Sabah - The Land Below the Wind

Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia and is also known as Negeri di bawah bayu which means The Land Below The Wind. Before the forming of Federation of Malaysia, Sabah was a British crown colony known as North Borneo. It is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Situated on the northeast of the island, Sabah is smaller than its sister state, Sarawak, which it borders on the west. The southern part of the island, called Kalimantan, belongs to Indonesia. The state capital is Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton.

Sabah is generally mountainous, with the Crocker range of central mountains varying in height from about 1,000 metres to 3,000 metres, which at its peak of Mount Kinabalu rises up to 4095 metres, and with several lower ranges of hills near the coasts. These mountains and hills are traversed by an extensive network of river valleys and are in most cases covered with dense rainforest. Over three quarters of the population inhabit the coastal plains. Mount Kinabalu, in central Sabah, is the highest mountain in Malaysia. While the government of Malaysia officially considers it the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, there are counterclaims that Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Western New Guinea of Indonesia is the tallest one instead. The argument centers around whether New Guinea could be considered a part of Southeast Asia. So far there is no precise consensus on this, and the view that Mount Kinabalu is indeed the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia is more prevalent.


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