Thursday, 31 May 2012
The inhabitants of Sabah have based their societies on kinship and by tribal affiliations. Under the British Chartered Company headhunting was outlawed, and the native codes of law (adat) were 'modernized'. Life went at a generally placid pace and it was not until the 1960s that a political consciousness emerged. The winds of change - the tide of independence being experienced by other countries had arrived in Sabah. It began with an announcement in 1961 by the Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, regarding the formation of the Federation of Malaysia which was to include Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore. Malaysia was formally established, without Brunei, on 16 September 1963 and North Borneo's name was changed to Sabah. Preceding this, North Borneo obtained self-government from the British on 31 August 1963.
As a state within the Federation many changes occurred, administratively, politically and socially. The pace of development was hastened and Sabah entered a new and challenging era when she became part of the Federation of Malaysia. Though some initial struggles and conflicts with its neighbours, Indonesia and the Philippines, and interesting internal government politics Sabah remained a peaceful nation where the many different ethnic groups from various belief systems live in harmony together.