All 182 unnamed Sabah islands given names


KOTA KINABALU: All the 182 previously unnamed islands in Sabah have been gazetted and given names to avoid other countries staking claim on them, according to Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) deputy director Ahmad Fauzi Nordin.

He said this brought the official number of islands within the state’s territory to 394.

“The naming of the islands has been completed and the State Cabinet will be notified before it is presented at their meeting,’ he said.

“Sabah has the largest number of islands in the country and is one of the most active states in naming islands and other geographical features,” he said at a state level seminar on Geographical Names here, yesterday.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said all the remaining unnamed islands in the country will be gazetted by June 2011.

Based on JUPEM’s statistics, he said Malaysia has a total 878 islands and there are still about 100 of them in the peninsular which have yet to be named.

“The islands need to be named and gazetted quickly before other countries stake a claim on them. This is important as any country can claim the boundaries of their territorial waters up to a 200-nautical mile radius from an island, including its economic resources,” he said after officiating at the seminar..

Apart from islands, Malaysia also has 510 geographical features including rocks, sandbanks and ridges.