The highway southeast out of KK claws its way up onto the ridges of the Crocker mountain range, passing Gunung Alab (1964m). The mountains separate the state’s west coast and the swampy Klias Peninsula from the area christened the interior in the days of the Chartered Company. The former isolation of this sparsely populated region ended at the start of the twentieth century, when a rail line was built between Jesselton (modern-day KK) and Tenom to transport the raw materials being produced by the region’s thriving rubber industry.

Today, oil-palm cultivation takes precedence, though the Kadazan/Dusun and Murut peoples still cultivate rice, maize and cocoa.

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