West Coast Division

West Coast Division (Malay: Bahagian Pantai Barat) is an administrative division of Sabah, Malaysia. It occupies the northwest portion of Sabah. With an area of 7,588 square kilometres, it occupies 10.3% of Sabah's territory. It also has approximately 30% of Sabah's total population,[1] with the main indigenous inhabitants comprising the Bajau, Bisaya, Bruneian Malay, Dusun, Illanun, Kadazan and Kedayan,[2] as well with a significant numbers of Chinese.[3] The division is divided into the districts of Ranau, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Penampang, Papar, and the state capital Kota Kinabalu. The main towns are as in the names of the districts, plus other towns including Putatan, Inanam, Telipok, Tamparuli, Tenghilan and Kinarut.[1]

Location map of the West Coast Division.

Kota Kinabalu Harbour is the main sea ports in the state's capital with an estimate size of 1,440 kilometres long coast.[1] It serves as the gateway for water transport in Sabah. It handles and handles 4,031,000 freight tonne annually. The Kota Kinabalu International Airport serves as the main gateway into the state by air.[1]


West Coast Division is subdivided into the following administrative districts:[1]

Member of Parliament (Dewan Rakyat)

Parliament Member of Parliament Party
P169 Kota Belud Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis WARISAN
P170 Tuaran Madius Tangau PH (UPKO)
P171 Sepanggar Mustapha Sakmud PH (PKR)
P172 Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin PH (DAP)
P173 Putatan Shahelmey Yahya BN (UMNO)
P174 Penampang Ewon Benedick PH (UPKO)
P175 Papar Amirzan Mohd Ali GRS
P176 Kimanis Mohamad Alamin BN (UMNO)
P179 Ranau Johnathan Yassin GRS


The present divisions of Sabah is largely inherited from the division of the North Borneo Chartered Company. Following the acquisition of North Borneo under the royal charter issued in 1881, the administrative division introduced by Baron von Overbeck was continued by the establishment of two residences comprising West Coast Residency and East Coast Residency. Seat of the two residents was in Sandakan, where the governor was based. Each resident, in turn, was divided into several provinces managed by a district officer.[note 1][4]

As North Borneo progresses, the number of residencies has increased to five including: Tawau Residency (also known as East Coast Residency), Sandakan Residency, West Coast Residency, Kudat Residency, and Interior Residency; the provinces were initially named after the members of the board: Alcock, Cunlife, Dewhurst, Keppel, Dent, Martin, Elphinstone, Myburgh and Mayne. The senior residents occupied Sandakan and the West Coast, while the other three resident with the second class residencies occupied Interior, East Coast and Kudat. The residents of Sandakan and West Coast were members of the Legislative Council, the Legislative Assembly of the company.[5]

The division into residencies was maintained when North Borneo became a Crown Colony after World War II. On 16 September 1963, with the formation of Malaysia, North Borneo which subsequently became the state of Sabah took over the administrative structure through the Ordinance on Administrative Units. At the same time, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the head of state of Sabah, was authorised by proclamation to divide the state into divisions and districts.[note 2] The abolition of the residency term was in favour of the division term that took place in 1976.[6]

Today, the division has only formal significance and no longer constitutes its own administrative level. The resident's post was also abolished, as Sabah's municipal administration is in the hands of the district officers.

See also


  1. The original position was initially Magistrates-in-charge.
  2. The most recent such proclamation dates from 2009: Administrative Divisions Proclamation 2009.


  • Tregonning, K. G. (1965). A History Of Modern Sabah (North Borneo 1881–1963). University of Malaya Press.


  1. "General Information". Lands and Surveys Department of Sabah. Borneo Trade. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. Frans Welman (9 March 2017). Borneo Trilogy Volume 1: Sabah. Booksmango. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-616-245-078-5.
  3. Danny Wong Tze-Ken (2004). Historical Sabah: The Chinese. Natural History Publications (Borneo). ISBN 978-983-812-104-0.
  4. Tregonning 1965, pp. 51.
  5. Owen Rutter (1922). "British North Borneo - An Account of its History, Resources and Native Tribes". Constable & Company Ltd, London. Internet Archive. p. 157. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  6. "Interpretation and General Clauses Enactment 1963 [Enactment No. 19/1978] — valid from 1 January 1979" (PDF). Sabah State Attorney's General Chambers. 1963. Retrieved 3 November 2017.

Further reading

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