|Bukit Tengkorak in Semporna Sabah|
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin said the RM4.2 million project by the National Heritage Department was aimed at preserving the historical site which showed the area's civilisation, besides boosting the State's tourism industry.
"The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry fully supports all efforts taken by the National Heritage Department to increase awareness and appreciation of historical sites and buildings.
"Historical sites and monuments will continue to be preserved and protected in line with the National Heritage Act 2005," he said during the handing-over of the completed Bukit Tengkorak development project site.
Earlier, National Heritage Department commissioner Prof. Emeritus Datin Paduka Zuraina Majid said Bukit Tengkorak was one of the sites in Sabah's east coast with the highest prehistoric value.
She said other areas of interest to the department were Mansuli in Lahad Datu and Tingkayu in Kunak.
Meanwhile, Sabah Museum Department Director Datuk Pounis Guntavid said the department would start filling up the foyer of the site's main building with prehistoric artefacts found in the surrounding areas.
He said Bukit Tengkorak was an important archaeological site in Malaysia and South-East Asia, situated 500 feet above sea level.
The hill, he said, was a volcanic rock cave and formed part of the rim of a 2km-wide volcanic crater, surrounded by numerous isolated hills and mountains.
Pounis said researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia's Malaysian Archaeological Research Centre, conducted a study with the Sabah Museum Department since 1994 and found pieces of porcelain, stone equipment and food remnants from various marine species aged over 3,000 years.
How to get there
As usual, if you are coming from Kota Kinabalu, you can fly into Lahad Datu and from Lahad Datu, board a bus to Semporna town. In Semporna you hire a taxi to Bukit Tengkorak.
Alternatively, from Kota Kinabalu city centre, you may go to Bus Terminal in Inanam town and board a bus to Semporna Sabah. It is more time consuming (8-12 hours journey) but a cheaper alternative.