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Main article: History of Sabah Earliest human migration and settlement into the region is believed to have dated back about 20,00030,000 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. [edit]Brunei Empire 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.[15] 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.[16] The Sultanate of Brunei began after the ruler of Brunei embraced Islam. During the reign of the fifth sultan known as Bolkiah between 14731524, the Sultanate's thalassocracy extended over Sabah, Sulu Archipelago and Manila in the north, and Sarawak until Banjarmasin in the south.[17] 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.[18] [edit]British North Borneo Main article: North Borneo 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.[citation needed] 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.[19] In 1888 North Borneo became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. [edit]Japanese occupation The Japanese POW camp in Sandakan during World War II. 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. [edit]Federation of Malaysia 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 the Federation of Malaysia.[5][20][21][22] Kota Kinabalu in 2008. It became the first city in the state in 2000 and has become not only the administrative capital but also the economic and transportation hub of the region. 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 diPertua 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.[23] On14 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.[24] 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.[25]

[edit]Philippine claim Main article: Sabah dispute 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. 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.[26] 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.[27][28] 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.[29] 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.[30]