Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sabah , North Borneo


The British North Borneo Company effectively ruled until January 1, 1942. Japanese forces occupied Sabah from 1942-1945. The North Borneo Armed Constabulary with only 650 men hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion. During Japanese military occupation, the Europeans were interned, public services ceased to exist, and there were widespread poverty, disease and malnutrition.

In June 1945 the Australian 9th Division landed in Brunei and liberated much of North Borneo before the end of the war. North Borneo was placed under British Military Administration until restoration of civil government on July 15, 1946.

The British North Borneo Company did not have the financial resources to reconstruct North Borneo after the destruction of World War II. The major towns had been razed to the ground by allied bombing, and the infrastructure of North Borneo was in total devastation. The British North Borneo Company decided to sell its interests to the British government. The territory was placed under control of the colonial office, and became a British crown colony on July 15, 1946 together with islands of Labuan. The destruction of the former capital Sandakan was so complete that Jesselton was chosen as the new post-war capital. The colonial system of administration was in most ways similar rule during the Company era, retaining the same Residency and District structure; however, as a result of this change in status, North Borneo had access to British government funds for reconstruction.


A Governor and Commander-in-Chief was appointed to administer the colony of North Borneo with the assistance of an Advisory Council consisting of three ex-officio members: a Chief Secretary, the Attorney-General, and the Financial Secretary, together with other members both official and unofficial whom the Governor chose to appoint. In 1950, the Advisory Council was replaced by the Executive and Legislative Councils.

The Executive Council functioned as a Cabinet and was headed by the Chief Secretary. In addition to the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary, it consisted of two officials and four nominated members. The Governor presided at the Executive Council meetings and he alone was entitled to submit questions to the Council.

The Legislative Council consisted of the Governor as President, the usual three ex-officio members, nine official members and ten nominated members.

The high-ranking administrative posts continued to be held by the British, and in fact, it was only in 1957 that the first non-European filled an administrative officer's post.

British North Borneo was granted self-government on August 31, 1963. A little over two weeks later, on 16 September 1963, the state united with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore, forming the Federation of Malaysia.
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Requiem for the lost kingdom of Sarawak

http://youtu.be/32uCKz1K9ZU

 
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