THE LAND BELOW THE WIND 
Negeri Di Bawah Bayu
 
Known as North Borneo before its independence through Malaysia in 16 September 1963, Sabah occupies the top portion of Borneo (the third largest island in the world) and covers and areas of 74,500 sq km (29,388 sq miles) with a coastline of about 1,440 km (about 900 miles) washed by the South China Sea and Celebes Sea on the East. She is blessed with a diverse landscape of tropical forests, rugged mountains, greenflatlands and pristine seas teaming with indigenous flora and fauna some of which can only be found in this part of the world.

To be precise, Sabah is located between 4 and 8 degrees North of the Equator, and its climate is tropical but pleasant. Sunny blue skies typify most days and it is summer all year round. Though depending on the month and locality, rain may cause a little inconvenience, with the annual rainfall varying from 60 to 120 inches. As a general guide, the wet season falls between November and February. The name "Land Below the Wind" is given to Sabah simply because it is located below the typhoon belt, thus setting the State free from climatic disturbances.

Sabah has a population of 1.8 million with the ethnic Kadazandusun race being the majority followed by the Chinese, Malays and other indigenous groups such as the Bajau, Murut, Rungus, orang sungai and others. Together there are over 30 different races and over 80 different dialects, each group having its own colourful culture, tradition, festival and customs.

Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Borneo Island standing at 4,093m above sea level, is the symbol of greatness of all Sabahans. Every year more than a million tourist climb the mountain, making it one of the most accessible recreational mountain in the world. Other attractions includes the Sipadan Islands, reknown for its scuba diving, the Sepilok Rehabilitation centre for the Orang Utan in Sandakan and Tunku Abdul Rahman National Parks which is located all around Sabah.

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