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Mat Salleh started to rebelled the British in 1894. It is when the British began introducing new rules and regulations which makes the villagers felt burden.

The new rules and regulations which had been introduced by British are :
  Practice of forced labor
  Taxing rice and boats
  Tax collection was taken over by British

Mat Salleh started to rebelled when two of Dayak's businessmen were killed by several residents. Mat Salleh also started to rebelled due to the spirit of jihad in Sulu people against Spanish in the southern Philippines.

Haji Otang who was a clerk at Pulau Jambongan complained to British about the killer of Dayak's businessmen were the followers of the chief concerned. He also reported that Mat Salleh seem to be against the British when Mat Salleh still collected taxes from people who sailed on the Sugut River although the job was taken over the Brisith.

Because of the complaint, British issued a directive that Mat Salleh arrested. But, he otherwise appear and defend himself makes British had to released him.

Mat Salleh together with some local leaders from Sugut went to Buli Sim-sim near Sandakan on 17 August 1895. It is to negotiate about tax issues with CV Creagh, the governor of British North Borneo. But, Creagh was not there because he is visiting Darvel Bay. Because of this, British officers who was aware of their visit instead denied them an audience. After two days of waiting, they left and headed back.

When Creagh is back, British officials told Mat Salleh with his entourage came to threaten British. It cause Mat Salleh to be arrested.

But, British failed to find Mat Salleh. It makes ;
  British burned and destroyed Mat Salleh's villages
  Mat Salleh's property was confiscated
  British declared Mat Salleh as the fugitive and the rewards given 500
       dollars to anyone who managed to catch Mat Salleh.

Mat Salleh defend himself by :
 Mat Salleh take up arms and declare war British.
 Mat Salleh was also built several fortresses at Sugut River and Labuk to
      avoid the attack from British. British began to realized about the attack
      from Mat Salleh and then they launched a massive movement to catch Mat
      Salleh. British sent a team which was lead by Raffles Flint but they failed.
 Mat Salleh and his followers from Inanam Mengkabang attacked and
      destroyed police stations and government buildings in Pulau Gaya. The
      attack was succeed.
 Mat Salleh and his followers went to Ranau and built a strong fortress to
      continue the resistance against the British .

British began to plan a strategy to counter-attack and destroy the Mat Salleh's fort.
 They sent colonial forced to attack Mat Salleh's fort on 13th December 1897.
      But, British failed to broke into the fortress.
 British cut off the water supply. It cause Mat Salleh's followers were
      besieged in the fort thirsty and had no energy to resist British soldiers.
      The British then invaded and captured the fort.

In the attack, Mat Salleh's father was killed. But, Mat Salleh managed to save himself. The death of his father caused anger and revenge against British are more fervent. He continued to launched attack and it cause the number of British soldiers killed increased.

The British felt depressed and thinking about the strength and power of fear Mat Salleh . Failure to capture the warrior figures caused them to feel uneasy . Their influence and dignity in Sabah also getting scratched .

Finally in April 1898, the fear of the Mat Salleh lead the British decided to make peace with him. They negotiate with Mat Salleh and British agreed to allowed Mat Salleh to administer the Tambunan district.

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