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Polis Beach Gaya Island

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Polis Beach Gaya Island

Anyone know how it got its name?

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1. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

RobertR1987,

It is Police beach.

Pantai Polis.

It is I believe Bunga Raya resorts beach at this time.

a/ search wikipeadia.

b/ search the resorts web page.

c/ General Sabah search on the internet.

I cannot recall the correct naming at this time. Have a read through the pre WW2 history.

The Mat Salleh and Api Api periods and the "Capital" of Sabah has be prepositioned in several locations in the past 200 years.

With a bit of vigor and the internet on your side you will find the answer then you can tell us about it.

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2. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

Would be interested to know why locals call it Police Bay (Beach) too.

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3. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

If I recall correctly, just from memory, (Hopefully accurately, check with Wiki.)

From reading early Sabahan history then on too Rajah Brooke's periods, from the late 1780's - to the N.B.T.C. (North Borneo Trading Company) and on to 1939 in the 20th century, the early trading/transition periods mention the Police post.(now the beach. It may not be the exact location, i.e. it could have been further away maybe not on Pulau Gaya but on another Island within KK harbour.

Police beach was an early trading protection outpost for UK traders passing on up to Hong Kong/ China/Asia, it was also an outpost to stop piracy.

Mat Salleh, has involvement among others and disagreements with the Brunei Sultan, Rajah Brookes and the Sulu Sultan's led to the closing of the post. (It was often attacked and isolated, so withdrawn as a (Kota) (fort)

The post at what is now KK was also attacked and burnt down, hence the name Api-api meaning fire, now the Api-api district and a shopping centre in modern KK.

All of this ultimately resulted in the ceding of Eastern Sabah to the N.B.T.C. the then Sulu Sultan signing it away to stop the destruction of the piracy trading by the Rajah Brookes ships and this was what the Sultan of Brunei agreed too.

Sarawak & Sabah became N.B.T.C. under Rajah Brookes control.

The capital moved to Kudat, then Sandakan, as trade took off the capital was moved to Jesselton, moving into modern history 1973 it was renamed Kota Kinabalu.

I have not come across any other information at this time regarding Police beach, it appears to have just kept it's name from the original outpost.

Malaysian, police/ military / Navy do not operate or have a current presence on Pulau Gaya but have total access if needed. So it does not have a current "Police", "Patrol" status, other areas of the harbour have that status.

The whole of Pulau Gaya today, is a reserve within the marine park.

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4. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

nice work DavidN.

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5. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

No idea how Police Beach got its name but it is probably not from the british settlement, the location of which is believed to be at the north-east bay of the island, not this northwest bay.

As for the modern history of Sabah, in 1865 an American named Claude Moses and later Joseph Torrey obtained land concessions from the Sultan of Brunei who ruled the entire area. An Austro-Hungarian named Baron von Overbeck bought over the American concession in 1875. He also signed an additional agreement with the Sultan of Sulu who also claimed to be ruler of eastern parts of the territory in order to safeguard his concession. He eventually sold his rights to a British businessman called Alfred Dent who formed the British North Borneo Company in 1882 to adminster the territory.

The same year, the British North Borneo Company established a settlement on Gaya Island, as a stopover between the British Crown Colony at Labuan and the company's "capital" at Kudat (later moved in 1884 to Elopura i.e Sandakan)

This settlement on Gaya island was also used to collect jungle produce, administer and collect taxes from the mainland. A local Bajau-Suluk called "Mat Salleh" rebelled and attacked the settlement,burned and razed it to the ground in 1897. The settlement on Gaya Island was never rebuilt by the Company, instead they relocated the settlement to the mainland at Gantian Bay (now Sepanggar). This location was ultimately deemed unsuitable, and in 1899, it was relocated to Api-Api fishing village (location of present day Kota Kinabalu) and renamed Jesselton. During World War 2, the Japanese reverted the name of Jesselton to Api. After the defeat of the Japanese, the British North Borneo Company unable to rebuild, elected to hand over control of North Borneo to the British Crown in 1946. The British reverted the name to Jesselton and made it the capital, to replace the previous capital at Sandakan. After independence in 1963, North Borneo was renamed Sabah with Jesselton remaining its capital. Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu in 1967 by the Sabahans, after the name of the mountain.

