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East Malaysia: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

East Malaysia comprises Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan

East Malaysia consists of the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, located on the island of Borneo, as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan, which lies off coast of Sabah. East Malaysia lies to the east, across the South China Sea from Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) which is located on the Malay Peninsula. While East Malaysia is less populated and less developed than West Malaysia, its land mass is larger and it has notably more natural resources, which are chiefly oil and gas reserves.

Of note, Sarawak contains the Mulu caves within Gunung Mulu National Park; among these is the limestone cave with the largest chamber in the world, the Sarawak Chamber. The Mulu national park was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001.

Sabah's many attractions include the World Heritage Site Mount Kinabalu, and Sipadan island of which is a world renowned diving hotspot.

The indigenous inhabitants of East Malaysia are fiercely partisan and maintain culturally distinct dialects of the national language, Malay, in addition to their own ethnic languages. Approximately 13% of the population of Sabah, and 26% of the population of Sarawak, is composed of ethnic Chinese Malaysians.


Both Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) and Sarawak were separate British colonies from Malaya, and did not become part of the Federation of Malaya in 1957. However, both voted to become part of the new Federation of Malaysia in 1963, encouraged by the inclusion of Singapore, which was expelled from the federation in 1965. Previously, there were efforts to unite Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak under the North Borneo Federation but that failed after the Brunei Revolt occurred.

As states of the Federation, Sabah and Sarawak retained a higher degree of local government and legislative autonomy when compared to other states in West Malaysia. For example, both states have separate immigration controls, requiring Malaysian citizens from West Malaysia to carry passports or identity cards when visiting East Malaysia.

The island of Labuan was part of Sabah until 1984, when it was made into a separate Federal Territory, administered by the federal government. It was used to establish a centre for offshore finance, with its own separate tax system and customs.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

East Malaysia (Malaysia Timur) occupies the northern third of the island of Borneo, shared with Indonesia and tiny Brunei. Covered in impenetrable jungle where headhunters roam (on GSM networks if nothing else), East Malaysia is rich in natural resources but very much Malaysia's hinterland for industry and tourism.

See East Coast (Malaysia) for the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

  • Bintulu - coastal town and home of the world's largest natural gas processing plant
  • Kota Kinabalu - the largest city and capital of Sabah state
  • Kuching - largest city in East Malaysia and the capital of Sarawak state
  • Labuan - duty-free port and entry point to Brunei
  • Miri - resort city with an underwater world which has one of the world's most spectacular coral reefs & main departure point to UNESCO World Heritage Site Gunung Mulu National Park and Brunei Darussalam
  • Sandakan - second-largest town in Sabah, and home of Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sibu - a town with a majority Foochow Chinese population in Sarawak
  • Tawau - one of the best seafood in Malaysia & main departure point to diving Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai and Semporna

Get in

Kota Kinabalu is the main hub of the region, fielding an increasing number of international flights as well. Kuching also has a large number of mostly domestic flights, but there are services to Miri, Labuan and Tawau as well.

Get around

By road

East Malaysia is large, distances are long and roads are relatively poor in terms of network when compared with the Peninsular.

By air

Domestic flights are affordable and by far the fastest way to get around, especially outside the coastal region. Malaysia Airlines [1] and budget airlines AirAsia [2] links most major cities in Sabah and Sarawak as well as Labuan several times a day. MASWings [3], operates the rural air service which links interior communities, including those in the Kelabit Highlands, with coastal cities. Flights use Fokkers and turboprop aircraft. MASWings took over the rural air services network from FlyAsian Express on October 1, 2007, which in turn took the service over from Malaysia Airlines 14 months before that.


There are 2 states Sarawak with their own border control. Sarawak - the western part of Borneo and Sabah on the North-East. Sarawak has two major destinations for tourists: Bako National Park with mangroves and many indigenous animals such as proboscis and silverleaf monkeyes. It is easily accessible from Sarawak's capital Kuching and provides lodging on the park territory. Another Sarawak's major attraction is the system of limestone caves in Mulu region. A visit to a longhouse a native tribe settlement can be an interesting adventure.

Sabah is renown for its beautiful coral islands Mabul and Sipadan, as well as the highest mountain in Malaysia Kota Kinabulu


See Sarawak#Eat for indigenous dishes.

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