Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sabah Road

Climbing to Keningau
Few years ago, I always hear people said that, we Sabahans are 'orang bukit' or hill/mountain people. And most of us hate that. But, it is quite real. It is actually a great realm.

Maybe we do not concern about how our journey begins or ends. It is always the concern about the slopes we are about to climb uphill or downhill. The explanation goes like this: Ranau - Tamparuli road has further kilometers but at decent slope percent. The road was built at connecting hill peaks and hill contours. While Kota Kinabalu - Keningau has a shorter kilometer, but the road slopes are extremely 'freaked me out', with labels of 11% to 19% hill slopes.

As far as I can remember, most of the roads in Malaysia are built on a plain terrain. In Peninsula Malaysia, even there are some built at hills and mountains, but these roads are not used regularly. Perhaps some freaky road climb uphill all the way to Genting or Cameron Highland, but that is not as freaky as here in Sabah. Sarawak is granted with plain terrain on its coastal land which all the business are at, while drawn away from the Crocker Range at the interior part. So, their road networks are quite common.

Poor Sabah!

Another road peaks. Extreme conventional driving. Kota Kinabalu - Keningau
So sad that our buses have to drive along these peaks. Gear dropped to 1. Kota Kinabalu - Keningau.

Weird landscape view. Keningau - Tambunan.

Typical Sabah houses. Keningau - Tambunan.
Long queue. How to overtake cars/buses when you are driving along the hill contours? Ranau - Tamparuli

There are some matters arising about the roads since then. Landslide maybe the worst case. Whenever the bad weather shows up, the rain fall will slice the hill and slump of soil block the road. Worst, if the road concrete slab itself sliced and carried away to the valleys. I remembered an incident, during our journey from Tambunan to Ranau, when I woke up and look outside. I could see the hill foot directly down the valley, as we drove just next to the landslide, three or four times.

Papar road view.

So, I come up with some recommendations.

Firstly, upgrade the road from Kota Kinabalu to Kimanis / Sipitang. In the near future, they will be an industrial site which provide homes and occupations for thousands.

Secondly, upgrade the road from Ranau to Tamparuli/Kota Kinabalu. This even require bigger sacrification of cutting the hills all the way down to some acceptable elevation. Tunnel construction should be a necessary option. Expand and add more lanes. In the future, West and East Sabah will be very dependable to each other. Domestic trading will see the exchange of agriculture and tourism products from the east, and industrial, manufacturing products from the west. Sabah west sea ( Laut Cina Selatan ) will partially closed from food industry due to oil and gas activity. So, most of the sea resources will come from the east such as Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau.

Third, upgrade the road from Kota Kinabalu to Keningau. The interior part of Sabah definitely provide most of the agriculture and tourism needs too. * please change that road at the peak to a tunnel.

Fourth, upgrade the road from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat. Since we are upgrading the road networks around Sabah. Besides, they will uphold the wind farm fame one day.

* a vast state, but they say we are poor. Why don't we introduce a new policy, 1 meter square land gives RM1. Wasted land.

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