‘Maharajah of Sabah’
Published on: Saturday, December 18, 2021
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1877: Austrian Baron Von Overbeck arrived in Brunei, whereby Sultan Abdul Mu’min made an agreement with him and Alfred Dent (who at that time was still in Hong Kong) conferring full authority to both gentlemen over a certain region that now fully makes up Sabah. 

The Sultan appointed Overbeck “Maharajah” of Sabah and granted him the region stretching from Gaya Bay on the west coast to the Sibuco River (now part of Indonesia) on the east coast. 

The Pangeran Temenggong Brunei granted full sovereign authority to Overbeck and Dent over a region stretching between the Kimanis and Benoni rivers  a total area of 28,000 sq miles, including the 900-mile North Borneo coastline. 

In return, Overbeck and Dent was to pay the Sultan M$12,000 and the Temenggong M$3,000, respectively, yearly. In addition to the title of “Maharaja Sabah”, the Sultan also bestowed Overbeck with the title of “Raja of Gaya and Sandakan”. 


Television introduced in Sabah 

1971: Television service was introduced in Sabah. It was only broadcast within the State with no link-up with Kuala Lumpur.  It was four years later that Angkasapuri started airing to Sabah. Network 2 was added on Aug. 31, 1983. 

Inter-territorial basketball tourney 

1961: Governor Sir William Goode opened the second inter-territorial basketball series in Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu), the first time North Borneo is playing host to the competition. 


Confrontation claims Malaysian troops 

1963: The first and worst clash during the confrontation with Indonesia occurred on a moonlit night at Kalabakan, near Tawau, with eight men from C Company 3 Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment becoming the first casualties on the Malaysian side. Sixteen other security personnel were injured. 

The surprise attack by Indonesian guerillas was countered by Malaysian troops with the help of the Commonwealth forces. It resulted in 60 Indonesian guerillas being captured or killed.

At the laying of a foundation stone to mark the site on Dec 3, 1966, Prime Minister Tunku met with 10 soldiers who survived the attack. They were from Sarawak where the 3rd battalion was based. The Tunku planted coconut trees to mark the spot when he visited it a year earlier. 


Destroyer comes calling 

1954: The destroyer HMS Consort under Commander RGH Eyre arrived in Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). It operated for long periods in Korean waters since the outbreak of hostilities and had also been involved in the Yangtse River incident. 

No details of the latter incident were made available, except that it suffered considerable damage and casualties. 

1972: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tan Sri Dato Mohd Said bin Keruak officially opened the $1.3 million Railways Complex inTanjung Aru. 


New Sabah crest and flag unveiled 

1982: TYT Tun Haji Adnan Robert unveiled the new State crest at a ceremony at the Sabah Foundation square at midnight that was witnessed by more than 1,000 people from all walks of life. 

Acting Chief Minister Datuk James Ongkili simultaneously lowered the old State flag and raised the new one. 

The half hour difference in time zone was also synchronised to speed up the process of integration. The year also marked the celebration of Sabah’s centenary or 100 years as a political entity. 

1976: Tamparuli, all this while regarded as a town, was officially upgraded to that of a sub-district at mid-night - a promise Deputy Chief Minister and Assemblyman Datuk James Ongkili made to the voters there. 

The town also has a new five-storey police complex, shophouses and a new office to ease the work-load previously handled by the Tuaran District Office. 

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