Sabah (säˈbä) [key], state (1991 pop. 1,736,902), 28,417 sq mi (73,600 sq km), Malaysia, N Borneo, on the South China and Sulu seas. It is bordered on the south by Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). The capital is Kota Kinabalu; other significant towns are Sandakan and Victoria. The terrain is densely forested and mountainous; Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest peak, is 13,455 ft (4,101 m) high. Forest products, petroleum, rubber, and copra are exported. Formerly called North Borneo or British North Borneo, it became a British protectorate in 1882. In 1963, it joined the Federation of Malaysia and assumed its present name. The Philippines have also claimed Sabah. A majority of the indigenous tribes are Roman Catholic.
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