SIPITANG TRULY BORNEO
Sipitang is in the Interior Division of Sabah, Malaysia, is a border town just north of Sarawak and Brunei. Its population is estimated to be more than 50,000 comprising predominantly Kadayan, Lundayeh/Lun Bawang, Murut and Brunei Malay communities. The town is located some 144km from Kota Kinabalu accessible on paved road.
Its development was propelled 35 years ago when Sabah’s first pulp and paper mill (Sabah Forest Industries – SFI) was set up by Sabah state government which is located about 10km from the town.
In just over 35 years, Sipitang grown from a seaside fishing settlement with just one row of wooden shop houses to a bustling town with now notably more commercial centres, library, hospital, hotel, motel and homestay accommodations.
More visitors and locals are taking time to appreciate the ambiance of the seaside Bay of Brunei located in the town with its refreshing Esplanade, with added options of exploring the Crocker Range townships of Tenom and Keningau up hill.
Sipitang is also known as the gateway to the pristine areas around remote native settlement of Long Pasia, Long Mio, Maligan, Ulu Bole and many villages in the heath forest with scenic views.
Pan Borneo Highway Sabah is a multi-billion ringgit Federal Government’s project to upgrade road connectivity thus bringing the State to a higher level in terms of socio-economic development. This will further improved road links between Kota Kinabalu to Sipitang and various part of the state.
Further cementing Sipitang’s industrialisation is the massive 1,200ha Sabah Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP) that includes what is soon to be Malaysia’s largest urea and ammonia producer. Sabah Ammonia Urea Project (SAMUR) is located 15km from the town.
Sipitang, as a nascent tourism destination, is growing in reputation for seasonal fruits such as kembayau, durian, mangosteen, tarap to name a few, and all year-round state best satay food galore, even before the current Pan Borneo Highway Project was initiated. After its expected completion, Sipitang’s annual Fruit Festival and weekly Tamu Besar will see more visitors from other places as compare presently.
The future looks rosy and more visitors and locals will be staying awhile if not longer in Sipitang with its charms and potential.