Welcome To Sabah "The Land below the wind"

This website is a combination of many sources from other website and mostly contributed by Wikipedia and from Starstreamgroup.com. All the information is accurate and true. This website is mostly focus on information about Sabah. Please leave your comment if you are not stisfied with it. Happy reading - Admin

Dusun People In Sabah

Posted by Harry George | 4:35 AM | , , ,

People Of Sabah " Dusun Tribe "

There are many tribe and races live in Sabah. The famous tribe in Sabah is the Dusun. Although the Kadazan usually take all the credit but actually the most sucessful races in Sabah is Dusun. Many of the Dusun live in Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau, Some part in Tenom, Tuaran, Tamparuli, Kiulu, Tenghilan, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Menggatal, Inanam, Telipok and Kota Kinabalu. There are also Dusun live in Kinabatangan, Beluran and Sandakan. Dusun People is full with cultural valu and Heritage and the famous one is the bobolian who is using cremated baby to perform the traditional ritual. Please read more in this website and happy reading.

Dusun is the collective name of a tribe or ethnic and linguistic group in the Malaysian state of Sabah of North Borneo. Due to similarities in culture and language with the Kadazan ethnic group, a new unified term called "Kadazan-Dusun" was created. Collectively, they form the largest ethnic group in Sabah. A small minority of Dusuns can also be found in Brunei where they are defined by the constitution to be one of the seven Bumiputera groups.


For the majority of Dusuns, the word Dusun just means as it is i.e. Dusun people, without any references and implied meaning to any other words, be it from the Dusun language itself or any other languages. Coincidentally, Dusun is the Malay word that means "orchard" and is derived from "Orang Dusun" or "men of the orchards" as their houses are surrounded with fruit trees. A popular misconception is that the Dusun people named themselves (or were named) according to the Malay definition of the word Dusun. In actuality, even before the Malay language or British colonists had arrived in Sabah, the Dusun had long since called themselves by the name 'Dusun'.


The ethnic group, makes up, at one time, 30% of Sabah population and are broken down into more than 30 sub-ethnic, or dialectical groups, or tribes each speaking a slightly different dialect of the Dusunic family language. They are mostly mutually understandable.The Dusun traded with the coastal people by bringing their agricultural produce to exchange for salt, salted fish, and other products. The name 'Dusun' was popularized by the British colonial masters who borrowed the term from the Brunei Malays.

Most Dusuns have converted to mainstream religions such as Christian and Islam although animism is still being practiced by a small group of Dusun. The vast majority of Dusuns live in the hills and upland valleys and have a reputation for peacefulness, hospitality, hard work, frugality, drinking, and are averse to violence. Now they have very much been modernised and absorbed into the larger framework of the Malaysian society, taking up various occupations as government servants, and employees in the private sector, as well as becoming business owners. Many have achieved tertiary education both locally and overseas (in America, England, Rusia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).

In their old traditional setting they use various methods of fishing, including using the juice of the roots of a plant they call "tuba" to poison fish in rivers. Dusuns are known as the Latin artists of the East, being famous in the state for love and passion for music. Their traditional dances appear attractive and gentle full of passion for life, making the Dusun culture a popular and beautiful one, and much sought by tourists to Sabah.Even though Dusuns are known for their peaceful nature, they are also well known for their bravery and defiant nature towards oppression and foreign rule. Warriors in the Marudu district (the most fearsome being Kulindod), and in Tuaran fought off attacks of enemies—Irranuns in Marudu, and Bruneians and Irranuns in Tuaran.

Story: Harry George
Sources: www.tamparulisabah.com, wikipedia
Picture: Sabah Tourism

Sabah Herritage - History of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu formerly Jesselton, is the capital of Sabah state in Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on one side and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is nearby.

Kota Kinabalu proper has a population of 617,972 while the larger urban area has an estimated population of 900,000. It is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in Malaysia,Kota Kinabalu is often known as K.K. within Malaysia and internationally. It is a major tourist destination and a popular gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo.Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kota Kinabalu is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia. These two factors combine to make

In the late 1800s, the British North Borneo Company (BNBC) began to establish colonies throughout North Borneo (now Sabah). In 1882, the Company founded a small settlement in the area known as Gaya Bay which was already inhabited by the Bajau people. The first settlement was on Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya). In 1897, this first settlement was burned and destroyed by the indigenous Bajau freedom fighter led by Mat Salleh.

After the rebellion, the Company decided to relocate the settlement to the more easily defended mainland opposite Pulau Gaya. A nearby fishing village named Api-Api (see Original names below), was the next settlement of the Company. This new location was then designated as the main harbour and port, as well as the terminus for the North Borneo Railway. It was expanded and renamed Jesselton, named after Sir Charles Jessel, the then Vice Chairman of the Company.

Eventually, Jesselton became a major trading post of North Borneo, dealing in rubber, rattan, honey, and wax. The new railway was used to transport goods to Jesselton harbour. The Malay and Bajau uprisings during these times were not uncommon, and the Company worked to quell the long-standing threat of piracy in the region.

A bird's eye view of Kota Kinabalu from Penampang.

