Kota Kinabalu

HISTORY

Kota Kinabalu’s modern origins dates from the period in Borneo history in the 1880s when the British North Borneo Chartered Company (BNBCC) was formed to take advantage of the political instability arising from the decline of the Brunei sultanate and the opening of trade prospects for western enterprise.

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SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

The Malaysian Census 2010 Report estimated the population of Kota Kinabalu at 452,058.As with its sister city of Kuching in Sarawak, KK is home to a mixture of many different races and ethnicities. ...Continue

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ECONOMY AND BUSINESS

Besides being the capital city, Kota Kinabalu is also the main industrial and commercial centre for Sabah. The economy is dominated by the primary sector of industry. Historically, the primary and secondary sector dominated the economy, but due to rapid urbanisation and economic development, these sectors of the economy are slowly diminishing.

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KOPITIAM AND EATERIES


Vege Garden

G17, Wisma Sabah, Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu

+6 012-820 3460


Welcome Seafood

Lot G 15-18 Asia City, Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu

+6 088-447 866


Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh

74, Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

+6 088-221 192

 

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SHOPPING

No. Shopping malls/plazas Address & Contact
1. Keningau Mall Address: Jalan Masak, 89000 Keningau, Sabah

087-336 668

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES


Golden Wave Sdn Bhd (Ho Hup Group)

Ground Floor, City Parade Centre Point, Jalan Centre Point, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia

Office Phone: +6 088-257 862

Website: www.thecrownkk.com


Sabah State Museum

Jalan Muzium, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

+6 088-225 033


Sabah Art Gallery

14, Jalan Shantung, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

+6 088-268 748

 

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PERSONALITIES AND CELEBRITIES

HALL OF FAME

PROMINENT HOMETOWN FIGURES

Stephens Fuad (Kudat) Politician
Joseph Pairin Kitingan (Tambunan) Politician
Shafie Apdal (Semporna) Politician
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  • HISTORY

    Atkinson Clock Tower, the oldest standing structure in Kota Kinabalu.

    Kota Kinabalu’s modern origins dates from the period in Borneo history in the 1880s when the British North Borneo Chartered Company (BNBCC) was formed to take advantage of the political instability arising from the decline of the Brunei sultanate and the opening of trade prospects for western enterprise.

    The company started to develop the area economically and to build the infrastructure while at the same time extending its control over territory. By 1886 the whole of North Borneo was made a British protectorate and its administration was placed in the hands of the company, with a Governor reporting to the company’s Court of Directors.

    In 1899 the company built a trading post in Api Api due to its proximity to the North Borneo Railway and its natural port. The new administrative centre was renamed Jesselton after Sir Charles Jessel, the Vice-Chairman of BNBCC. Early accounts are of a modest settlement but over time the town became a major trading post for North Borneo dealing with the marine, forestry and agricultural products of the coast and hinterland.

    In 1942, North Borneo was invaded by the Japanese, marking the beginning of a period of  suffering, torture and brutality. Amongst the local population, the phrase ‘Ukim jipun’ (Japanese Justice) became synonymous with punishment out of all proportion to the offence. The war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese on 10 September 1945, after massive bombardments undertaken by the Allied Forces. Jesselton was completely devastated, with only three buildings left standing.

    On 10 September 1945, the war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese, after massive bombardments undertaken by the Allied Forces. Jesselton was completely devastated, with only three buildings left standing. After the Japanese surrender, North Borneo was administered by the British Military Administration and in 1946 it became a British Crown Colony.

    The same year Jesselton was chosen to replace Sandakan as the capital of North Borneo. In 1963 Malaysia gained its independence and North Borneo was renamed Sabah. Four years later Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu.

    Today, Kota Kinabalu is one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia and among the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. Its chequered history however is still evident in street names and places reflecting the past, such as Api Api Centre, Jesselton Point or Atkinson Clock Tower.

