Page 1 of 3
Establishment Of Putatan
There are many versions to the story regarding the original location of Putatan District Office. The village elders had identified Kampung Lok Bonu, located across Sungai Dumpil, as the original site. In fact, records in the Putatan Kini had shown that the estuaries of Sungai Dumpil and Sungai Putatan had converged at one point in time. It was believed that the original location of Putatan District Office was on a piece of land near Sungai Dumpil belonging to Pengiran Muda Damit Tajuddin Pengiran Muda Hashim. According to history, the land shared a common border with Tanah Tulen Dumpil Meruntum belonging to Pangeran Anak Untung Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hussin Kamaluddin (the 16th.Brunei Sultan). At that time, Kampung Lok Bonu faced similar situation as that of Kampung Hulu Putatan and Kampung Hulu Seberang Putatan whereby Sungai Putatan flowed between the two villages. In the case of the former, it was Sungai Dumpil which flowed into the village. This had resulted in the division of Kampung Lok Bonu whereby a part of the settlement was located in the Tanah Tulen Dumpil Meruntum area and the other on the land belonging to Pengiran Muda Damit Tajuddin.
During the colonial period (through North Borneo Chartered Company), the British had acquired lands in Sabah including the lands owned by Pengiran Muda Damit Tajuddin and the administration of Putatan District in Kampung Lok Bonu. The British renamed Putatan administrative area as Putat Town, in view of the abundance of putat trees. Apparently, the putat trees were planted as fences surrounding the administrative centre in Lok Bonu. The trees had flourished which prompted the British Resident to name its territory after the tree. However, the British had left untouched, part of Kampung Lok Bonu located in the Tanah Tulen Dumpil Meruntum area.
To date, no documented proof to support the claim that Tanah Tulen Dumpil Meruntum was ever leased, rented or surrendered to the British or Borneo government at that time, could be uncovered in the Sabah State Archive, National Archive of Malaysia or National Archives in the United Kingdom. As such, the Tanah Tulen Dumpil Meruntum had remained unchanged until today. Based on historical records, the present town of Putatan in Penampang, Sabah, which is the economic centre of 36 villages including Kampung Sailan, Kampong Ketiau, Kampung Sepanggil and other villages, is located at a different place. Presently, the small town is located south of the state capital, covering an area of 79.17 square kilometres. Putatan was officially declared a grade V sub-district on 1 January 1997 by the then Chief Minister of Sabah, YAB Datuk Yong Teck Lee. (KK6: 2 August, 2010)