Jesselton was razed by the retreating British early in World War II to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Japanese. After the Japanese takeover of Borneo, it was again renamed Api. Several rebellions against the Japanese military administration took place in Api. One major rebellion occurred in 1943 by the group called Kinabalu Guerrillas, consisting of local inhabitants. Japanese forces quelled the rebellion after its leader, Albert Kwok, was arrested and executed in 1944. At the later stages of the war, what remained of the town was destroyed again by Allied bombings as part of the Borneo Campaign in 1945, leaving only three buildings standing. The war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese 37th Army by Lieutenant General Baba Masao in Labuan on September 10, 1945.
After the war, the British North Borneo Company returned to administer Jesselton but was unable to finance the huge costs of reconstruction. They gave control of North Borneo to the British Crown in 1946. The new colonial government elected to rebuild Jesselton as the capital of North Borneo instead of Sandakan, which had also been destroyed by the war.When North Borneo together with Sarawak, Singapore & Federation of Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the state became known as Sabah and Jesselton remained its capital. Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu on September 30, 1968 and received official city status from the Malaysian government on February 2, 2000.


Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 50 kilometres east-northeast of the city. Kinabalu derived from the name Aki Nabalu meaning the "revered place of the dead", in which, Aki means "ancestors" or "grandfather", and Nabalu being a name for the mountain in the Dusun language. There is also a source claiming that the term originated from Ki Nabalu, where Ki meaning "have" or "exist", and Nabalu meaning "spirit of the dead"
Kota is a Malay word for a "fort", "town", or a "city". It is also used formally in a few other Malaysian towns and cities, for example, Kota Bahru, Kota Tinggi, and Kota Kemuning. It could also be used informally to refer to any towns or cities. Henceforth, a direct translation of the name Kota Kinabalu into English would be "City of Kinabalu" or "Kinabalu City".

Original names

Besides Jesselton, there has been a number of other claims as to the original name for Kota Kinabalu. The most popular, as mentioned above, is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which is a Malay word meaning 'Fire'. It was apparently named as such by the mainly Bajau locals to denote the blazing of the British administrative office in Pulau Gaya instigated by Mat Salleh, as well as other blazing incidents normally perpetrated by pirates. There were claims however that it was actually named after a nearby river called Sungai Api-Api. Besides Api-Api, another suggested historical name was Deasoka, which roughly means "below the coconut tree" in the Bajau language. The Bajau locals purportedly used this name to refer to a village on the southern part of the city which was filled with coconut trees. Another name was Singgah Mata which literally mean "transit eye", but can be loosely translated as meaning "pleasing to the eye". It is a name purportedly given by fishermen from Pulau Gaya referring to the strip of land of what is today Kota Kinabalu city center. Today, all these names have been immortalised into names of streets or buildings around the city. Some examples are: Lintasan Deasoka, Api-Api Centre, Jalan Singgah Mata, and Jesselton Point.

Capital city

Location of Kota Kinabalu district and the city within the West Coast Division of Sabah.

A rough map of Kota Kinabalu city and urban area. Blue lines indicate main roads, grey lines indicate railway lines, and pink dotted lines indicate district boundaries.
Being the capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population in the entire state. It is the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. Most of the Malaysian federal government agencies and departments are also located in Kota Kinabalu. The Sabah State Legislative Assembly is located at nearby Likas Bay. There are four Members of Parliament (MPs) representing four parliamentary constituencies in the city: Sepanggar (P.171), Kota Kinabalu (P.172), Putatan (P.173), and Penampang (P.174). The city also elects 9 representatives to the state legislature from the state assembly districts of Karambunai, Inanam, Likas, Api-Api, Luyang, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, and Moyog.

Local authority and city definition

The city is administered by Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu City Hall). The current mayor of Kota Kinabalu is Datuk Illiyas Ibrahim. He became the second mayor of the city after taking over the post from Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid in 2006. The city obtained city status on February 2, 2000, and prior to this it was administered by Majlis Perbandaran Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council).
The city is defined within the borders of what is the district, formerly the municipality, of Kota Kinabalu. With an area of 351 square kilometres, it is the smallest but the most populous district in Sabah. It encompasses Tanjung Aru and Kepayan in the south, up to Telipok and Sepanggar in the north. The urban expanse of the city however extends into the district of Penampang on the south of the city border, which includes the towns of Donggongon and Putatan. The combined area of Kota Kinabalu (district) and the built up areas in Penampang can also be described as Kota Kinabalu (urban area). The district of Penampang has an area of 466 square kilometres, and is administered by Majlis Daerah Penampang (Penampang District Council).
On one end of the scale, Kota Kinabalu may sometimes only refer to, especially by local inhabitants, the city centre or central business district, area near the sea facing Pulau Gaya. On the other end of the scale, it may also refer to the metropolitan area which includes urban Kota Kinabalu, and the surrounding towns of Papar and Kinarut, in the south, and Tuaran and Tamparuli, in the north, being within its zone of influence.

Sister cities

Kota Kinabalu currently has four sister cities.


Sunset over Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu is located on the west coast of Sabah. The city lies on a narrow flatland between the Crocker Range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. There are six islands off the coast of the city. The largest is Pulau Gaya, the site of the first British settlement. Approximately 8,000 people live there. The smaller islands, mainly uninhabited, are named Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sulug, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sepanggar to the north. Sepanggar island is located north of the National Park opposite Sepanggar Bay.

