Sneha Girap


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Country  Malaysia
Population  370,000 (2006)
University  SM Teknik Tawau
Area  55.9 km2
State  Sabah
Founded  1893

Tawau ( Jawi: ??????, Chinese: ; pinyin: ) formerly known as Tawao, is the third-largest town in Sabah, after Kota Kinabalu City and Sandakan, and lies on the south-eastern coast of Borneo in Malaysia. It is the administrative centre of Tawau Division which is bordered by the Sulu Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south at Cowie Bay and shares a border with East Kalimantan (now North Kalimantan). The town had an estimated population as of 2010 of 113,809, while the whole municipality area had a population of 397,673.


Map of Tawau

Before the founding of Tawau, the region around it was the subject of dispute between the British and Dutch spheres of influence. In 1893, the first British merchant vessel sailed into Tawau, marking the opening of the towns sea port. In 1898, the British set up a settlement in Tawau. The British North Borneo Chartered Company (BNBC) accelerated growth of the settlements population by encouraging the immigration of Chinese. Consequent to the Japanese occupation of North Borneo, the Allied forces bombed the town, in mid-1944, razing it to the ground. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, 2,900 Japanese soldiers in Tawau became prisoners of war and were transferred to Jesselton. Tawau was rebuilt after the war and by the end of 1947 the economy was restored back into its pre-war status. Tawau was also the main point of conflict during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation from 1963 to 1966. During that time, it was garrisoned by the British Special Boats Section, and guarded by Australian Destroyers and combat aircraft. In December 1963, Tawau was bombed twice by Indonesia and shootings occurred across the Tawau-Sebatik Island international border. Indonesians were found trying to poison the towns water supply. In January 1965, a curfew was imposed to prevent Indonesian attackers from making contact with Indonesians living in the town. While in June 1965, another attempted invasion by the Indonesian forces was repelled by bombardment by an Australian Destroyer. Military conflict finally ended in December 1966.

Mabul island & tawau, sabah trip with feiran group

Among the tourist attractions in Tawau are: The Tawau International Cultural Festival, Tawau Bell Tower, Japanese War Cemetery, Confrontation Memorial, Teck Guan Cocoa Museum, Tawau Hills National Park, Bukit Gemok, and Tawau Tanjung Markets. The main economic activities of the town are: timber, cocoa, oil palm plantations, and prawn farming.

Tawau street workout bar6t9 training session


Tawau in the past, History of Tawau

Like most of part of Borneo, this area was once under the influence of the Bruneian Empire in the 15th century before been ceded to the Sultanate of Sulu between 1600s and 1700s as a gift for helping the Bruneian forces during a civil war that happened in Brunei. The name Tawao was used on a nautical charts by 1857, and there is evidence of a settlement by 1879. The East India Company had establish a trading post in Borneo, though there was no significant activity by the Dutch on the east coast. In 1846, Netherlands formed a treaty with the Sultan of Bulungan, where the latter assured the Dutch control of the area. When the Dutch began to operate in 1867, the Sultan married his son to the daughter of the Sultan of Tarakan. Around this time, the Dutch sphere of influence reached the Tawao. They controlled the area north of Tawao, overlapping an area controlled by the Sultan of Sulu.

Tawau in the past, History of Tawau

In 1878, Sultanate of Sulu sold the southern part of his land bounded by the Sibuco River to a Austro-Hungarian consul Baron von Overbeck, who later tried to sold the territory to the Kingdom of Italy for use as a penal colony but failed, leaving Alfred Dent to manage and establishing the British North Borneo Chartered Company (BNBC). The BNBC negotiated in the 1880s with the Dutch for a definition of a boundary between the area conferred by the Sultan of Sulu and the area that the Dutch claimed from Sultan of Bulungan to settle a dispute that arising from the unknown exact location of the real border between the territory that was held by the Sultanate of Sulu and the Sultanate of Bulungan. On 20 January 1891, a final agreement was reached on a line along 4° 10 north latitude - on the central division of the Sebatik Island. In the early 1890s, approximately 200 people lived in the Tawao settlement, mostly immigrants from Bulungan in Kalimantan, and some from Tawi-Tawi who had fled from Dutch and Spanish rule. The settlement was renamed from Tawao to Tawau. Most of those who fled from the Dutch colonisation continued trading with the Dutch. In 1893, a British vessel S.S. Normanhurst sailed into Tawau with a cargo to trade. In 1898, the British built a settlement which later grew rapidly when the BNBC sponsored the migration of Chinese to Tawau.

