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North Borneo



1883, 100 cents = 1 Malaysian dollar.

James Brooke, appointed Consul-General to the Sultan of Sulu in 1849, signed a treaty of friendship in 1849 leading to trade and eventually to the formation in 1882 of the British North Borneo Company. The settlements were made a British Protectorate in 1888 and Labuan attached to it in 1890-1906. After Japanese occupation (January 1942 - 10 June 1945) and British military administration, North Borneo had colonial status restored on 15 July 1946. On 16 September 1963 it became part of the Federation of Malaysia and changed its name to Sabah.

From 1882 channelled mail either through Labuan or Singapore using stamps of Straits Settlements in combination with local stamps. North Borneo joined the UPU in February 1891.

From 1892 several beautiful but unnecessary issues were designed with the philatelic market in mind; when, cancelled by bars, these stamps were remaindered in huge quantities, serious philatelic interest in the country was impaired. (For period 1941-6, see below). All stamps inscribed North Borneo were withdrawn on 30 June 1964.

Japanese Occupation of British Borneo



1869, 100 cents = 1 dollar Malayan.

The four territories (Brunei, Labuan, North Borneo and Sarawak) were administered as an entity and had general issues of stamps. Various stamps of the territories were overprinted in Japanese.

British Military Administration of North Borneo

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 17 December 1945.


1946, as North Borneo.

The four territories liberated from the Japanese continued to be administered together.

Only stamps of North Borneo and Sarawak were available for overprinting B.M.A., and both series were sold throughout Brunei, Labuan, North Borneo and Sarawak.

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