Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia. It is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Situated on the north-east of the island, Sabah is smaller than its sister state, Sarawak. The southern part of the island called Kalimantan belongs to neighbour country Indonesia. The state capital is Kota Kinabalu.
It was taken over by the British North Borneo Company in 1881, and became a protectorate of the British Empire with internal affairs still administered by the company in 1888. In 1946 the Company's rule ended and it became the colony of British North Borneo until it was admitted into the Malaysian federation in 1963.
See Demographics of Malaysia for some details about the population.
Sabah is a frequent tourist destination. Its most popular tourist destinations are:
- several huge caves, populated with millions of swallows and/or bats, such as the Gomantong cave
- Southeast Asia's highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu.
- a large number of excellent locations for scuba diving, including the famous island of Sipadan.
- Another famous city of the state is Sandakan, the City of Nature. Major attractions include the Orang Utan sanctuary Sepilok , the Labuk Probocis Centre , and the largest crocodile farm of Borneo.
The Philippines claims the whole of Sabah as part of the country's territory, based upon the Sultanate of Brunei's cession of its north-east territories to the Sultanate of Sulu in 1703, because of military assitance given by the latter to the former.
On 23 January 1878, in exchange for modern weapons with which to keep Spanish colonizers away from the Sulu Archipelago, the ruler of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Alam , leased North Borneo to Gustavus von Overbeck, an Austrian who was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire's consul-general in Hong Kong via a trading company belonging to his British partner Alfred Dent, and later via the British North Borneo Company . Von Overbeck procured the necessary firearms and also paid the Muslim dignitary an annual sum equivalent to 5,000 Malaysian dollars (now known as ringgit).
As read in the agreement, the key word in it, "padjak," has been translated by American, Dutch and Spanish linguists to mean "lease" or "arrendiamento." And the agreement states explicitly that the rights to the territory may not be transferred to a nation or another company without the sultan's express permission. In 1906 and in 1920, the United States formally reminded Britain that North Borneo did not belong to the Crown and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu. However, the British did turn Sabah into a Crown leased Colony. The Philippine Consitution of 1941 states that the national territory of the Philippines included, among other things, "all other areas which belong to the Philippines on the basis of historical rights or legal claims." Malaysia was federated in 16 September 1963. Even before Sabah was incorporated into Malaysia, the Philippines sent delegations to London reminding the British Crown that Sabah belonged to the Philippines. 
Malaysia insists that Sabah is under the sovereignty of Malaysia based on the fact that Baron von Overbeck and Alfred Dent secured agreements with the Brunei Sultanate on December 29, 1877 and the Sulu Sultanate on January 22, 1878, the sultanate of Sulu agreed to lease Sabah to Malaysia. The British Crown continued the lease on July 15, 1946, and ceded to Malaysia on September 16, 1963. As of late, Malaysia is still paying the annual rent to the Sultan of Sulu.
Malaysian control was further strengthened by two referendums: the first facilitated by the Cobbold Commission , from February to April 1962 and the second before the formation of Malaysia in September 1963. Both referendums recorded 70% of Sabahan population voting for Sabah to be part of Malaysia. Sabah's position within Malaysia was reinforced by the ruling made by the International Court of Justice for Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Linggitan to remain under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of Malaysia rather than Indonesia.
Arts and entertainment
Sabah is not known for producing many well-known media figures, but the few it has produced have made their mark. Noteworthy mentions include filmmaker Tony Francis Gitom and Malaysian Idol participant Nicolette Palikat.
Some films and shows filmed in Sabah include the first season of reality show Survivor, The Amazing Race, Eco-Challenge Borneo, Bat*21, and Sacred Planet . Sabah's first homegrown film was Orang Kita , starring Abu Bakar Ellah .
- Gudgeon, L. W. W. 1913. British North Borneo. Adam and Charles Black, London.
- Sabah's Tourism Board
- Daily Express, the local newspaper with the largest circulation in the state
- New Sabah Times, Sabah's first newspaper and favourite of local football fans
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