The Interior Division is an administrative division of the state of Sabah. It occupies the southwest portion of Sabah, bordered by the neighbouring state of Sarawak on its west. With an area of 18,298 square kilometres, it covers 24.9% of Sabah’s territory and is home to approximately 14.7% of Sabah’s total population. The largest town in the Interior Division is Keningau. Other main towns in this division include Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Tambunan, Nabawan and Tenom.
“Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0”
Keningau (3,533 square km) is the capital of the Keningau District in the Interior Division of Sabah. Located in a valley bordered to the west by the Crocker Range and to the south and east by the Mount Trus Madi. It is the fifth-largest town in Sabah and one of the oldest with an estimated population of 173,130. It consists of 90% of Dusun and Murut, as well as an estimate of 8% Hakka Chinese population and various minority indigenous groups. The name Keningau is derived from the locally-abundant Javanese cinnamon tree ( Cinnamomum burmannii ) which is locally known as ‘Koningau’.
During the early years of the 20th Century, Keningau was one of the most important administrative centres for the British North Borneo. This town was also made as government centre by Japanese during their occupation in the 2nd World War. Keningau town is divided into two – Keningau 1 (on the south, a vibrant commercial district with some historical shophouses and Keningau 2 (north side, also called New Town where new houses and Keningau hospital are located as well as shopping malls, school & shops.
Interesting Places in Keningau
CROCKER RANGE PARK
The park covers 1,399 km² and was open in 2004, making it the largest park in Sabah. The park consists of hill and montane forest, with many species of flora and fauna endemic to Borneo. Maintenance of this forest cover is essential to ensuring a pure water supply for many of the towns and communities in Sabah. The park provides an ideal place for meetings, camping, jungle trekking courses and outdoor educational activities. There are at least five species of primates found in the park, such as orang-utans, gibbons, furry tarsierxs, and sociable long-tailed macaques.
Facilities include an exhibition centre, insectarium, fernarium, observation tower, and trekking trail.
Getting There by Road
1 hour 43 min (98.1 km) from Kota Kinabalu via Jalan Keningau Kimanis.