SMS Sabah

Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah (English: Sabah Science Secondary School; abbreviated SMESH) is a fully residential school established in Malaysian state of Sabah. As the first fully residential school in East Malaysia and the 27th of its kind in Malaysia,[1] SMESH was previously known as Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Sabah (SBPS). SMESH was established in 1978 but became fully operational on 1 January 1984. It has a 16-acre (65,000 m2) permanent campus in Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu. Due to the unsafe state of the campus, SMESH is temporarily operated in a temporary campus in Tuaran.[2]

Sabah Science Secondary School
Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah
Kampus Lama IPG Kent, Jalan Bolong


School typeFully Residential School
High Performance School
MottoTeguh, Setia, Budi
("Strength, Loyalty, Morality")
Established1 January 1984 (1984-01-01)
School codeHC 4039
PrincipalHj. Zaini Zair
Staff55 (academic)
20 (non-academic)
GradesForm 1 to Form 5
Enrolment467 (2016)
Classes4 (Alpha, Beta, Cygma and Delta) for each Form
Classes offeredGeneral knowledge and science
LanguageMalay, English, Arabic, Japanese and French
Houses     Tun Ahmad Raffae
     Tun Datu Mustapha
     Tun Said Keruak
     Tun Fuad Stephens

Front entrance of the school


The idea of having a fully residential school in Sabah was initiated in 1970s. Although SBPS was established in 1978, SBPS started its operation on 1 January 1984 under the leadership of its Founding Principal, Mohd. Radzwan Mohd. Yusof with the assistance of one teacher, Abd Halim Ismail. The first group of SBPS students were enrolled on 26 May 1984. SBPS was renamed as SMESH by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on 12 April 1997. Prior to 2011, SMESH was made a Smart School and a Cluster of Excellence School.

On 26 May 2011, Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin declared SMESH a High Performance School.[3] As such, SMESH was given considerable autonomy powers from MOE. For many years, including in 2018, SMESH was ranked the best secondary school in Sabah based on public examination results achieved by students and the school.[4] In 2014, SMESH became the second best school in Malaysia based on Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 2013 results.[5]

In 2015, Ministry of Works declared the permanent campus of SMESH in Kota Kinabalu unsafe. Consequently, SMESH was relocated to Tuaran.[2][6] The old campus of Kent Teaching Education Institute was set up as the temporary campus of SMESH at the end of 2015.

In March 2018, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid announced that RM 72 million was provided rebuild the permanent campus under Najib Government.[2] Assistant Minister of State Jimmy Wong later revealed, in July 2018, that the real cost of rebuilding the permanent campus is RM 74.2 million and that the project is still at pre-implementation level.[7]

In July 2018, SMESH was selected as the second school in Malaysia and the first in Sabah to go cashless by MobilityOne.[8]


SMESH is led by a senior-grade Principal appointed by MOE. He is later assisted by a Management Council comprising all three Vice Principals and four Head of Departments.

Since the inception of SBPS/SMESH in 1984, six Principals took the helm of the school.[1] Zaini Zair is the Principal of SMESH since 2008. The following principals preceded him:

  • 1984-1987: Mohd. Radzwan Mohd. Yusof
  • 1987-1994: Adnan Ibrahim
  • 1994-1996: Abbas Awang
  • 1997-2005: Wahid Kapal
  • 2005-2008: Rossminah Yamin


In accordance with the status of SMESH as a top school in Sabah, SMESH was equipped with completed facilities. the permanent campus of SMESH has a main hall, four science labs, three workshops, a computer lab, a sports complex, a Muslim prayer hall and two blocks of student accommodation. In addition to Internet access points installed at strategic places around the school, students were given permission to bring own laptops to the school under a set of terms and conditions set by the school.


Since 1984, SMESH has recorded numerous achievements at various fields and levels. In academic, SMESH was made the best school in Sabah for 2018 based on SPM 2017 results.[4] In co-curricular activities, SMESH has been the top school in district-level Interschool Sports Championship. SMESH also received a gold medal in Fully Residential School International Symposium, the recent being in 2018. In administration and finance, SMESH was given a clean audit by the Auditor General.


Since 1984, SMESH has produced hundreds of notable alumni. One of them has been Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis who is Member of Parliament for Kota Belud and Deputy Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment since 2018.


  1. "Sejarah". Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah, Class of 1994. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  2. Bungga, Fardy (1 March 2018). "RM 72 juta bina semula SMS Bukit Padang". Berita Harian (in Malay). Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  3. "Nine more schools awarded HPS status". The Star. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  4. "Better quality SPM results: Dept". Daily Express. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  5. "2nd best SPM position". Daily Express. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  6. Bagang, Eric (14 February 2017). "Ex-students of Sabah's first fully residential school want it rebuilt". New Sabah Times. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. Tambanan, John (5 July 2018). "Kerajaan Persekutuan laksana dua kategori projek di Luyang". Utusan Borneo (Sabah) (in Malay). Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  8. "SM Sains first Sabah school to go cashless". Daily Express. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

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