As for the White Rajah James Brooke, he is not really associated with the history of Sabah; but rather with Sarawak.

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6. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

Thanks Jadamros, this is interesting reading.

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7. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

We all clearly know a awful lot of history about beautiful Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah or we would not be here.

I popped up to say, I am not going to cut and paste information to bore you all, as I have already read it, as I think you already have..

Ref: my previous post should have read September 1963 as the formation of Sabah and not 1973, as I mentioned it was written from memory.

Jadamros, thank you for your updates.

Api - api (fire- fire) is named after Mat Salleh' s raid and the burning down of the fort(Kota).

Rajah Brookes arrived in Sarawak but spread out eventually to control Sarawak and Sabah and raids out to the Sulu Sea at the request of the Sultan of Brunei later it became the NBTC, covering both states with the blessing of the Sultan of Brunei and his antecedence. The Sultan of Sulu agreed to the Sultan of Brunei's decisions thereby creating, over time Sarawak and Sabah.

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8. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

Hi David, nice to converse about the history of our country with you. As Malaysians, we learned about the history of Sabah and Sarawak in school (at least during our time, not sure what the kids nowadays learn!). Also with relatives still living in Sabah, we do have knowledge of the founding of modern day Sabah beyond what is available on the internet.

James Brooke did not have anything to do with the founding of the British North Borneo Chartered Company and by extension North Borneo and later Sabah, as he died in 1868 and the BNBCC was only formed in 1882 by Alfred Dent as stated in my earlier post.

He did assist the Sultanate of Brunei by enlisting the British Royal Navy to deal with an insurrection by Sharif Osman in Marudu earlier in 1845; as well as enlisting the Royal Navy to attack Brunei itself in 1846 which resulted in the British Crown obtaining Labuan as a Crown Colony and cementing James Brooke as the Rajah in Sarawak; but he never had any control of territory in North Borneo beyond that. The modern history of North Borneo and Sabah begins with the BNBCC with Alfred Dent/ von Overbeck and not James Brooke. Will post a chronology in the next post if you are interested,

As for "Api-Api", yes agree with you that there is a theory that the origin of the name comes from the burning of the settlement on Gaya Island, hence the new settlement on the mainland was called "Api-Api" as Api means fire in malay.

However there is apparently a Dutch map from 1657 which clearly indicates "Api-Api" on the map, way before the British settlement on Gaya island was established. Proponents of this theory say that the name "Api-Api" comes from the malay word for the mangrove tree Avicennia sp. which grows in the area by the river of the same name. This is supported by the fact that "Api" as one word means "fire" but "Api-Api"repeated twice is the name of the tree.

Cheers.

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9. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak. A movie should really be made of his life...

1803 – James Brooke was born in Bandel, India, near Calcutta to an English judge Thomas Brooke and his wife Anna Maria Stuart.

1819 – After schooling in England, James Brooke returns to India as an ensign in the Bengal Army of the East India Company.

1825 – James Brooke was seriously wounded in the Anglo-Burmese war and returned to England to recuperate. Apparently the injury he suffered here was the reason why he never married later in life.

1830 – James Brooke returned to Madras and resigned his commission from the East India Company.

1833 – James Brooke came into an inheritance with the passing of his parents and used it as capital to purchase a schooner which he named the Royalist.

Circa 1830’s – Sarawak (during this time “Sarawak” only referred to the area around present day Kuching, under the rule of the Brunei sultanate) was in the midst of an uprising by Datu Patinggi Ali against the Sultan of Brunei’s cruel governor Pengiran Indera Mahkota. The Sultan of Brunei had sent his uncle and Bendahara (Grand Vizier or Prime Minister) Pengiran Hashim to Sarawak to deal with the uprising.

1838 - James Brooke sets sail for Borneo and arrives in Sarawak as an emissary of the British government in Singapore to thank Pengiran Hashim for his assistance for rescuing some British citizens whose boat has sank in the Sarawak river as a result of pirate attacks. Pengiran Hashim asks James Brooke’s help to deal with the uprising, but James Brooke declines as he does not to get involved in local matters.

1839 – James Brooke returns to Sarawak and this time he agrees to assist Pengiran Hashim to quell the uprising with several conditions. James Brooke is eventually successful in putting down the uprising.

