Wednesday, March 02, 2011

'Centre of Sabah' to be next tourism destination

KOTA KINABALU: The geographical Centre of Sabah, a project undertaken by the Sabah Chapter of the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM), has the potential to be promoted as a tourism product.

“From the Tip of Borneo to the Centre of Sabah, it will provide the most gruelling adventure race in the world,” said Robert Cheng, the ISM Sabah project manager, who is also the Assistant Director of Land and Survey Department.

According to Cheng, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is the best body to package it. STB chairman Dato Seri Tengku Adlin Zainal Abidin had recently suggested to the surveyors to work closely with the Sabah Forestry Department and the Wildlife Department to identify the biodiversity of the location so as to attract tourists interested in the flora and fauna.

The coordinates of the point that is determined to be geographical Centre of Sabah is at Latitude 117 degree 7 minute 01.8 second East and Longitude 5 degree +20 minute 38.4 second North which is on a hilltop of the Pinangah Forest Reserve near Telupid.

On May 2009, the ISM Sabah team, led by its then chairman, Alexander Chong, set out to locate and mark the actual point. However, this site is 237m away from the determined point by mathematical calculation, i.e. at Latitude 117 degree 07 minute 10.545 second East and Longitude 5 degree 20 minute 42.752 second North.

“It was then shifted as the actual point was located on a steep hill slope where access is difficult and options for construction of tourism facilities were limited,” explained Cheng.

As this is the first project of its kind in Malaysia, the process moved at a snail’s pace. The Department of Surveying and Mapping was requested to come up with a mathematical calculation.

“In theory,” Cheng said, “if you thread a string through the centre of a cut-out cardboard map of Sabah, the cardboard should hang flat in the balance. This is how the Centre is pinpointed.”

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: 'Centre of Sabah' to be next tourism destination

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