    The new name is derived from Mount Kinabalu, situated about 50 kilometres from the city. Kinabalu is derived from the name Aki Nabalu meaning the “revered place of the dead.” Aki means “ancestors” or “grandfather”, and Nabalu is a name for the mountain in the Dusun language.

    Kota is the Malay word for a “fort”, “town”, or a “city”. Hence, a direct translation of the name Kota Kinabalu into English would be “City of Kinabalu” or “Kinabalu City”. Besides Jesselton, there are also other older names for Kota Kinabalu. The most popular is Api-Api, or simply Api, which is a Malay word meaning ‘Fire’.

    Wendy Law Suart wrote in her book on North Borneo, The Lingering Eye, there is in the Sabah State Museum a Dutch map of Borneo and the Celebes dated 1657 in which the settlement where Jesselton was to stand is clearly labelled Api Api. It may have some connection with the seaside tree with breathing roots that bears the same name”.

    Another suggested historical name is Deasoka, which roughly means “below the coconut tree” in the Bajau language. The Bajau locals purportedly used this name to refer to a village in the southern part of the city which was filled with coconut trees. Yet another name was Singgah Mata which literally means “transit eye”, but can be loosely translated as “pleasing to the eye”.

    It is a name said to have been given by fishermen from Gaya Island referring to the strip of land that is today’s downtown Kota Kinabalu. Today, all these names have been remembered as names of streets or buildings around the city. Some examples are Lintasan Deasoka, Api-Api Centre and Singgah Mata Street.

  • SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

    Bajau boys paddling a boat near stilted houses

    The Malaysian Census 2010 Report estimated the population of Kota Kinabalu at 452,058.As with its sister city of Kuching in Sarawak, KK is home to a mixture of many different races and ethnicities. Non-Malaysian citizens form the largest group in the city with 110,556 people followed by Chinese (93,429), Bajau/Suluk (72,931), Kadazan-Dusun (69,993), other Bumiputras (59,107), Brunei Malays (35,835), Murut (2,518), Indian (2,207) and others (5,482). The Chinese are mostly Hakkas and reside mainly in the Luyang area.

    There is a substantial Cantonese-speaking population and smaller communities of Hokkien and Foochow-speaking Chinese scattered throughout all areas of the city. Most of the Foochow speakers in particular emigrated to Sabah from the neighbouring Malaysian state of Sarawak. Penampang district are populated mainly by Kadazans, while Bajaus and Dusuns mainly reside in Likas, Sembulan, Inanam, Menggatal, Sepanggar and Telipok.

    The Brunei Malays and Bajau/Suluks are Muslims. The Kadazan-Dusuns, Muruts, Rungus and Lundayeh/Lun Bawang mainly practice Folk forms of Christianity, Islam, or Animism, whilst the Chinese are mainly Buddhists, Taoist or Christians. There are numerous Roman Catholic, Basel (Lutheran), Anglican, Evangelical, and Methodist churches throughout the city. A small number of Hindus, Sikhs, Animists, and secularists can also be found.

    There is a sizable Filipino population in the city. The first wave of migrants arrived in the late 15th century during the Spanish colonisation, while a later wave arrived in the early 1970s. Most of the earlier migrants have been naturalised as Malaysian citizens. However, there are still some Filipinos living in the city without proper documentation as illegal immigrants. Most of the Filipino migrants are Chavacano-speaking Tausūgs (Suluk) coming from the southern parts of Philippines. The city is also home to immigrants from Indonesia.

    Other resident groups in smaller numbers include Indians, Pakistanis and Eurasians and more newly arrived expatriates from China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Europe. Interracial marriages are not uncommon and Kadazan-Chinese intermarriages are particularly common. The mixed offspring of Kadazan and Chinese are referred to as Sino-Kadazans or simply “Sinos”.

  • ECONOMY AND BUSINESS

    Besides being the capital city, Kota Kinabalu is also the main industrial and commercial centre for Sabah. The economy is dominated by the primary sector of industry. Historically, the primary and secondary sector dominated the economy, but due to rapid urbanisation and economic development, these sectors of the economy are slowly diminishing.