Kota Kinabalu city centre
Flat land is at a premium in the city centre, and there is a strict limit to the height of buildings: the airport is 7 km away, and the city is directly in the flight path. Most of the Central Business District (CBD) today is built on land reclaimed from the sea. The original local plant life has largely disappeared, but several hills within the city (too steep for building) are still clothed with tropical rainforest. One of these is Signal Hill, which confines the CBD to the shore. In the area of Likas Bay the remnants of an extensive mangrove forest was nearly lost. In 1996, a perceptive state government stepped in and declared 24 acres of the forest as a protected area. This forest is now known as the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary was given additional protection as a State Cultural Heritage Site in 1998.

Immigrant dwellings off the coast of Pulau Gaya
The five islands (of Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug, Mamutik) opposite the city, and their surrounding waters, are also preserved as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. The park was named in honour the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. This is a popular recreational spot for tourists and local people.The Kota Kinabalu city centre, mostly business and government, includes Karamunsing, the port area (Tanjung Lipat), Signal Hill, Kampung Air, Sinsuran, Segama, Asia City, Gaya Street (Old Town), Bandaran Berjaya, Api-Api, Sutera Harbour and Sembulan. Outlying neighbourhoods and residential suburbs include Kepayan Ridge, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, Lido, Lintas, Nosoob, Bukit Padang, Luyang, Damai, Likas and Kolombong. The city is growing steadily and the urban sprawl extends to the towns of Inanam, Menggatal, Sepanggar, Telipok and south of the district border to Donggongon, Putatan, and Lok Kawi.
Kota Kinabalu is generally isolated from the rest of the country; it is located about 1,624 kilometres (1,009 miles) from Kuala Lumpur in Peninsular Malaysia and 804 kilometres (499 miles) from Kuching in the neighbouring state of Sarawak


A tropical sunset over the sea in Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu's climate borders between a tropical monsoon climate and a tropical rainforest climate. Two prevailing monsoons characterise the climate of this part of Sabah, the Northeast Monsoon and the Southwest Monsoon. The Northeast Monsoon occurs between November and March, while the Southwest Monsoon occurs between May and September. There are also two successive inter-monsoons from April to May and from September to October. Temperature variation throughout the year is small. However, April and May are generally the hottest months, while December and January are often the coolest. However, rainfall varies markedly through the year. February and March are typically the driest months while rainfall peaks in the inter-monsoon period around October. Relatively humidity is quite high throughout the year.
Sources from wikipedia.org - Admin

Lahad Datu Town

Posted by Harry George | 8:00 PM | 0 comments »

Lahad Datu Heritage

Lahad Datu is a town and district located in Tawau Division, in the east ofSabah, eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It occupies the peninsula on the north side of Darvel Bay. Its population was estimated to be around 118,000 in 1991 and 156,059 in the 2000 census. Lahad Datu is surrounded by stretches of cocoa and oil palm plantations. It is also an important timber exporting port. The town has an airport for domestic flights.
A settlement is believed to have existed here in the 15th century, as excavations have unearthed Ming dynasty Chinese ceramics. Just east of Lahad Datu, is the village of Tunku, a notorious base for Lanun pirates and slave traders in the 19th century. Lahad Datu is a gateway to theDanum Valley Conservation Area, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in the east, and Madai Caves further south.
In the end of the 14th century, it was believed that Islam was first introduced in Sabah. This based on a jawi manuscript in the Idahan language dated 1408 A.D, which gives an account of an Ida'an man named Abdullah in Darvel Bay who embraced Islam.[1]
Lahad Datu is also home to Sabah's population of Orang Bajau and Cocos Island Malays, who were settled in this area in the 1950s when the Cocos Islands became part of Australia.
Besides, Lahad Datu also has palm oil refineries.
The Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC)[2] is located near the Lahad Datu Port and will be completed by Mid-2007. It consists of 1,150 acres (5 km2) of land developed (with a centralised bulking facility and a jetty, currently under construction, which will have a draft of 20 meters, making it one of the few deep sea ports in the world) specifically for palm oil downstream industries. To date, 18 companies have bought land in POIC with eight being companies involved in the production of palm biodiesel. POIC is a wholly State-owned company under the purview of the Ministry of Industrial Development. Its Chairman is the current minister, Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin and the Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Pang Teck Wai.
Lahad Datu is also the base of Borneo Child Aid Society (Locally Humana Child Aid Society Sabah) Homepage which provides education for more than 5000 children of plantation workers and others without access to basic education.
List Of Attraction around Lahad Datu
Danum Valley Conservation Area
Lahad Datu
On a sprawling 438 square kilometer undisturbed land, 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, lies nature’s jewel called the Danum Valley Conservation Area. This conservation area boasts one of the richest conservation areas in the world with over 200 species of tree per hectare thriving on it.
Recognized as one of the world’s most complex ecosystem, this forest serves as a natural home for endangered wildlife species such as the Sumatran rhino, banteng, Asian elephant, clouded leopard, orang utan, proboscis monkey, as well as a vast range of Sabah’s lowland fauna.
Being remote from human habitation and almost alien to modern civilization makes the Danum Valley Conservation Area a naturalist paradise. Drink in the beauty of this virgin forest by taking nature walks with experienced naturalists through tranquil rivervine and lowland dipterocarp forest.
Avid birdwatchers will appreciate the 300-meter-long and 27-meter-high canopy walkway which offers a peek into abundant bird life in the forest canopy. The Danum Valley Conservation Area also has beautiful waterfalls and rivers including Sungai Purut 7-tiered pools—one of the most spectacular waterfalls and pools found in Danum Valley Conservation Area.
Here, visitors also get the chance to visit an ancient Kadazandusun burial site, complete with belian coffins and ceramic spirit jars. Three burial sites have been discovered in Danum Valley—two near the field centre and one below the cliff, overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
On the way down, visitors can take a dip in the jacuzzi pool that is leech-free and safe for swimming. Later in the evening, go for a wildlife watching night drive in an open jeep. Depending on luck, wildlife photography enthusiasts will get an excellent opportunity to catch snapshots of the elusive wild inhabitants of the Danum Valley Conservation Area.
Be more enlightened about nature and wildlife by watching an educational video and slide presentations. Those planning extensive wildlife photography are recommended to stay for at least 3 days to have better success at finding wild animals frolicking about.
Please pre-arrange with the travel agent regarding your booking.

