Former British colony, occupying the northeast portion of the island of Borneo in the Malay Archipelago. The area of North Borneo was ruled by the sultans of Brunei from the 16th century, until the reigning sultan ceded it to American and British traders in 1872. In 1881 the British North Borneo Company was established to administer the region. 

North Borneo was occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945, and after its reoccupation by Britain, it was reorganized as a colony. Renamed Sabah, British North Borneo joined with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form the Malaysian Federation in 1963.

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