Sabah (previously known as British North Borneo) occupies the whole of the northern portion of the island of Borneo, covering an area of 76, 115 square kilometres. Its immediate neighbours are Brunei, Sarawak and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). From 1882 to 1942, Sabah was administered by the British North Borneo (Chartered) Company. The territory possessed three main attractions: its timber, its reputed minerals and its land. Timber has now grown to be amajor export commodity, second only to petroleum. With the exception of deposits of coal and some gold, economic resources of other sought-after minerals were not proven during the period. The land proved to be the most valuable asset. Many crops were experimented with: tobacco, sugar cane, coffee, coconuts and rubber and they laid the basis for the economic development of the territory. The expansion of these crops was largely assisted by the introduction of a modern transport system which supplemented the original means of communication, the rivers. The railway in particular provided the impetus for the rubber boom on the west coast. In turn, this resulted in the emergence of an export-oriented economy, specializing in rubber, timber, copra and tobacco. From 1942, Sabah was occupied by the Japanese until its liberation in 1945. After a brief period under military administration, it became a British Colony in 1946. Under colonial rule from 1946 to 1963 the previous pattern of economic exploitation continued.