Two states are on the island of Borneo, and the remaining one federal territory consists of islands offshore of Borneo; they are collectively referred to as Sabah and Sarawak East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo.
Formerly part of Sabah, In 1984 it was separated from Sabah and given the status of a federal territory. With her free port status, Labuan, economically speaking was a ‘sleeping beauty’ with growth taking place after becoming a Federal Territory. The population of Labuan is about 78,000 comprising of 41,900 males and 36,100 females. Malay – 24,400, Chinese – 9,400, Indian – 900, with Other races – 20,900, and Foreigners – 22,400.
Though Sabah is among the most expensive places in South East Asia, the land has much to offer. Sabah is primarily mountainous. Oil as well as mineral resources makes the state an important player in the Malaysian economy. another important economic product is timber Though Islam is practiced by Malays and Bajau, Christianity is also more widespread here with adherents from the Kadazan. With a population of about 1.25 million, here the Malays are a real minority with only 8%, 63% are from various indigenous ethnic groups and the remainder are from other groups, primarily Indians and Chinese. the predominant ethnic group being the Kadazan Dusun (18.4%) followed by Bajau (17.3%) and Malays (15.3%)
The largest Malaysian state, it has a population of about 2.3 million with 40% living in the 3 big cities of Kuching Sibu and Miri. The remainder of the population lives in the countryside or in the jungle. The economy of the state is mainly oil and gas, timber and peper. Islam is not very widespread and is limited mostly to the large towns. In the interior, many of the people are Christians and some still practicing Animism’. The predominant ethnic group in Census 2000 was the Ibans which accounted for 30.1% of the state’s total Malaysian citizens followed by the Chinese (26.7%) and Malays (23.0%)