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District and Town
Kudat Sabah PusatBandar-09.jpg
Location of Kudat
Kudat is located in Borneo Topography
Coordinates: 6°53′N 116°50′E / 6.883°N 116.833°E / 6.883; 116.833Coordinates: 6°53′N 116°50′E / 6.883°N 116.833°E / 6.883; 116.833
Country  Malaysia
State  Sabah
Division Kudat
 • Commissioner Sebastian Lim
Population (2000)
 • Total 68,242
Website www.sabah.gov.my/pd.kdt

Kudat is a town in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the northern tip of Borneo island. It serves as the administrative center for the Kudat Division, which includes the towns of Kudat, Pitas, Kota Marudu, and some offshore islands.

Kudat is located on the northern part of Sabah, some 190 kilometres (120 mi) north of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital. On the west, it faces the South China Sea, and on the east the Sulu Sea.

Kudat in the 1890s.

Kudat's population (2000) was 68,242. The ethnic composition is mainly Rungus, a sub-group of the indigenous Kadazan. About 10% of the population is ethnic Chinese (predominantly Hakka Chinese) and there are minorities of Bajau, Bugis, Ubian, Suluk, Dusun, Murut, and Malay. However, there is also a considerable number of unregistered illegal immigrants from the nearby Philippines, notably from the Sulu regions and Mindanao.

The town was founded by A H Everett of the British North Borneo Company on December 7, 1881 to be the first capital of British North Borneo, due to its strategic geographic location. However, after being repeatedly raided by Bajau, Sulu and Illanun pirates, in 1883 the capital was shifted to the more secure port of Sandakan, on the east coast.

It is not a well known location for foreign visitors, however, there is a notable modern beach resort near the town, Kudat Golf & Marina Resort, which offer good foods and accommodation. The resort and the adjoining golf course was built on reclaimed land done in 70s by the then Chief Minister of Sabah Tun Datu Mustapha. The late Tun Mustapha was from Limau-limauan, a village across the bay from Kudat town. The golf club is the oldest golf club in Borneo, Kudat Golf Club, founded in 1906, currently a 18 holes par 72 championship course. Other attractions include tours to nearby Rungus longhouses, where traditional brass gongs are made, and where honey is produced and to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, the northernmost point on the island of Borneo.

During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army built and maintained an air field here. The airfield was built by locals and forced labour from Java, Indonesia using coral stones as base. Many Indonesian died from disease and hunger. In 1945, B25 bombers of the United States Far East Air Force repeatedly bombed the air field and put it out of action. The current airfield (Kudat Airport), is operated by Malaysia Airport Berhad is built on part of the former military air field.

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