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Lahad Datu

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Title: Lahad Datu  
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Subject: Sabah, 2013 in Malaysia, Eastern Sabah Security Command, In the news/Candidates/March 2013, Malaysia Federal Route 13 (Sabah)
Collection: Populated Places in Sabah
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Lahad Datu

Lahad Datu
District and Town
A view of Lahad Datu town.
A view of Lahad Datu town.
Location of Lahad Datu
Lahad Datu is located in Borneo Topography
Lahad Datu
Country  Malaysia
State  Sabah
Division Tawau
Population (2010)
 • Total 199,830

Lahad Datu is a town and district located in Tawau Division, in the east of Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It occupies the peninsula on the north side of Darvel Bay. Its population was estimated to be around 199,830 in 2010.[1] Lahad Datu is surrounded by stretches of cocoa and oil palm plantations. It is also an important timber exporting port. The town has an airport for domestic flights.


  • History 1
    • Filipino intrusion 1.1
  • Economy 2
  • Tourism 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Tobacco Estate in Lahad Datu during the British period.

A settlement is believed to have existed here in the 15th century, as excavations have unearthed Ming dynasty Chinese ceramics. Just east of Lahad Datu is the village of Tunku, a notorious base for pirates and slave traders in the 19th century.[2]

Based on a jawi manuscript in the Idahan language dated 1408 A.D, it is believed that Islam was first introduced to Malaysia in Sabah. The jawi manuscript gives an account of an Ida'an man named Abdullah in Darvel Bay who embraced Islam.

Filipino intrusion

On 23 September 1985, 15-20 armed foreign pirates landed on this town, killing at least 21 people and injuring 11 others.[3][4]

On 11 February 2013, several armed Filipino supporters of the Sultanate of Sulu, calling themselves the Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, arrived in Lahad Datu district and occupied the village of Tanduo. They were sent by Jamalul Kiram III, a claimant to the throne of the sultanate. His stated goal is to assert the Philippine territorial claim to eastern Sabah as part of the North Borneo dispute.[5][6][7] In response, Malaysian security forces surrounded the village. After several negotiations with the group and by the Philippine and Malaysian governments to reach a peaceful solution were unsuccessful, the standoff escalated into an armed conflict which ends with 68 of the self-proclaimed Sultanate followers died and the others been captured by the Malaysian authorities.[8][9][10] The Malaysian side also suffers 10 life lost because of the conflict with most of them are the security forces including other two civilians.[11][12]


A palm oil plantation in Lahad Datu, palm oil has become the main economic source for the town.
Lahad Datu Central Market.

Lahad Datu also has several palm oil refineries. The Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) is located near the Lahad Datu Port and received its first vessel on 1 March 2013.[13] It consists of 1,150 acres (5 km2) of land developed (with a centralised bulking facility and a jetty, currently under construction, which will have a draft of 20 meters, making it one of the few deep sea ports in the world) specifically for palm oil downstream industries. To date, 18 companies have bought land in POIC with 8 companies involved in the production of palm biodiesel. POIC is a wholly state-owned company under the purview of the Ministry of Industrial Development. Its chairman is the current minister, Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin and the chief executive officer is Mr.Wong Yu Chin (ASDK,BSK).


Some tourism attraction in the district such as Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and the Madai Caves.


  1. ^ "Total population by ethnic group, administrative district and state, Malaysia, 2010" ( 
  2. ^ Oxford Business Group. The Report: Sabah 2011. Oxford Business Group. pp. 12–.  
  3. ^ "Lahad Datu Recalls Its Blackest Monday".  
  4. ^ Masayuki Doi (30 October 1985). "Filipino pirates wreak havoc in a Malaysian island paradise".  
  5. ^ "Heirs of Sultan of Sulu pursue Sabah claim on their own".  
  6. ^ Michael Lim Ubac; Dona Z. Pazzibugan (3 March 2013). "No surrender, we stay". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Jethro Mullen (15 February 2013). "Filipino group on Borneo claims to represent sultanate, Malaysia says".  
  8. ^ M. Jegathesan (5 March 2013). "Malaysia attacks Filipinos to end Sabah siege". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Lahad Datu: Malaysian security forces in all out attack against Sulu gunmen".  
  10. ^ "Lahad Datu: Sabah CPO - No halt to Ops Daulat until Sulu terrorists are flushed out". The Star. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kronologi pencerobohon Lahad Datu" (in Malay).  
  12. ^ "Dakwaan anggota tentera terbunuh hanya taktik musuh - Panglima Tentera Darat" (in Malay). Astro Awani. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Maiden Voyage into POIC Port" (PDF). POIC Sabah Sdn. Bhd. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 

External links

  • (Malay) Lahad Datu District Office

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