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About Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu



Kota Kinabalu (Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈkota kinaˈbalu], Jawi: کوتا کينا بالو‎,Chinese: 亚庇; pinyin: Yàbì) formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of the state of Sabah, located in East Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located along the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on its west and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is located towards the east. Kota Kinabalu has a population of 452,058 and, including the adjacent Penampang and Putatan district, the metro area has an estimated population of 628,725.

Kota Kinabalu is often known as KK in Malaysia and internationally. It is a major fishing destination and a popular gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo. Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kota Kinabalu is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.




Kota Kinabalu
(Formerly, Jesselton)

From top right clockwise: Tun Mustapha Tower, Wisma Tun Fuad Stephens, Wawasan Intersection, city centre and 1Borneo.
From top right clockwise: Tun Mustapha Tower, Wisma Tun Fuad Stephens, Wawasan Intersection, city centre and 1Borneo.
Nickname(s): "Nature Resort City", KK, "City below the Wind"
Location of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah
Location of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah
Kota Kinabalu(Formerly, Jesselton) is located in Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu(Formerly, Jesselton)
Kota Kinabalu
(Formerly, Jesselton)
Kota Kinabalu is located in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°58′17″N 116°05′43″E


Sir Charles Jessel, Vice-Chairmanof the BNBC after which Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) was named.

Since 15th century, the area of Jesselton was under the influence of the Bruneian Empire. In the late 1800s, the British North Borneo Company (BNBC) began to establish colonies throughout North Borneo. In 1882, BNBC founded a small settlement in the area known as Gaya Bay, which was already inhabited by Bajau people. The first settlement was on Gaya Island. In 1897, this first settlement was burned and destroyed by the indigenous Bajau-Suluk freedom fighter Mat Salleh.



Board of directors of BNBC, Sir Charles Jessel can be seen on the left.
The North Borneo War Monumentwas erected in Jesselton on 1923 to remembered those fallen British soldiers during the World War I.

After the destruction, BNBC decided to relocate the settlement to the more easily defended mainland at Gantian Bay (now Sepanggar Bay) in 1898. However that location was found to be unsuitable and in July 1899, Mr. Henry Walker, a Land Commissioner, identified a 30 acres (12 ha) site opposite Gaya Island as a replacement for Gantian. This fishing village named Api-Api (see Original names below) was chosen due to its proximity to the North Borneo Railway and its natural port that provided good anchorage, which was up to 24 feet deep. By the end of 1899, construction had started on shoplots, a pier and government buildings. This new administrative centre was renamed Jesselton after Sir Charles Jessel, who was the then Vice-Chairman of BNBC.

Eventually, Jesselton became a major trading post of North Borneo, dealing in rubber, rattan, honey, and wax. The North Borneo Railway was used to transport goods to the Jesselton harbour. The Malay and Bajau uprisings during those times were not uncommon, and BNBC worked to quell the long-standing threat of piracy in the region.

Jesselton suffered a large destruction when it was razed by the British to retreated from the Japanese and suffered more destruction when the Allies bombed it in 1945. After the Japanese takeover of Borneo, it was again renamed Api. Several rebellions against the Japanese military administration took place in Api. One major rebellion occurred in 10 October 1943 by a group called Kinabalu Guerrillas, consisting of local inhabitants. Japanese forces quelled the rebellion after its leader, Albert Kwok, was arrested and executed in 1944.At the later stages of the war, what remained of the town was destroyed again by Allied bombings day and night for over six months as part of the Borneo Campaign in 1945, leaving only three buildings standing. The war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese 37th Army by Lieutenant General Baba Masao in Labuan on 10 September 1945.



Bomb damage at the town of Jesselton during World War II, this was part of the Borneo Campaign by Alliedforces during 1945.

After the war on the edge of bankruptcy, the British North Borneo Company returned to administer Jesselton but was unable to finance the huge costs of reconstruction. They gave control of North Borneo to the British Crown on 18 July 1946. The new colonial government elected to rebuild Jesselton as the capital of North Borneo instead of Sandakan, which had also been destroyed by the war. The Crown Colony administration designed a plan, later known as the "Colonial Office Reconstruction and Development Plan for North Borneo: 1948–1955”, to rebuild North Borneo. This plan provided £6,051,939 for the rebuilding of infrastructure in North Borneo.

When Crown Colony of North Borneo together with Sarawak, Singapore and theFederation of Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, it became known as Sabah, and Jesselton remained its capital. On 22 December 1967, State Legislative Assembly under Chief Minister Tun Mustapha bin Datu Harun passed a bill renaming Jesselton to Kota Kinabalu. The city was upgraded to city status on 2 February 2000.




View of Likas Bay at dawn. On the far right is Mount Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu is located on the west coast of Sabah. The city lies on a narrow flatland between the Crocker Range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. There are six islands off the coast of the city. The largest is Gaya Island, the site of the first British settlement. Approximately 8,000 people live there. The smaller islands, mainly uninhabited, are named Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Sulug Island, Mamutik Island and Sepanggar Island to the north. Sepanggar island is located north of the National Park opposite Sepanggar Bay.



Sunset over Kota Kinabalu in the evening.

