Date of Issue: 1981-08-31
Denominations: 15 cents, 80 cents
Stamp Sizes: 48.26 mm x 29.85 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked white coated postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Messrs. John Waddington of Kirkstall Ltd., England
Designer: Creative Concepts Sdn. Bhd., Sabah
Stamps in this Series:
First Day Cover:
The Sabah Centenary marks 100 years of Sabah’s social, economic and political developments, that is from 1991 when she became a colony under the British Chartered Company until today.
The year 1981 commemorates the passing of a 100 years, a truly formative and developing period in the history of Sabah. The Centenary celebrations gives emphasis not only to Sabah’s progress during the past 100 years but also to the participation of the people in the celebrations on a statewide basis.
The celebrations started in Penampang on 1st January, 1981, followed by other districts and sub-districts, all of which had drawn up elaborate programmes. Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, will have the celebrations on 31st August, 1981, the National Day.
In all the districts except Kota Kinabalu the celebrations take the form of pesta rakyat, or the festival for the people. This is a more elaborate version of the traditional for the people. This is a more elaborate version of the traditional tamu besar, featuring agricultural exhibitions, cultural and other performances, floats and lantern processions, firework displays, to name only a few. In Kota Kinabalu the main attractions will be the CENTENARY EXPO.
The theme of the celebrations is ‘Sabah Berjaya Sebangsa’ or ‘Sabah Succeeds As One People’. The theme recognizes the reality that Sabah is a society of many ethnic origins and religions. The theme shows the prime concern and overriding objective of the present leadership, that is, to forge unity and achieve progress as one people, now and in the future. The theme is intended to make people more aware that unity and solidarity are vital because all who live in Sabah share a common destiny.
Each individual participates in the celebrations in his own way, some actively in organized activities such as water sports, the big walk organized by the Federal Officers’ Association, Sabah Branch, or the gotong royongs which take place in many districts. Others participate by giving donations to the centenary efforts. For instance, the Japanese community in Sabah has donated $800,000 towards the cost of the firework displays in 30 districts and sub-districts in Sabah. The various chambers of commerce and commercial organizations have likewise made contributions in money or in kind. Participation in the Centenary Expo is a unique experience. The widespread cleaning and sprucing up of towns and villages through gotong royong efforts is another form of participation in the Sabah Centenary. Students and members of the public take part in the many competition such as the history-writing competition, the painting competition, the poster competition, the Centenary Song writing competition and many others, but for the most part people participate simply by being spectators in the centenary events. This is an equally important form of participation for without it even the best-organized events will fall short of success.
A rewarding and inspiring experience is expected to be gained by the Centenary celebrations. This will be a time to stand back, so to speak, and survey the progress that has been made in the 100 years since the tortuous journey to modernity began. This is a time to look at present day Sabah in the context of the various periods of its 100 year history: the Chartered Company period, the World War II period, the post-war colonial period and the post-independence period. This is also a time to look at Sabah’s performance in terms of the First, Second, and Third Malaysia Plans. The Centenary celebrations will also be a reminder to the people of the various periods in Sabah’s history when basic human rights and freedom of the people were lost and found. This will have the effect of strengthening the people’s resolve never to lose them again.
The State Centenary Celebrations Committee is headed by the Rt. Hon. The Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd. Salleh, and was set up to organize, to facilitate, to control and coordinate the formulation and implementation of programmes and activities in all the districts and sub-districts in Sabah in connection with the celebrations. It has mobilized government departments and agencies and has enlisted the participation of voluntary organization as well as organizations in the private sector. It has sought to involve as many people in the centenary activities as possible in order that the celebrations are truly meaningful and memorable.
Sabah: History in Brief
1881: The British Government granted a charter to the North Borneo Provisional Association Limited.
1882: The British North Borneo Company was formed to finance the administration of the new state.
1888: North Borneo became a British protectorate.
1896: Railway was introduced. This led to the opening of the West Coast for rubber cultivation.
1942-1945: Japanese Occupation
1945-1946: Liberation by Commonwealth forces.
1946: The military authority handed North Borneo over to a civilian government. North Borneo became a British Colony.
1946-1952: North Borneo together with the Island of Labuan became a British Crown Colony administered by a Governor with an Advisory Council, Executive Consultative Council and a Legislative Council, District Councils and sub-district councils were established. The first district council was established in Kota Belud on 1st January, 1952.
1961: The first political party United National Kadazan Organization (UNKO) was formed and led by Datuik Donald Stephens. United Sabah National Organization (USNO) was later formed by Datuk Mustapha bin Datuk Harun.
1962: Sabah held its first elections for the Local Councils seats. Sabah Alliance (UNKO and USNO) achieved overwhelming success and solidified support for the creation of Malaysia.
1963: The Creation of Malaysia. Datuk Donald Stephens (the late Tun Datuk Hj. Mohd. Fuad Stephens) became the first Chief Minister. North Borneo became officially known as Sabah.
1976-1981: Bersatu Rakyat Jelata Sabah (BERJAYA) took over the reins of Government after it defeated Sabah Alliance in the General Elections. Bersatu Rakyat Jelata Sabah continues to govern Sabah having once again been victorious in the Elections held in 1981.