Further Information

For bookings and enquiries contact:
Borneo Nature Tours S/B (KPL 3719)
Block D, Lot 10, Ground Floor, Sadong Jaya Complex,
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
P.O.Box 1162, 88817 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: 088-267637 Fax: 088-251636
E-mail: info@borneonaturetours.com
Website: www.borneonaturetours.com

Madai - Baturong Forest Reserve Nature Centre
Lahad Datu
Another treasure of the Sabah’s East Coast is the Madai Baturong Forest Reserve Nature Centre. This 3,436.5 hectares large area is located about 50 kilometers from Lahad Datu, 15 kilometers from Kunak.
Madai is basically a bird cave where the popular birds nest delicacy originates, while the Baturong cave is riddled with several caverns which contain ancient coffins.
The Madai – Baturong Forest Reserve Nature Centre has been classified as a Class 1 forest reserve and is an excellent place for a day of cave exploration trip. Outdoor lovers will delight at the opportunity to familiarize with various aspects of tree species, caves, and the endemic flora and fauna in the area.
In addition to its canopy walkway, visitors of this forest reserve should not miss the chance to take a dip in the cool crystal clear stream of its scenic waterfalls.

Entrance fee is RM1.00/pax
Visiting Hour:
Pre-arrange with the Kunak Regional Forestry office
Getting There:To get to the Madai - Baturong Forest Reserve Nature Centre, visitors can either take a 55-minute flight (MAS) from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu or travel by road by taking a 7-hour bus ride.
Further Information:
Kunak Regional Forestry office
P.O.Box No 2
91207 Kunak
Tel: 60 89 851863Fax: 60 89 851862

Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Lahad Datu
Imagine a close encounter with wildlife as if starring in a National Geographic documentary; and getting in touch with Mother Nature in her purest, most untouched form-Tabin Wildlife Reserve gives you this and more.

Nestled amidst 120, 500 hectares of dipterocarp rainforest, Tabin Wildlife Reserve is home to various endangered wildlife such as the Borneo Pygmy elephant, the Sumatran rhino, Tembadau and exotic birdlife. Wildlife photography aficionados and birdwatching enthusiasts will find their visit to Tabin a truly priceless experience!
Enhance your life with the experience of rainforest life as you listen to the calming sounds of nature in Tabin. Covered in euryspecies lowland rainforest, Tabin nurtures a colossal number of tropical plants; some of which are rich in medicinal and therapeutic values.
Pamper your skin by indulging in Tabin's mineral-rich mud volcanoes and salt springs. This gift of nature also serves as salt-lick for the wildlife and bird populations. Naturalists can drink in the best of nature's offering by trekking through the rainforest for a journey of 23 kilometers. Along the way, there are campsites for overnight stays.
After an exhilarating adventure, make your way to Sunbird Café to have your meal served, chill out, and share your venture experience with other like-minded visitors. Dubbed the "happening place" to eat, a must-try dish in this café would be the pakis dish-where tender tips of wild fern, a healthy vegetable abundantly growing in Tabin, are whipped to a meal of perfection. Following a sumptuous meal, sit back and relax as you sip coffee while enjoying the spectacular view of the forest and the river nearby.
Whether you're a wild adventure seeker, an environmentalist earth mother, a photography lover, an animal activist, or simply just someone looking out for something fun; Tabin extends her arms in welcome. Here, you'll get a taste of nature like nowhere else.


Day Visit

2 Days / 1
Night (Lodge )
 RM1780.00 (Twin share)

 RM2270.00 (Triple share)
3 Days / 2
Nights (Lodge)
 RM2500.00 (Twin share)

 RM3260.00 (Triple share)

*All price are estimated and subject to change
•Rates are based on minimum 2 person and twin-sharing basis
 •Rates include permit, accommodation, meals and guided activities as per itinerary, schedule return transfer.
 •Children age 5 – 12 years old enjoy a 50% discount on extra pax rate provided he/she stay in twin-share room with two paying adults and do not utilized extra bed. Full adult rate applies if extra bed utilized.
Getting There
By Air
Daily flights connect Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu. Flight duration is about 1 hour. From Lahad Datu, a 1:15 hour drive, part of it on gravel road, will take you to Tabin.
By Road
Tabin Wildlife Holidays Sdn Bhd
Lot 11-1, 1st Floor, Block A, Damai Point,
Jalan Damai, 88300 Kota Kinabalu