    More recently, a move towards tertiary-based industry and tourism has become more apparent. Many state-level, national-level and international commercial banks, as well as some insurance companies have their headquarters or branches here. Besides the British, the Chinese have contributed to the development of KK since their immigration in the late 19th century.

    A number of industrial and manufacturing companies have plants here, especially in the industrial districts of Likas, Kolombong, and Inanam. The ongoing construction of the 8,320-acre (33.7 km2) Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) in Sepanggar is intended to boost the city’s industrial and commercial activity, making it a major growth centre in East Malaysia, as well for the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) region.

  • KOPITIAM AND EATERIES


    Vege Garden

    G17, Wisma Sabah, Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 012-820 3460


    Welcome Seafood

    Lot G 15-18 Asia City, Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-447 866


    Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh

    74, Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-221 192


    Yuit Cheong

    No.50 Jalan Pantai, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-252 744


    Kah Hiong Ngau Chap

    2-0-10, Lorong Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 2, Kolam Centre, 93450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 016-826 9699


    Jothy’s Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant

    Lot 1, G9, Api-Api Centre, Lorong Api-Api, Jalan Centre Point, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-261 595


    Kedai Kopi Yee Fung

    No.27 Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-312 042


    How Lee Restaurant

    No.S-26, Lorong Mawas 1, Jalan Kolam, Taman Foh Sang, Luyang, Sabah, 88300 Kota Kinabalu

    +6 016-839 1938


    Restoran Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh

    No.54, Jalan SS 14/2, Ss 14, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

    +6 017-226 3226


    Yoyo Cafe

    Lot 92-GF & 92-FF, Lorong Lintas Plaza, Phase 2C Lintas, Plaza, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-317 166


    Tambayan at Kainang Filipino, Beverly Hills Branch

    8-0, Ground Floor, Beverly Hills Plaza, at Kainang Filipino, Jalan Duta (Bundusan), 89500 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 016-803 3635


    Fook Yuen

    GF, G-33, Asia City, Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88000

    +6 016-834 1982


    Sin Kee Bak Kut Teh

    No.26, Jalan Pantai, pusat bandar, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 017-764 6667


    Alu-Alu Cafe

    Lot 6, Tanjung Lipat, Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-230 842


    Biru Biru: Australia Place

    No.24, Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 011-412 3490


    Print Cafe kktimes

    I-52-G, Block I, KK Times Square Off, Coastal Highway, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-486 468


    Royal Coconut

    No.44 Jalan Pantai, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-347 065


    Sri Latha Curry House

    No.28 Jalan Berjaya, Banderan Berjaya, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-253 669


    El Centro

    No.32 Jalan Haji Saman (Opposite Wisma Merdeka)

    +6 014-862 3877


    Fong Ip Cafe

    100 Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-213 618


    Gusto Food & Wine

    Lot 17, Anjung Samudra, The Waterfront, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 016-824 1829


    Ming Ge Cafe

    No.28 Jalan Pantai, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 016-803 9280


    Nook: Australia Place

    No.8, Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-210 730


    Party Play

    No.117 Gaya Jalan, Kota Kinabalu

    +6 088-311 210


    Fong Ip Cafe

    2-A, 1st Floor, Jalan Api-Api, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 019-881 3618 / +6 088- 213 618


    Kedai Restoran Kuo Man

    Lot No. 5, 1 ½ Miles, Jalan Putatan, Sunny Garden, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088- 221 189 / +6 017-814 1428


    Ho Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice

    Ground Floor Shop 9, Lorong Terap 11, Jalan Kelombong, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 019- 853 3365 / +6 016- 826 3368


    Kedai Kopi Houng Kee

    No.15, Ground Floor Block B, Damai Plaza, Phase 4 Jalan Pokok Kayu Manis 2 88300 Luyang Kota Kinabalu Sabah

    +6 088- 267 159 / +6 016- 802 6132


    Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Tien Wang

    Taman Che Mei, 88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 016- 806 1152


