots in Muzik Aktif.
Foreign films and TV shows filmed in Sabah include the reality show Survivor: Borneo, The Amazing Race, Eco-Challenge Borneo as well as a number of Hong Kong production films such as Born Rich. Sabah was also featured in Sacred Planet, a documentary hosted by Robert Redford.
Sabah FA won the FA Cup in 1995 then become the Premier League champion in 1996.
Matlan Marjan is a former football player for Malaysia. He scored two goals against England in an international friendly on 12 June 1991. The English team included Stuart Pearce, David Batty, David Platt, Nigel Clough, Gary Lineker, was captained by Bryan Robson and coached by Bobby Robson. No other Malaysian player managed to achieve this. In 1995, he along with six other Sabah players, were arrested on suspicion of match-fixing. Although the charges were dropped, he was prevented from playing professional football and was banished to another district. He was punished under the Internal Security Act (which allows for indefinite detention without any trial, despite being proven innocent, and even on non-security related issues).
Martin Guntali was a weightlifter who won the Commonwealth Games bronze medal. Lim Keng Liat was a swimmer who won the Asian Games gold medal in 2006. Arrico Jumiti is a weightlifter who won the Asian Games gold medal at Guangzhou in 2010.
Australian author Wendy Law Suart lived in Jesselton between 1949–1953 and wrote 'The Lingering Eye – Recollections of North Borneo' about her experiences.
American author Agnes Newton Keith lived in Sandakan between 1934–1952 and wrote several books about Sabah.
In the Earl Mac Rauch novelisation of Buckaroo Banzai (Pocket Books, 1984; repr. 2001), and in the DVD commentary, Buckaroo's archenemy Hanoi Xan is said to have his secret base in Sabah, in a "relic city of caves."
There are many types of traditional dances in Sabah, most notably:
Sabah has produced a fair number of well-known high achievers. With the advent of communications and development in Malaysia, Sabah produced well known personalities compared to 4 decades before.
Sabahan contestants attained many finalist spots and even won major reality TV show contests. This phenomenon is probably due to many hidden Sabahan talents finally uncovered through Reality TV.
Mat Salleh was a Bajau leader who led a rebellion against British North Borneo Company administration in North Borneo. Under his leadership, the rebellion which lasted from 1894 to 1900 razed the British Administration Centre on Pulau Gaya and exercised control over Menggatal, Inanam, Ranau and Tambunan. The rebellion was by Bajaus, Dusuns and Muruts.
Antanum or Antanom (full name Ontoros Antonom) (1885–1915) was a famous and influential Murut warrior who led the chiefs and villagers from Keningau, Tenom, Pensiangan and Rundum to start the Rundum uprising against the British North Borneo Company but was killed during fighting with the company army in Sungai Selangit near Pensiangan.
Another notable Sabahan is Donald Stephens who helped form the state of Sabah under the UN appointed Cobbold commission. He was an initial opponent of Malaysia but was persuaded by Lee Kuan Yew with an offer of 8 university places for Sabahan students at the University of Malaya, Singapore. He was also the first Huguan Siou or paramount leader of the Kadazan-dusun and Murut people.
Tun Datu Mustapha was a Bajau-Kagayan-Suluk Muslim political leader in Sabah through the United Sabah National Organisation (USNO) party. He was a vocal supporter of Malaysia but fell out of favour with Malayan leaders despite forming UMNO branches in Sabah and deregistering USNO. Efforts to reregister USNO have not been allowed, unlike UMNO that was allowed to be reregistered under the same name.
Former Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan is the current Huguan Siou and the President of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). Pairin, the longest serving chief minister of the state and one of the first Kadazandusun lawyers, was known for his defiance of the federal government in the 1980s and 1990s in promoting the rights of Sabah and speaking out against the illegal immigration problems. Sabah was at the time one of only two states with opposition governments in power, the other being Kelantan. PBS has since rejoined BN and Datuk Pairin is currently the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah.
The 8th and current Attorney General of Malaysia, Abdul Gani Patail, comes from Sabah.
Datuk Hj. Railey bin Hj. Jeffery was the first and well-known Cocos political leader. He was the Deputy Information Minister and the JKR Deputy Minister in the 1990s.
Hons. Penny Wong, who was born in Sabah, is Australia's Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water. She was born in Kota Kinabalu in 1968 and moved to Australia at age 5.
Philip Lee Tau Sang (died 1959) was one of the most prominent Sabahan Chinese politicians in the 1950s. Of Hakka descent, he was greatly favoured by the British, whose colonisation Sabah was still under then, and was Member of the Advisory Council of North Borneo (1947–1950), Legislative Council of North Borneo (1950–1958) and Executive Council of North Borneo (1950–1953, 1956–1957). He has been posthumously honoured with a road named after him in the town of Tanjung Aru, near the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
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