Founding of Sandakan
Sandakan Map Sandakan, situated on the East Coast of Sabah was founded by William B. Pryer on 21st June 1879. However it was William Clarke Cowie, a Scotsman from Glasgow who established the first European settlement on the north-east coast of Sabah known as "Kampung German" in 1872. When Kampung German was accidentally razed to the ground on 15th June 1879, Pryer decided not to rebuild the village but to move to Buli Sim Sim. He named his new settlement 'Elopura' which means "The Beautiful City". A few years later, the name was changed to "Sandakan" which in Sulu means "The place that was pawned".

William B.Pryer

Towards development and modernization
Sandakan Bay,1883 In 1884, when Sandakan became the capital of British North Borneo, the population had increased to 3771 people consisting of a mixed population with the Chinese and Sulus being the two largest ethnic groups.

Many establishments were established in the following years such as :

In 1886 - The Sun Kwong Lung's Hotel, the first hotel;
In 1887 - The Chinese Temple, Sum Sing Kung or The Three Saint's Temple (which is the oldest building in Sandakan today);
In 1887 - St.Mary's School, the first school in Sandakan was opened;
In 1888 - St.Michael School was opened;
In 1893 - The St.Michael and All Angels Church was started but the stone church was only completed in 1906. (Today it stands as a landmark of Sandakan);
In 1902 - The Sandakan Recreational Club was formed;
The Sandakan Town Mosque was opened;

In the early 1900's modernization began in Sandakan with the building of rows of corrugated iron roofs brick shops. Roads were metalled and by 1912, motor cars had made their appearance on the roads of Sandakan. Other facilities such as the automatic telephone exchange and electricity were also installed. Sandakan recorded its first film show in 1912 with the Chinese opera also being introduced during this era.

On the economic scene, the Chinese dominated in trade and commerce and consequently the Chinese Chamber of Commerce was established. Man Woo Loong was the oldest company while Harrisons and Crosfield was the largest and handled the major part of the imports and exports. The timber industry which made its debut in 1885 was to become Sandakan's biggest money earner and the timber were marketed mainly to Hong Kong and China. The Sulus and the Bajaus mainly concentrated on fishing, collecting forest product and trading.

Japanese Occupation and liberation by the Allied Forces
Second World War broke out on 3rd September 1939. The Japanese Occupation of Sandakan began on 19th January 1942 and the lasted until the Brigade of the Australian 9th Division liberated 19th October 1945.

When the war ended, Sandakan town was nearly totally destroyed, partly from the bombings in the process of liberation and the rest by the Japanese. As a result, when North Borneo became a British Colony in 1946, the capital was shifted to Jesselton, now known as Kota Kinabalu.

Three years after the War, nearly the whole of Sandakan town site was re-occupied. Businesses were revived and facilities such as the "Padang" (field) and the Sandakan Recreational Club were also restored. The timber industry was reorganized and resulted in benefiting the timber businessmen of Sandakan as well as boosting the local economy.

Independence and Malaysia
On 16th September 1963, North Borneo joined the federation of Malaysia and changed its name to Sabah. Sandakan celebrated this occasion with great enthusiasm.

The most prominent change took place in the education system whereby Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction was first introduced into all Primary One classes of English medium schools in 1970. The new system was also implemented by the schools in Sandakan.

With the introduction of mass media in Sabah through television in 1971, Sandakan folks were able to enjoy yet another form of entertainment.

Sandakan Today
Sandakan Today With an estimated population of 222,817 people, Sandakan's economy today has diversified into the agricultural base especially in the oil palm industry. It has also ventured into the tourism industry, concentrating on eco-tourism and wild-life conservation. As such, Sandakan is now usually referred to as "The gateway to Borneo's Wildlife".

About Sandakan
· [ History ] · [ Population ] · [ Housing Condition ]
· [ Household Income ] · [ Road Infra-Structure ] · [ Sandakan Port ]
· [ Airport ] · [ Water Supply ] · [ Telecommunication ]
· [ Health Facility ] · [ Sewerage System ] · [ Drainage ]
· [ Land Cost ] · [ Labour Force ] · [ Raw Material ]
· [ Ferry Terminal ] · [ Tourism Industry ] · [ Barter Trading in Sandakan ]
· [ Jurisdiction Area of Sandakan ] · [ Electricity Power Supply ]
· [ Industrial Zones in Sandakan ] · [ Asean Free Trade Area ]
· [ Manufacturing Licence Approved by ICC ]
· [ Land Use Zones According to Sandakan Local Plan ]