|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)|
city of Sabah state, East Malaysia, on the northwest coast of Borneo. Although razed by bombing during World War II (1939-45), the site was chosen in 1946 for the new capital of British North Borneo (now Sabah) because of the deepwater anchorage at Gaya Bay on the South China Sea; reconstruction and expansion, including reclaiming of the bay's foreshore, followed. Residential and commercial buildings now crowd a narrow strip of land between a string of offshore coral islands and the Crocker Range to the east
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