Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia and is also known as Negeri di bawah bayu which means The Land Below The Wind . Former geographic name for Sabah is North Borneo, a British Crown Colony before becoming a state of Federation of Malaysia. Sabah used to be part of the Philippines, but now it is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Situated on the northeast of the island, Sabah is smaller than its sister state, Sarawak. The southern part of the island, called Kalimantan, belongs to Indonesia. The state capital is Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton.
Sabah is generally mountainous, with the Crocker range of central mountains varying in height from about 1,000 metres to 3,000 metres, which at its peak of Mount Kinabalu rises up to 4000 metres, and with several lower ranges of hills near the coasts. These mountains and hills are traversed by an extensive network of river valleys and are in most cases covered with dense rainforest. Over three quarters of the population inhabit the coastal plains. Mount Kinabalu, in central Sabah, is the highest mountain in Malaysia, and second in Southeast Asia.