    Kedai Kopi Keng Lok Yin

    Lot 1, Jalan Pinang, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 016- 839 5725

  • SHOPPING

    No. Shopping malls/plazas Address & Contact
    1. Keningau Mall Address: Jalan Masak, 89000 Keningau, Sabah
    2. Harbour Mall Sandakan Address: Sandakan Harbour Square, Sandakan, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah

    089-276 888

    3. Eastern Plaza Address: Jalan Kuhara, 91000 Tawau, Sabah
    4. 1Borneo Hypermall Jalan Sulaman, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-486 107

    5. Centre Point Sabah Address: No. 1, Lorong Centre Point, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-246 900

    6. Grand Merdeka Opened: June 2, 2017

    Town or city: Kota Kinabalu

    Owner: Grand Merdeka Development Sdn Bhd

    Location: Sabah

    7. Imago KK Times Square Address: KK Times Square, Phase 2, Off Coastal Highway, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    Opened: March 28, 2015

    088-275 888

    8. Jesselton Residence Address: 3, Jalan Haji Saman, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    016-232 4715

    9. Karamunsing Complex Address: 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-239 784

    10. Mega Long Mall Address: 5th Floor Megalong Shopping Mall, Pekan Donggongon, 89500 Penampang, Sabah

    014-840 2888

    11. Oceanus Waterfront Mall Address: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
    12. Plaza Shell Address: 29, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-535 353

    13. Suria Sabah Address: 1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-487 087

    14. Sutera Avenue Address: Block D, Lot No. 23 & 23A, Ground Floor, Coastal Highway, Kota Kinabalu Times Square, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-278 688

    15. Wisma Merdeka Address: Jalan Tun Razak, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    088-232 761

  • TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES

    Golden Wave Sdn Bhd (Ho Hup Group)

    Ground Floor, City Parade Centre Point, Jalan Centre Point, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia

    Office Phone: +6 088-257 862

    Website: www.thecrownkk.com


    Sabah State Museum

    Jalan Muzium, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-225 033


    Sabah Art Gallery

    14, Jalan Shantung, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-268 748


    Tanjung Aru Beach

    Tanjung Aru, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 016-833 0678


    Jesselton Point

    4th Floor, Wisma Perkasa, Jalan Gaya, 88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-235 787


    Mari Mari Cultural Village

    Jalan Kionsom, Inanam, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 013-881 4921


    Perdana Park

    Jalan Melati, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 011-2668 4082


    Night Food Market

    Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 012-899 7870


    Petagas War Memorial

    No.1, Jalan Bandaran, 88675, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88675, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88000

    +6 088-521 800


    Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site

    Jalan Bukit Bendera Upper, Kampung Likas, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-246 955


    Padang Merdeka

    Jalan Padang Merdeka, Bandaran Berjaya, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    +6 088-212 121

  • PERSONALITIES AND CELEBRITIES

    PROMINENT HOMETOWN FIGURES

    Stephens Fuad (Kudat) Politician
    Joseph Pairin Kitingan (Tambunan) Politician
    Shafie Apdal (Semporna) Politician
    James Wong Chye Fook Soccer Player
    Penelope Ying-Yen Wong Politician
    Anifah Aman Politician
    Chong Kah Kiat (Kudat) Politician
    Daphne Eleanor M Iking (Keningan) Actress
    David Wong Dak Wah (Sandakan) Judiciary
    Harris Salleh (Labuan) Politician
    Jeffrey Kittingan (Bingkor) Politician
    K.A Vanar Community Leader
    Maximus Ongkili Politician
    Yong Teck Lee (Lahad Datu) Politician
    Mustapha Harun (Kudat) Politician
    Lau Gek Poh (Tawau) Community Leader
    Lau Poh Kun Business Tycoon
    Johan A. Samad (Labuan) Activist
    GS Sundang (Tambunan) Politician
    Zainnal Ajamain Activist