Tel: +6088 267266 (reservation and inquiries)
Fax: +6088 258266
E-mail: enquiry@tabinwildlife.com.my
Website: http://www.tabinwildlife.com.my

Tawau City Heritage

Posted by Harry George | 4:04 PM | 0 comments »

Tawau is the administrative center of Tawau Divisionand the third largest town of Sabah after Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

Tawau is located at the south-east coast of Sabah which faces the Celebes Sea to the east and the interior mountain ranges to the west. The geographic coordinates of Tawau are latitude 4.298 degree North and longitude 117.883 degree East.[edit]

The main town area can be divided into three sections, i.e. Sabindo, Fajar and Tawau Lama or Old Tawau. Federal House, where most government offices such as the Immigration Department and the National Registration Department are located is found in Sabindo area. Fajar is the commercial area, where major banks such as HSBC and MaybankBSN,Public Bank, are located. The Tawau District Court is also situated here. Tawau Lama is the original part of Tawau, which contains Tawau's central market. Tawau Port is also located in Tawau Lama.


In early 1890s, Tawau's population was about 200 comprising mainly Tidung people and Suluk people, the groups of local natives (see information of Muzium Negeri Sabah) from the Kesultanan Sulu Territories (including KudatSandakanLahad Datu and Sebatik) around Borneo Island. These people were long-settled in the villages in Tawau Lama. Most of them were fishermen and hill rice farmers, who maintained trade with the Dutch.
The name Tawau itself an enigma: ther earliest reference to site of present town was Tanjung. Some sources suggest that the Suluk traders called the place Tawao, a misnomer of Davao on Philippine Island of Mindanao. The most credible origin of the word Tawau is attributed to the Tidung, who called the place Tanah Tidung with the word Tanah corrupted toTawau.[1]
On 9 February 1893, the British vessel S.S. "Normanhurst" sailed into Tawau (or Tawao as it was then known) for the first time with a full cargo of dammargutta perchaIndian rubbertortoise shell, and ivory to barter for rattanraisinsBirds' nestsand rubber. Kee Abdullah (a Sino-Dusun Muslim) was appointed by the British North Borneo (Chartered) Company as a custom examiner and revenue collector in 1894 in Tawau. He later became the first Penghulu or Orang Kaya (OKK) in Tawau.
Location of Tawau district and town withinTawau Division in Sabah.
Steps were taken to establish the rudiment of local government by the British North Borneo Company (North Borneo Annual Volume 1966-1965 recorded that Tawau was founded in 1898). Land leases were alienated by the Administration. Since Tawau is situated close to the boundary withIndonesia, it is noteworthy to mention here that the Sebatik boundary is to latitude 4°10'N which was delimited in 1912 by a Boundary Commissioncomprising of officials from United Kingdom and Netherlands. A joint report was prepared together with a map and duly signed by their respective commissioners in Tawau on 17/2/1913. By a protocol between the UK and the Netherlands signed in London on 28/9/1915, the two governments confirmed the joint report and the map.
In 1930s, Tawau prospered rapidly due largely to its agricultural potential. The inhabitant population rose to 1800 in 1931. The Kuhara Rubber and Manila Hemp Estates and the Kubota Coconut Estates were the two largest plantations of the time. There were also coal mining activities in Silimpopon, 80 mile from Tawau, from 1905 to 1930, operated by the Cowie Harbour Coal Company. Most of the work force was largely Cantonese. The First World War (1914-1918) did not directly affect Tawau, which had, however, suffered its share of the world slump. Sandakan was the permanent seat of Government and centre of commerce; Tawau was a small but prosperous town.
By the end of 1930s, there were about 60 shophouses, all timber-built, lining the two main streets of Tawau, Dunlop Street (named after A.R. Dunlop who was a District Officer) and Man Cheong Street (now part of Dunlop Street). Man Cheong was a popular coffee shop. It still operates at Dunlop Street. Dunlop Street was so close to the shore that the shops on one side backed out over the high water mark. Most shops were owned by Chinese and sold the foodstuffs and equipment needed in households and on smallholdings. There were some coffee shops and lodging houses.
Tawau's centre was the padang or Town Field, an open area, with the sea on one side and whitewashed timber buildings on the other three - the District Office, police quarters, the government resthouse, none more than two storeys high. A tower (which still stands at the Town Field) was erected by the Japanese after World War I and hours were rung at intervals by the police guard. The scene was tranquil and beautiful. Traffic was scarce - a handful of private cars, lorries and vehicles belonging to the estates. From the field, Dunlop Street branched into Apas Road, which branched off to the Kuhara rubber estates and Sin On. Its people knew intuitively that they had to live and work together. Despite the many races, ethnic groups and religions, the town was very peaceful. There was no serious crime; doors and windows of dwelling houses were normally left unlocked.
Sabindo Seafood tawau center
There was neither electricity supply nor main drainage. The water supply to the town was by means of tubs set on trolleys which ran along the narrow gauge trolley line from Tawau River. The tubs were hauled by hand. A telephone line linked the District Office with the District Officer's house, the light house and Kuhara estate. The Government's wireless station communicated daily with Sandakan, whence messages were transmitted to Hong Kong and Singapore. There was no bank, but money could be remitted through the post office, and the Treasury accepted and repaid deposits on behalf of the State Bank.
There were 300 Japanese working on the estates and 100 on Si-Amil Island. They owned the biggest estates (Kuhara Estate), and a golf course. There was an estate hospital and representative office of a Japanese Bank set up for the benefit of the Japanese inhabitants. Their commercial fishing was mainly for tuna. Their company, Borneo Fishing Company, whose office and factory was situated at Si-Amil Island (east of Mabul and Sipadan Islands). Apparently, all workers there were Japanese. Japanese men crewed the fishing boats, while canning factory was worked mainly by Japanese women. The workers and suppliers arrived in Tawau in Japanese ships, and all were disembarked into launches and lighters and taken direct to Si-Amil.
The S.S. "Kinabalu" of the Sabah Steamship Company (a subsidiary of Chartered Company) linked Tawau with Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tungku. The ship was wrecked off Semporna and later replaced by S.S. "Baynain" by the Bakau Company (also a subsidiary of the Chartered Company). The government cruiser "Petrel" was based in Tawau, but was often used on duty elsewhere. Apart from that, there very few sailing craft. There was no airfield in Tawau (or anywhere in Sabah). There was a small public hospital close to the shore but it had no medical officer. A medical doctor by the name of Ernst Sternfeld was sent from Sandakan to station in Tawau in 1939-1940, but lasted only a few months.
Shan Sui Golf and Country Club
The Chinese community maintained schools. The Roman Catholic Churchwas later established in 1922 and provided the only English primary school. Mosques were unostentatious. The District Office was headed by a British expatriate District Officer and assisted by a chief clerk and court interpreter, Lim Ong Tun. OKK Abu Bakar (a local Malay leader) the second penghulu or OKK was another highly respected figure in the community. The Chinese "Kapitan" was Stephen Tan (who was later killed by Japanese invaders).
A letter from Tawau to Sandakan could take more than nine days to arrive and nineteen days was the average time for a letter to get to Singapore. Since it took many days for the locals to receive mails and newspapers, they tended to rely on radio to keep themselves informed of world news - for the wars in EuropeChina etc. Even then, few people could afford a radio set.
In January 1942, North Borneo was invaded by Japanese naval and military forces. As the Japanese forces advanced around the coast of Borneo, from the oil fields near Kuching, then to Jesselton - while Tawau carried on normally. On 19 January 1942, the Sandakan wireless station went off the air. On 24 January 1942, the Japanese invaders were sighted off Batu Tinagat. The District Officer (Cole Adams) and his Assistant met the invaders at the wharf and were arrested immediately. Mr. Cole Adams, after forty-four months in the Japanese prison camps, first on Berhala Island near Sandakan, and then at Batu Lintang camp near Kuching, died in September 1945 on the very day of his release by the Australian 9th Division.
For 3 1/2 years Tawau and the rest of the country remained under the Japanese occupation until being finally liberated by units of North Australian Division, who landed in Labuan on 10 June 1945. B.B.C.A.U., the British Military Administration ofNorth Borneo found the Colony in a state of devastation. Like all other major towns in the Colony, Tawau was destroyed or damaged by bombing and fire.
During the Japanese occupation, many of the inhabitants were massacred, among them a large number of government servants. The British Military Administration continued until 15 July 1946, when civil government was resumed. A lot of pre-war records were destroyed. The emphasis in the immediate post war period was concerned with rehabilitation and reconstruction. A reconstruction and development plan for the years 1945-1955 was adopted in 1948. There were many programmes in the field of social services. The Tawau Town Board was constituted in 1955 with control over its own finances and local authorities.


