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First Overland from Sabah to Sarawak by 4×4

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 23 July 2020

The team that recce’d the upcoming Sabah Sarawak Overland expedition

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Four off-road clubs from Sabah and Sarawak will join forces in October to organise a 4×4 expedition to link Sabah and Sarawak for the first time by land without crossing Brunei.

This off-road track – 580 km — from Lawas to Miri in Sarawak will be the pilot for the first overland route between Sabah and Sarawak.

Mostly they don’t believe in long pants but they certainly wear sturdy shoes

With no intention to disrespect Brunei, Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak have for a long time wanted to visit each other directly, without a delay in Brunei.

The idea of presenting your passport for 8 times to drive from Sabah – Brunei – Sarawak and vice-versa will be unimaginable for most Peninsula Malaysians who can travel from Johore Bahru at the southern tip of the Asian continent to Padang Besar, the northern border with Thailand, in a seamless 840 km and 9 hours.

A typical communal camp architecture for a 4×4 recce group of five or less trucks.

But such are the vagaries of geography and customs and immigration boundaries.

Of immediate concern though is the BND3.00 entry fee that Brunei will impose starting 1 August when all citizens, residents and foreigners travelling through land checkpoints in Brunei must pay exit and entry charges known as ‘Caj Perkhidmatan’ (CaP), which is BND3 per person for a one-way trip and BND6 per person for a return trip.

This is one of the rivers that will be crossed especially on Day 2

Coordinating the three clubs and the route is Robert Kamijan, a veteran of Anuar Ghani’s Trans-Borneo starting in 1988 and currently a contractor in the telco fibre-optic industry.

“We’ll be using timber tracks and using the orientation that former Federal Works Minister, Baru Bian, had proposed for an overland route bypassing Brunei,” said Kamijan, 53.

“The route is a combination of timber tracks mostly on Samling’s timber concessions with no more active logging as well as tracks for the companies servicing the Petronas gas pipeline from Bintulu to Kimanis,” he added.

“It’s going to be a tough 4D3N trip from 29 October because it’s going to be the raining season. There’s also the terrain to consider. We’ll have to head up to the mountain ranges of the Interior Division to avoid the Temburung appendix of Brunei, cross some impressive rivers in the Limbang Division.

“It’s going to be like the Selukut Hills,” he said, benchmarking an epic 4×4 expedition in northern and central Kalimantan last year.

The group of 33 trucks will comprise of four groups:

  1. Trooper Invader D-Max (TID) Club organised by Hillary “Ali Boy” Francis
  2. Kota Marudu 4×4 Club organised by Yap Nan Tien
  3. Lawas 4×4 Club
  4. G6 Ranau 4×4 club organised by Ruby Rudolfo
  5. Double Zero is the zero truck driven by Robert Kamijan

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