|Former name (until 1963): North Borneo a state of Malaysia, occupying N Borneo and offshore islands in the South China and Sulu Seas: became a British protectorate in 1888; gained independence and joined Malaysia in 1963. Capital: Kota Kinabalu. Pop: 2 603 485 (2000). Area: 73 620 sq km (28 425 sq miles)|
state of East Malaysia, forming the northern part of the great island of Borneo, and bordered by Sarawak (southwest) and Kalimantan, or Indonesian Borneo (south). Sabah has an 800-900-mile- (1,290-1,450-km-) long, heavily indented coastline that is washed by the South China, Sulu, and Celebes seas. It was known as North Borneo during the British colonial period (until 1963). Its land area is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (13,455 feet [4,101 metres]). A great tangle of ranges-the Crocker, Terus Madi, and Witti-serrate the interior and include many peaks between 4,000 and 6,000 feet (1,200 and 1,800 metres). Between the Crocker Range and the sea on the west coast is an extensive, well-populated coastal plain; other plains (the Tenom, Tambunan, and Keningau) lie inland between the mountain massifs, while the eastern lowlands are partly dissected peneplains.
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