1841 - In gratitude for his assistance Pengiran Hashim makes James Brooke the governor of Sarawak for his help in quelling the rebellion.

1844 - The Sultan of Brunei was not comfortable with the close relationship between Pengiran Hashim and James Brooke and he ordered Pengiran Hashim to return to Brunei. Upon his return to Brunei with his family, Pengiran Hashim was shocked to find that he had been demoted and his rival Pengiran Yusof promoted to Bendahara. However there was nothing he could do but accept the situation but this was the beginning of tension between the two Bruneian camps.

1845 – Outright civil war between Pengiran Hashim and Pengiran Yusof erupts. Pengiran Yusof loses the battle and retreats to Kimanis in North Borneo. With his retreat, Pengiran Hashim regains the title of Bendahara.

1845 – An independent chieftain in Marudu, North Borneo called Sharif Osman, openly supports the exiled Pengiran Yusof in order to foment further chaos in Brunei. This was a direct threat to Pengiran Hashim and the Sultanate of Brunei and by extension his ally James Brooke of Sarawak. Pengiran Hashim made up charges of piracy on Sharif Osman and James Brooke enlisted the aid of the British Royal Navy in Singapore to deal with the “piracy”. The British Royal Navy sent Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane with the HMS Agincourt, HMS Vestal, HMS Daedalus, HMS Cruizer, HMS Vixen and HMS Royalist to Marudu. At the Battle of Marudu Bay in North Borneo the British defeated and killed Sharif Osman, effectively ending his threat to Brunei.

1845 – The heir to the Sultan of Brunei is unhappy with Pengiran Hashim’s growing power and influence and hatches a secret plot to murder him. The plan is executed successfully and Pengiran Hashim, his family and other followers are killed.

1846 – In retaliation at the murder of his friend Pengiran Hashim, James Brooke again enlists the aid of the British Royal Navy in Singapore. An armada of HMS Iris, HMS Dido, HMS Semarang, HMS Spiteful, HMS Agincourt, HMS Ringdove, HMS Hazard dan HMS Royalist lead by Sir Thomas Cochrane sails into Brunei Bay to attack Sultan Omar of Brunei. A battle ensues and the Sultan flees Brunei to Damuan. Eventually under duress the Sultan capitulates, and in return for being allowed to return to Brunei, the Sultan grants James Brooke full rights to Sarawak without the need for further tribute to him. James Brooke also acquires the island of Labuan for the British Crown through the Treaty of Labuan signed with the Sultan Omar.

1847 – James Brooke is knighted by the British Crown.

1848 – Labuan becomes a British Crown Colony with Sir James Brooke as its first Governor until 1852.

1852 – Sir James Brooke expands his own territory of Sarawak to the Lupar and Rajang rivers by signing an agreement with Sultan Omar’s successor Sultan Abdul Mumin of Brunei.

1853 – Sarawak’s territory is further extended to the Krian river.

1861 – Sarawak’s territory is extended to Teluk Kidurong.

1863 – Sir James Brooke retires back to England due to ill health.

1865 – Charles Brooke is named by his uncle Sir James Brooke as his eventual successor as the Rajah of Sarawak. Charles would further extend Sarawak’s territory up to its present day boundaries during his reign.

1868 – Sir James Brooke passes away as a result of a stroke and is buried in Sheepstor parish church in Devon. Charles Brooke becomes the second Rajah of Sarawak.

1872 – The town of Sarawak is renamed Kuching.

1882 – Alfred Dent forms the British North Borneo Company upon obtaining the rights to the North Borneo concession from Baron Von Overbeck.

1890 – Labuan is handed over by the British Crown to the British North Borneo Company to manage and administer.

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10. Re: Polis Beach Gaya Island

Jadamros,

You did not have to go to the trouble of writing such a long reply.

Have a quick re-read of my post and you will quickly see it is not as comprehensive as your chronological reply, you may or may not know in English we call it " paraphrasing" so we do not have to put all the details in the reply, but still get the message across.

I did that in this case because I knew you guys reading are very knowledgeable about Sabah.

I felt I was not necessary to explain it all to you.

But you have saved me a trip upstairs to pull my books out of my library to find the above details.

I agree the Rajahs would be a good movie, rivalling , was it John Smith? the first Englishman in Japan to be given Samurai Hatamoto status.

You cannot beat real history .

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