As of 1991, the population of the Tawau was estimated at 345,000.
Population statistics (2007 census)
Other Bumiputera24,946
Other Non-Bumiputera3,727
Total Malaysian citizen152,695
Non-Malaysian citizen244.728
Population distribution14.1%
Population density40/km²


Exports have traditionally been tobaccococoa and palm oil. Currently, Tawau Port is one of Sabah's main export gateway for timberBirds' nests are harvested at Baturong, Segalong and Madai Caves as Chinese medicinal delicacies.
There are a few significant development projects in Tawau. These include Tawau Sports ComplexTawau Free Trade Zone, Kuhara Point and Bandar Sri Indah.
Kuhara Point is an integrated development project which consists of a shopping mall, Eastern Plaza, an office tower, a 4-star hotel and high-rise luxurious condominiums, Kuhara Court.
Bandar Sri Indah is Sabah's largest satellite township development project. It is constructed on 1,368 acres (5.54 km2) of reclaimed land, which is three times larger than Tawau town center. Bandar Sri Indah is located at km 16 of Tawau Airport Highway.

[edit]Cocoa industry

Tawau is the world's third largest producer of cocoa bean after Ivory Coast and Ghana. It was named the cocoa capital of Asia in the 1980s. According to the director of Agricultural & Rural Development Department for Vietnamese region, Malaysian cocoa seeds are the best in Asia. As of Feb 2002, the bean price for the SMC1A grade ex-Tawau in Malaysia's growing area rose to 5,173 ringgit (US$1,361) a tonne from 4,890 ringgit one week earlier. Malaysia plans to increase its cocoa beans output to 250,000 tonnes a year to help meet the rising of country's grinders' demand and cut down the imports of cocoa bean.

