“When the Cobbold Commission was about to visit Kudat, Mustapha gave me $250 and told me to gather villagers to come to the place where the hearings were to be held. He then told me to distribute 50 cents to each of them and to instruct them to shout “KAMI MAHU MALAYSIA!” He knew North Borneo could not do much on its own then, his mastermind, paved the way for independence of North Borneo, and now Sabah”

~ Datu Salam Datu Harun


Tun Datu Haji Mustapha bin Datu Harun was the founding father of independence in Sabah who led the negotiations of the formation of Malaysia in 1963. This prominent figure was also a Freedom Fighter during World War II, Sabah’s 1st Head of State and the 3rd Chief Minister.

Tun Mustapha was one of the prominent figures who paved the way of independence for the state once called the Colony of North Borneo.

The Mustapha Galleria was established at the former Sabah State Legislative Assembly Building. The objective of the Tun Mustapha Gallery, established in 2006, is to pay tribute to his outstanding achievements.

This gallery chronicles the events of his visionary life, offers detailed artefacts of his triumphs through various displays and detailed write ups.

Visitors are tantalized by the modernistic approach of the gallery, a benchmark for the museums in Sabah.

The gallery showcases many personal items, such as Tun Mustapha’s suits, a torn golfing hat, as well as his violin collections that once even saved his life during the Japanese occupation. It also exhibits a comprehensive display of his empire during Sabah’s progression going from British Protectorate to Crown Colony and finally to being granted self-governance by the British.

After the independence of Sabah, Tun unified the diverse cultural groups of the State and won Sabah’s first General Elections, becoming Sabah’s 3rd Chief Minister. He strived to develop infrastructure and education in the state and ensured close integration with West Malaysia

Yayasan Sabah

The biggest contribution to the state is the set-up of Yayasan Sabah in 1966, with the vision “A Dynamic, People Oriented, Caring and Committed Organization”.

This foundation aims to elevate the living and education standards in Sabah. A detail description is also available in the gallery with an interactive kiosk providing information and photographs.

The Tun Mustapha Gallery is located at the Podium Level of the Menara Tun Mustapha (Sabah Foundation Building) in Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu.  It’s the tall, cylindrical building visible from the city.

A souvenir shop, specialising in local handicrafts that are inspired by local community such as VinusakRinago and various ethnic motifs, can be found at the base of the building.

Several momentous of Tun Mustapha such as mugs, T-shirts and even in-house manufactured bottles of drinking water, are also available for sale. It is open 8:30am to 5:00pm on Monday to Friday.

The Tun Mustapha Building and Gallery is yet another place where to experience some of Sabah’s richer cultural heritage and history.

Contact us for more information about how to include a visit to the Tun Mustapha Building and Gallery in your dream Borneo holiday.