Human Search Engine for Keningau

KOTA KINABALU: Away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the quaint little town of Keningau, which will be getting a unique new portal named Ask Kenny Ngow.
The portal, to be introduced by the Tourism and Culture Ministry, was a human search engine programme which would see the involvement of all locals in Keningau promoting the district via social media.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Nazri Aziz urged the people and all tourism promoters to tell the world about this district through the Crocker Range with all its Instagram-worthy panoramic views during the launch of Visit Keningau Year 2018.

The district, home to more than 200,000 people mainly of Murut and Dusun ethnicity, was the oldest and largest town in the interiors of Sabah.

Nazri said the district was rich in culture and history.

“It is multicultural in terms of its people, food, traditional costumes, music and handicrafts as well as historical sites including the Batu Sumpah monolith, Heritage Museum and war memorial stone, and these are valuable tourism assets,” he said.

Earlier, Nazri planted a cinnamon tree to mark the launch of the campaign as well as the district’s first plant a tree programme, part of the 1Malaysia Voluntourism initiative to encourage locals to preserve the environment.

“This plant a tree programme is part of efforts to promote Keningau as the ‘Hinterland Gem of North Borneo’ and as a new tourism destination in the interiors of Sabah,” he said, adding that a total of 15 cinnamon trees were planted at the event.

The cinnamon tree was selected because decades ago, cinnamon (Koningou in the local language) was the main source of income for the people in Keningau and this was how the district got its name.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has come up with a new tour package focusing on places to visit from Kota Kinabalu to Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom, all along the Crocker Range.
MATTA president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat said one of the reasons they want to promote Keningau and its surrounding districts was because of the potential there.

“In Keningau, there are some attractive and historical places to visit,” he said.

He said tourism and travelling was more than just going to one main city, it was also about knowing the history such as the Batu Sumpah monolith and to see for themselves what they have read in the textbooks.

MATTA vice-president (inbound and domestic) Datuk Tan Kok Liang said among the other attractions in Keningau were Mount Trusmadi, which is an alternative to Mount Kinabalu.

“After the June 5 earthquake in 2015, tour agents started promoting Mount Trusmadi more and more people have been coming here now,’’ he said.

There are many more places to visit along the way from Kota Kinabalu to Keningau, such as the Rafflesia Centre, Sinurambi Tambunan Viewing Point, cattle farm and several camp sites.