HelpX - About Sabah

View Larger Map

Sabah is one of the states in the Federation of Malaysia. It is the most northern part of the Borneo Island which incidentally happens to be the third largest island in the world. Hence, it used to be known as North Borneo during the British colonial days. There is no land link between Kuala Lumpur(KL) or any of the Malaysian states except Sarawak, to Sabah. The only way to Sabah (and Sarawak) from Peninsula Malaysia is via flight. Among the budget airlines that operate between KL and Kota Kinabalu (KK) are and 
Kota Kinabalu or KK as it is affectionately called by Sabahans, has its own International Airport. Therefore, it is possible to fly direct to KK from the country that you are in now. 

Don't call me a Malay

Like many western TV hosts hosting travel shows on Discovery channel or TLC as they call themselves these days, many visitors had mistakenly referred us from Malaysia as Malays. While it is not totally wrong if you are referring to someone from Malaysia whose ethnicity happens to be Malay, it is wrong to call everyone from Malaysia as Malays. Malaysia is a multi-racial country, especially Sabah and Sarawak. We are called MALAYSIANS

And I think the Malays in Singapore would be offended if you call them Malaysians. They are not. They are Singaporean Malays. In one episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, he was walking about at Geylang market in Singapore and mistakenly called the Malays running the stalls at the market as Malaysians.  

In West or Peninsula Malaysia, there are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Portugese, Orang Asli (original people who deserve most to be called the original host of the land in Peninsula Malaysia), Baba Nyonya, Chitty etc.

In Sabah, we have Chinese, Malay, Indian, Dusun, Kadazan, Murut, Bisaya, Teroja, Lundayeh, Orang Sungai, Bajau and many more indigenous tribes. We have over 30 indigenous tribes in Sabah and over 80 languages or dialects. Unlike the Peninsula Malaysia, Chinese presence in Sabah has been about 600 years, maybe even longer! We are truly a melting pot of indigenous and migrants.

So you see, not all the people in Malaysia are Malays.

Spoken Language

Malay is spoken widely in Malaysia including Sabah but these days, at least where Sabah is concerned, a lot of people here can understand and able to communicate in English. As long as you don't try to discuss Shakespear with them, you should be able to have meaningful conversation with them.

Serious Crime

Drug trafficking and consumption are met with severe punishment here. If you are caught with 15 grams of heroin or 200 grams of marijuana, you would be presumed by law to be trafficking in drugs and the penalty is death by hanging. Check out US Travel Advisory about Malaysia.

Places of Interest

There are plenty of places to visit and spending one week in Sabah definitely would not be enough for you to explore all these places. You can check out the places to visit at Sabah Tourism Board's website.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...