[edit]Fishing industry

Since time immemorial, people in Tawau have relied on the sea for their sustenance. A great variety of high-grade fishes and all kinds of crustaceans were found in abundance in the sea and waterways around Tawau. To the early settlers, nearly all seafarers, making a living from the sea was easy. And in the age of subsistence economy with a small population, in-shore fishing using sampans was the norm. There was apparently no urgency or necessity to organize the fishing folk to engage in commercial deep-sea fishing. However, the Chartered Company soon realized the potential of developing deep-sea fishing as a means to augment and diversify the existing economic base. Once again they turned to the Japanese, at that time the most modern Asian country and an ally of Britain.
In 1917, a Japanese merchant marine captain Jiro Orita launched the Borneo Fishing Company, which differs from the previous fishing efforts in at least two ways. Firstly, it was a larger operation and secondly, it was geared to support the export market. The company set up an office in Tawau. The fishes were caught in the surrounding waters, taken to Pulau Si Amil, an island about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Semporna, where they were processed and then, taken to the company's warehouse in Tawau to await shipment. Orita imported his labour from Japan and Taiwan. Orita's Ice Plant, developed mainly for the freezing of fish, also supplied ice to the town.
Today, prawn farming is one of the main activities in Tawau. Spawners from Sabah, especially Tawau, are graded the best in Malaysia. For this reason, Tawau has been supplying high-grade tiger prawns to neighbouring countries, such asSingaporeHong KongTaiwan and Japan for decades.
Hundreds of deep sea trawlers and tuckboats can be seen at Cowie Bay.


Tawau offers good opportunities for education. There are many primary and secondary schools in Tawau such as St. Patrick Anglican Academy (S.P.A.A), SM St. Patrick and SMK Tawau. There is also one private Chinese high school - Sabah Chinese High School (Sekolah Tinggi Cina Sabah). Technical and Vocational school can also be found at Tawau. The only Technical School in Tawau is SM Teknik Tawau, that are situated at the Muhibbah. Tawau also has one of the only two A-Level education centres in the state of Sabah - the Institute of Science and Management (ISM). There are also teacher training colleges such as Institut Perguruan Tawau,Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sabah Tawau Branch, Open University Malaysia, PPT Universiti Terbuka Malaysia,Tawau, Kolej Komuniti Tawau, Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Tawau and Pusat Giat Mara Tawau.

[edit]Places of interest

Tawau has a lot to offer to local & foreign tourists. Some of them are;

[edit]Tawau Hills National Park

Tawau Hills National Park has picnic areas, a vast camping site, and cabins, mainly visited by local residents during weekends. Located 24 km from Tawau town, the park is accessible by road transport. The Tawau River flows across the park and tumbles over several attractive waterfalls. The Table Waterfall has created a natural flowing pond for swimmers. Shelters, toilets and changing rooms are within vicinity.
The park is formed from rugged volcanic landscapes. Bombalai Hill, a relatively young volcanic cone, has the remains of the central crater, which still can be seen from the summit. Local flora include the lowland Dipterocarp forest, as well as many species of wild orchids. Occasional sightings of Maroon Leaf Monkeys and Crab-eating Macaques, and the less common but beautiful Cream-coloured Giant Squirrel, and the Asian Forest Tortoise are found.

[edit]Bukit Gemok

Bukit Gemok (The Fat Hill) is about 11 km from Tawau town. Its geographical location is 40 19’N / 1170 19’E. It is quite popular among the locals, especially with hikers and those who like mountain climbing. Many climbers have been frequenting Bukit Gemok, both in the morning and in the afternoon. It gives them a good form of exercise and recreation.
Bukit Gemok is about 428 meter from sea level and is part of the Bukit Gemok Forest Reserve covering 4.45 km². It was declared a forest reserve in 1984.
What makes Bukit Gemok interesting is the challenging track to the top of the hill. There is also a canopy walkway, Titian Silara, which is 231 meter long. It hangs from a few trees on the top of Bukit Gemok and provides visitors a good view of Tawau. The canopy walkway is the second one to be built here after the original canopy collapsed. It is worthwhile to climb up the hill just to enjoy the fantastic views.

[edit]Neighbouring islands

Tawau Harbor is used as a transit point to many neighbouring islands, such as SipadanMabulKapalai & Mataking islands; and to Indonesia such as Sebatik islandTarakan & Nunukan island.
Sipadan Island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. It rises 2,000 feet (600 m) to its peak above sea floor. It is rated as one of the best diving sites in the world. Mabul Island is a small oval shaped island of 200,000 m² ringed with sandy beaches. It is perched on the northwest corner of a larger 2 square kilometre reef.

[edit]Tawau Cocoa Village

Tawau is always inseparable with cocoa. Tawau Cocoa Village is situated at the world-renowned cocoa-planting site, Quoin Hill. Visitors are taken on a two-hour guided tour to see how cocoa is cultivated, harvested, fermented and dried before they are sent to the factory. In close proximity to the factory is a guest house. There is a gallery of cocoa products which tourists can buy as souvenirs. Tourists are served a variety of local fruits.
Following paths from the factory is a hiking trail which leads to a magnificent waterfall. The magnificent waterfall, also known as the Cocoa Culture Spring at the village is an ideal location for a picnic. Nature lovers will feel very much like entering a typical and tropical dense forest which is surrounded by a vast diversity of flora and fauna. The village has two main waterfalls and four mini cascades. Trek up and down steep stairways, following the sounds of babbling brooks will end at what promises to be a splendid waterfall. This waterfall is opened to the public and it is ideal for picnics and get-togethers of families and friends.
For more information, visit following URL :

[edit]Shan Shui Golf & Country Club

Shan Shui Golf & Country club is situated on the airport highway 15 km off Tawau. This magnificent hideaway has an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Nelson & Haworth. It is acclaimed to be their finest creation in Asia. Shan Shui Golf & Country club provides the hardest bar hole in Malaysia. The ground level is not smooth, that's why increasing the difficulties of golf playing. It has attracted some Korean golf players to visit Tawau just for golf game.


