History of Kudat
In 1752,a British fleet took temporary control of Manila from the colonial Spanish, and released the imprisoned Sultan of Sulu.In graitude, he gave the British control of part of the northern coast of Borneo, together with Banggi and Balambangan islands.
Alexander Dalrymple, an Englishman who had visited Balambangan, conceived the idea of developing the island as a staging post for Britian's developing trade with China.However,the East India Company refused to meet Dalrymple's demands for total control over the settlement, as well as a commission on all cargo, so John Herbert was appointed chief of Britian's first Southeast Asian trading post.
The Discovery of oil by Franz Witti (an explorer hired by the British North Borneo Chartered company) in the region known as Kampung Minyak was perhaps one of the reasons why the Company chose Kudat as the site for their first settlement.
A group of British landed in the area near the present location of Kudat town in December 1881, together with some Brunei Malays, and began clearing the land. The following year, The Borneo North Borneo Chartered Company officially established Kudat as the headquarters of their new settlement, which they named British North Borneo.
When the British first arrived, the Chief of the Rungus community was Temenggung Kurantud. Datu Harun(father of the late Tun Mustapha Harun, who became a Chief Minister of Sabah) represented the Muslim community, most of them descendants of Bajau, Illanun and Suluks originally from the southern Philipines.They signed an agreement of cooperation with the British representatives of the Chartered Company, who promised to bring development and prosperity to the region.