The Sarawak Specialists' Society

Philatelic and Postal History of North Borneo and Sabah

Sabah Flag 1963-1981     Sabah Flag 1981-1988     Sabah Flag 1988 to date
Flags of the World by Digibel

August 1881Charter granted to North Borneo Company.
March 1883First North Borneo stamp issued. 1883 2c SG 1
1886Definitve stamps redesigned 1886 10c SG 28
1888Definitve stamps redesigned to include Postage & Revenue 1889 3c SG 39
12th May 1888North Borneo made British Protectorate.
1889First postal card issued
1st January 1891North Borneo entered the Universal Postal Union.
February 1894First pictorial definitive stamps issued. 1894 5c Great Argus Pheasant SG 72
March 1897Definitive stamps redesigned to include Chinese and Jawi inscriptions. 1897 1c SG 92
24th May 1899North Borneo joined Imperial Penny Post.
8th October 1901Definitive stamps overprinted "British Protectorate" 1902 3c SG 129
1st July 1909New definitive stamps issued,
"British Protectorate" incorporated in frame
1909 5c SG 165
1905North Borneo railway completed from Jesselton to Melalap. 1909 3c Railway at Jesselton SG 162
by 13th June 1913Mail car attached to trains from Jesselton to Tenom.
February 1915Murut revolt in Rundum district.
1918Red Cross overprints. 1918 FOUR CENTS surcharge on 16c SG 244
1st January 1939New definitive stamps issued. 1930 $1 SG 315
24th February 1941War Tax 1941 1c WAR TAX SG 318
8th January 1942Jesselton occupied by Japanese. 1944 6c Japanese Occupation SG J24
9th September 1945Japanese surrender
17th December 1945New stamps issued overprinted BMA (British Military Administration) 1945 12c BMA overprint SG 327
5th January 1946British Military Administration established.
15th July 1946British Colony of North Borneo established.
1st September 1947Royal Cypher Overprint 1947 3c Royal Cypher Overprint SG 337
1st July 1950George VI definitives issued. 1950 50c Jesselton (misspelt) Clock Tower SG 366
1st March 1954Queen Elizabeth defiitives issued. 1954 $10 Arms of North Borneo SG 386
1st February 1961Queen Elizabeth defiitives redesigned. 1961 10c Map of North Borneo SG 305
31st August 1963North Borneo became self-governing.
16th September 1963Name changed to Sabah and joined Malaysian Federation.
1st July 1964Queen Elizabeth definitives overprinted Sabah. 1964 25c Sumatran Rhinoceros SG 415
15th November 1965Orchid definitive stamps issued. 1965 6c Orchid SG 427
30th September 1967The name of the capital, Jesselton, changed to Kota Kinabalu.
1st February 1971Butterfly definitive stamps issued. 1971 2c Butterfly SG 433
30th April 1979Flowers definitive stamps issued. 1979 1c SG 445
25th October 1986Agro products definitives issued. 1986 1c Coffee SG 459

More detailed information on the postal history of North Borneo is contained in
Edward Proud's book "The Postal History of British Borneo"