[edit]Proboscis monkey

Proboscis monkeys are the rarest primates on earth as they are only found on the island of Borneo. These monkeys live in mangrove swamps and riverside forests along the Tawau River. The females are about 60 cm tall and the males are about 70 cm tall. They have reddish fur and are tree-dwellers, who inhabit areas close to water and are excellent swimmers. The monkeys are vegetarian and live on mangrove shoots and fruits. They travel in small groups.

[edit]Local cuisine

Seafood stalls at the Sabindo hawker centre is located along the waterfront of town centre. The stalls offer very competitive prices for selective catch of the day. “Makanan Laut 101” serves excellent crab and shellfishes with vegetables at incredibly low prices. “Mongolian Chicken Rice” on Jalan Chester offers one of the tastiest Chicken Rice in town. The small outlet is always crowded.
At night, numerous stalls set up around the town. Many stalls sell Malay's foods like tasty chicken wings, nasi campur, variety of sate such as sate lembu, sate ayam, sate hati and sate empedal,'Terang Bulan', many types of fried foods such as 'goreng pisang', 'ubi goreng', 'cempedak goreng' and 'sukun goreng', variety of Jawa foods like mi jawa, murtabak jawagado gado, bakso and a Makasar specialty food 'Coto Makasar' and 'Sanggar' ( Bugis's name for fried bananas),ABC and Cendol and many types of Malay's cakes such as 'apam', 'kuih talam' , Onde-onde (glutinous rice with savoury taste roasted in banana leaves), Kuih Pandan (Pandan rice cake), Donut( Doughnut ) Karipap (Curry Puff), Kuih kacang(Peanut pancake spread with Kaya coconut jam), Bubur Chaca(local dessert served with tapioca, sweet potato and sago in sweet coconut milk) & etc.
"Nasi Kuning" or yellow rice is an Tawau Malay's recipe that cannot be found anywhere else in Malaysia except Tawau. The rice is cooked with turmeric, also known as kunyit in Malay, and coconut milk - which when mixed causes the rice to become yellow in colour. It is usually served with a piece of fish deep-fried in dried chilli sauce. This can be found in almost any Malay restaurants or stalls around Tawau but sometimes also sold in some Chinese coffeeshops. To further enhance the taste, the rice is usually wrapped in banana leaves. Price ranges from RM 0.50 to RM 3.00 per serving.
Tauhu mee or mi tauhu also can't be found in Malaysia accept Tawau.. The "mi tauhu" is "mi kuning" or bee hoon served with fried tauhu pasted with fish fillet and "kuah taucu". Besides tauhu pasted with fish fillet, "mi tauhu" also served with fish pasted chili, eggplant and 'peria'. The price range of "mi tauhu" from RM 1.50 to RM 3.00..
"Amplang" is also another cuisine which cannot be found anywhere else in Malaysia except Tawau. It is a deep-fried fish paste which is dipped in corn flour before frying.
Some other desserts that are more commonly found in this town is Iced Lime Tea(usually with a sour plum and commonly known as 'Kit Cai Sui Peng') and Coconut Pudding (Pudding made from coconut which uses the coconut itself as the mould )

[edit]Getting there

Getting to Tawau from the state capital city of Kota Kinabalu takes about 8 hours by express coach, stationed at North City Bus Terminal at Inanam, a township located outside the Kota Kinabalu city centre on Jalan Tuaran).
Travelling by air takes about 45 minutes from Kota Kinabalu or SandakanMalaysia Airlines provides up to 4 daily scheduled flights from Kota Kinabalu International Airport to Tawau International Airport.
Another low-cost carrier service provided by Air Asia, which fly directly from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA andSenai International Airport in Johor Bahru takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Air Asia Flight Schedule: (valid until 24 Mar 2007)
Flight no.RouteDepartsArrivesMTWTFSS
AK 5152Kuala Lumpur (KUL)Tawau (TWU)
AK 5153Tawau (TWU)Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
AK 5156Kuala Lumpur (KUL)Tawau (TWU)
AK 5157Tawau (TWU)Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
AK 5632Johor Bahru (JHB)Tawau (TWU)
AK 5633Tawau (TWU)Johor Bahru (JHB)
AK 5833Kota Kinabalu (BKI)Tawau (TWU)
AK 5834Tawau (TWU)Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
AK 5835Kota Kinabalu (BKI)Tawau (TWU)
AK 5836Tawau (TWU)Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
Since 1 August 2006, AirAsia introduced FlyingAsianeXpress (abbreviated as FAX) to take over the operations previously owned by Malaysian Airlines in East Malaysia where smaller aircraft such as Fokker 50 and Twin Otter are used to fly the interior region or smaller towns. FAX is officially the third largest airline in Malaysia.
FlyingAsianeXpress Flight Schedule: (valid until 28 Oct 2006)
Flight no.RouteDepartsArrivesMTWTFSS


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