On 16 December 1941, during World War II, the Japanese invasion of Borneo began. After the first landing in Miri, the Japanese moved along the coastline of Borneo from the oil fields of Kuching and towards Jesselton. Life in Tawau continued as usual until 24 January 1942 when the Japanese were sighted off Batu Tinagat. The district officer Cole Adams and his assistant were expecting an attack at the shipyard but were instead arrested by the Japanese. The Allies began counterattacking the Japanese in mid-1944 with the bombing of Tawau. From 13 April 1945, six massive air strikes were made on town, concentrating on the port facilities. The last and largest of these attacks was on 1 May 1945 when 19 B-24 bombers bombed Tawau until it was completely razed to the ground. After an unconditional surrender of the 37th Japanese Army under Lieutenant General Masao Baba in mid-September at Labuan, 1,100 Australian soldiers in Sandakan under the command of Lt. Col. JA England marched into the Japanese bases at Tawau. A total of 2,900 Japanese soldiers of the 370th battalion under Major Sugasaki Moriyuki were taken as prisoners of war and transferred to Jesselton.

At the end of the war, the town had been largely destroyed by bombing and fire; the Bell tower was the only intact pre-war structure. Tawau quickly recovered. Though almost all the shops were destroyed, a report by The British North Borneo Annual Report in 1947 wrote that "the pre-war economy was largely made towards the end of 1947". In the first six months post-war, the British rebuilt 170 shops and commercial buildings. By 1 July 1947, subsidies for the purchase of rice and flour were introduced.


Tawau Beautiful Landscapes of Tawau

Tawau is on the south-east coast of Sabah surround by the Sulu Sea in the east, Celebes Sea to the south and shares a border with East Kalimantan (now North Kalimantan). The town is approximately 1,904 kilometres from the Malaysias capital, Kuala Lumpur and is 540 kilometres south-east of Kota Kinabalu. The main town area is divided into three sections named Sabindo, Fajar and Tawau Lama (Old Tawau). Sabindo is a plaza, Fajar is a commercial area while Tawau Lama is the original part of Tawau. Almost 70% of the area surrounding Tawau is either high hills or mountainous.


As of 1993, there were 40 timber-processing plants and a number of sawmills. Tawaus Port is a major export and import gateway for timber especially from North Kalimantan. A barter trade has been formalised between East Kalimantan (now North Kalimantan) and Sabah with the creation of Tawau Barter Trade Association (BATS) in 1993. The association handles the cash-based trade of raw materials from Indonesia, but in recent years has focussed on timber industry. Other than timber, since British rule ended exports have traditionally been spices, cocoa and tobacco. Birds nests are harvested at Baturong, Sengarung, Tepadung and Madai Caves by the Idaan community. Tawau is one of the top cocoa producers in Malaysia, and the world together with Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia. The town is the cocoa capital for both in Sabah and Malaysia. Cocoa production is mostly concentrated in the interior, north of the town, while palm oil production is concentrated along the roads to Merotai, Brantian, Semporna and Kunak. Both cocoa and palm oil are part of the large agriculture sector that has become the main income producer for the town.

Culture and leisure

Tawau Culture of Tawau

The Tawau International Cultural Festival is an annual event, first held in 2011, that has been promoted for its potential to attract tourists. The Tawau Bell Tower in the towns park was built by the Japanese in 1921 shortly after World War I to mark the close allied relations between Japan and Great Britain. Other historical attractions include the Japanese War Cemetery, Confrontation Memorial, the Public Service Memorial and the Twin Town Memorial. Tawau is one of the top cocoa production centres in Malaysia. The Teck Guan Cocoa Museum has became one of the important historical attractions for the town since it was founded in the 1970s by Datuk Seri Panglima Hong Teck Guan. Varieties of cocoa products including chocolate jam and hot cocoa beverages are sold in the museum.

Tawau Culture of Tawau

Tawau has nearby conservation areas and areas set aside for leisure. The Tawau Hills National Park has picnic areas, a vast camping site, and cabins. It is 24 kilometres (15 miles) from Tawau and is accessible by road. Bukit Gemok (also known as Fat Hill) is an approximately 428-metre (1,404 ft) hill about 11 km (7 mi) from the town. It is part of the 4.45-square-kilometre (1.72 sq mi) Bukit Gemok Forest Reserve, which was declared a forest reserve in 1984. Tawau Harbour is used as a transit point to islands near the town including Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, and Indonesian islands including southern Sebatik, Tarakan and Nunukan.

The main shopping area in Tawau is the Eastern Plaza located at Mile 1 on Jalan Kuhara. It was built in 2005, completed in 2008 and opened in May 2009. The complex has three levels of car parking with 476 covered and 49 surface parking bays. Sabindo Plaza was opened in January 1999 and is known as the first shopping centre built in Tawau. There is a market that runs alongside Jalan Dunlop. The Tawau Tanjung Market was established in 1999. Since then, it has expanded to house 6,000 stalls and is known as the largest indoor market in Malaysia.

The town has a sport complex with badminton, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, and two stadiums for hockey and football. In 2014, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced formation of a National Sports Institute (ISN) in Tawau. It will be the third sports satellite centre in Sabah once completed in 2015. A cross-border sporting event was held in 2014 between the town and Nunukan in Indonesia. It has been proposed to be repeated annually to strengthen ties between the towns.

Live seafood at tawau borneo

Malaysian makan aja roti john the best malaysian food makan aja in malaysia


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