Flat land is at a premium in the city centre, and there is a strict limit to the height of buildings: the airport is 7 km (4 mi) away, and the city is directly in the flight path. Most of the Central Business District (CBD) today is built on land reclaimed from the sea. The original local plant life has largely disappeared, but several hills within the city (too steep for building) are still clothed with tropical rainforest. One of these is Signal Hill, which confines the CBD to the shore. In the area of Likas Bay, the remnants of an extensive mangrove forest was nearly lost. In 1996, a perceptive state government stepped in and declared 24 acres (9.7 ha) of the forest as a protected area. This forest is now known as the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary was given additional protection as a State Cultural Heritage Site in 1998.



Moro dwellings off the coast of Gaya Island.

The five islands (of Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug, Mamutik) opposite the city, and their surrounding waters, are also preserved as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. The park was named in honour of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. The park is a popular recreational spot for tourists and local people. The Kota Kinabalu city centre, consisting of mostly businesses and the government, includes Karamunsing, the port area (Tanjung Lipat), Signal Hill, Kampung Air, Sinsuran, Segama, Asia City, Gaya Street (Old Town), Bandaran Berjaya, Api-Api, Sutera Harbour and Sembulan. Outlying neighbourhoods and residential suburbs include Kepayan Ridge, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, Lido, Lintas, Nosoob, Bukit Padang, Luyang, Damai, Likas and Kolombong. The city is growing steadily and the urban sprawl extends to the towns of Inanam, Menggatal,Sepanggar, Telipok and south of the district border to Penampang, Putatan, and Lok Kawi.

Kota Kinabalu is generally isolated from the rest of the country; it is located about 1,624 kilometres (1,009 mi) from Kuala Lumpur in Peninsular Malaysia and 804 kilometres (500 mi) from Kuching in the neighbouring state of Sarawak.





Kota Kinabalu Polytechnic.

There are many government or state schools in and around the city. Among the well-established and prestigious boarding schools in Sabah is Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah, formally known as Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Sabah (SBPS), which is located at Bukit Padang. Other secondary schools are Sekolah Menengah La Salle, Sekolah Menengah Shan Tao, Sekolah Menengah Taman Tun Fuad, Sekolah Menengah Likas, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Perempuan Likas, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St. Francis Convent, Sekolah Menengah All Saints, Sekolah Menengah Stella Maris, Sekolah Menengah Saint Michael, Maktab Sabah, KK High School, Sekolah Menengah Lok YukSekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Inanam and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Tun Ahmadshah.There are also a number of independent private schools in the city. Among them are Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary SchoolKian Kok Middle School, Maktab Nasional and Seri Insan Secondary School. Classes usually begin at 7am and end at 1pm except for boarding schools, in which classes begins as early as 6.30am and end at 2pm. Children aged 7 must attend primary education, which consists of six years of learning, while those aged 13 can pursue their studies in lower secondary education for three years. After completing their Lower Secondary Examination, students enter Upper Secondary education, where they will be streamed into either the Science stream or the Arts stream based on their examination results. Students who choose to study at boarding schools will be placed into the Science stream. Currently, there are four boarding schools in Sabah.


UMS Chancellory Building.

There are two international schools teaching the British Curriculum. Sayfol International School Sabah teaches from kindergarten to the GCE 'A' Levels, which is taken at age 18 (pre-university). Sayfol International School Sabah is the sister school of the established and highly successful Sayfol International School in Kuala Lumpur. Kinabalu International School (KIS) is part of the Federation of British International Schools in South and East Asia (FOBISSEA). Both English medium schools are located in Bukit Padang. Another international school is the Kinabalu Japanese School, one of four Japanese schools in Malaysia. It caters to children's of Japanese expatriates working and living around the city.







Suria Sabah during the 2013 Chinese New Year celebrations, this is also one of the shopping malls in the city.

Kota Kinabalu also features a number of shopping malls. These include Kompleks Karamunsing, Centre Point, Wisma Merdeka, Warisan Square, Plaza Wawasan, Kompleks Asia City, City Mall, KK Plaza, Suria Sabah and 1Borneo, which is the largest hypermall in Kota Kinabalu. Newly constructed malls in Kota Kinabalu include the Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, which currently holds GSC Kota Kinabalu, and Megalong Shopping Mall, which is situated in the district of Penampang. Karamunsing, where Kompleks Karamunsing is situated, is an area that has more computer shops per capita than anywhere else in Sabah. The weekly Gaya Street Sunday Market features a gathering of local hawkers selling a wide range of items from traditional ethnic cultural souvenirs to pets and flowers. The Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market (formerly known as the Filipino Market) features vendors selling traditional handicrafts, souvenirs and foodstuffs.


Golden Screen Cinemas which is located at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall.

There are four cinemas in Kota Kinabalu: 2 Golden Screen Cinemas (commonly known as GSC), Growball Cineplex and Megalong Cineplex. One of the GSC cinemas is located at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, while the other is located at 1Borneo. Both GSC cinemas hold eight cinema halls each. 1Borneo HyperMall and Sutera Harbour Marina have bowling alleys and pool tables.








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