A vendor outside the Sandakan market. Eastern Sabah. During the early 1870s, the east coast of Sabah was under control of the Sultan of Sulu, who also ruled what is now the southern Philippines. The first European settlement in the area was founded by William Clarke Cowie, a Scottish Glasgow gun smuggler, who was the Sultan's permission to establish a small trading base. Cowie called his establishment Sandakan, which Tausug (Sulu) means "the place that was pawned, but he soon came to be known as" Kampung German "after the large number of Germans who also installed the poles there. The settlement was part of the Austro-Hungarian consul lease Baron von Overbeck acquired from the Sultan of Sulu in 1878. After the lease was purchased by Dent's British partner Alfred von Overbeck, Kampong German was accidentally razed to the ground on 15 June 1879. The new British Resident, William B. Pryer, decided not to rebuild the village but to move to Buli Sim Sim on June 21, 1879. He named his new establishment Elopura, meaning beautiful city. Some years later, the name was changed back to Sandakan. The name Elopura still refer to a region of Sandakan.En 1883, the capital of British North Borneo Company was moved from Kudat to Sandakan. In the mid-thirties, the export of timber from Sandakan reached the record figure of 180,000 cubic meters, making it the port's largest timber-exporting tropical wood in the world. At the height of the timber boom, Sandakan had boasted the highest concentration of millionaires anywhere in the Sandakan tierra.La Japanese occupation during World War II began on January 19, 1942 and lasted until a brigade of the Australian 9th Division released him on October 19, 1945. The Japanese administration restored the Elopura known for the city. One of the many atrocities of the Second World War was the death marches of Sandakan, when Japanese soldiers chose to move about 6,000 POWs in Sandakan 260 kilometers (160 miles) inland to the town of Ranau. Packed with prisoners who did not die on the way to Ranau in unsanitary shacks, with most of those survivors either died of dysentery or were killed by prison guards. When the war ended, Sandakan was completely destroyed in Allied bombing of and partly by the Japanese. Consequently, when North Borneo became British Crown Colony in 1946, the capital was shifted to Jesselton, now known as Kota Kinabalu (often just called "KK" locally). Sandakan port remains second in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu. The port is important for palm oil, snuff, cocoa, coffee, manila hemp and sago exports. Sandakan is also one of bustling cities in East Malaysia. Once the dominant industry of the wood is relatively small now. Tourism is likely to become increasingly important for the future of the city. In recent years, businesses have shifted their operations away from the city center to the suburbs due to the presence of illegal immigrants in the city center. In January 2003, the square of the port of Sandakan, urban renewal project, was launched in an attempt to restore the town center and commercial hub in Sandakan. Provide a new central market and fish market, a shopping mall, and hotels. Should be constructed in three separate phases and is due for completion in 2010. Sandakan residents have had serious problems with electricity and water supply for several decades. These problems have never been solved despite repeated promises during elections. The power fails often if there is a thunderstorm or heavy rain. However, since mid-2007, the blackout has become much less common to follow the completion of the electricity grid in the West-East.