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Borneo, North. North Borneo is ethnologically part of the southern Philippines. Although the Spanish touched the region in the 16th cent., it was not until Alexander Dalrymple's expedition of 1759 that it was connected to the outside world. The East India Company opened and closed several settlements and, in 1846, Labuan was occupied as a crown colony. In 1877 the British North Borneo Company began to move inland and, effectively, to establish a government. The Japanese invasion of 1941–2 ended this informal arrangement and eventually led to crown colony status in 1946. Representative government and membership of the Malaysian Federation followed in 1963.

David Anthony Washbrook