KENINGAU: The government has approved an allocation of RM1.025 million to finance the relocation project of the Oath Stone or Batu Sumpah that is currently placed in front of the Keningau District Office.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said a strategic location had been identified to place the oath stone that would facilitate the public and tourists to visit and view the historical stone, which was also a major landmark in the area.
"The project is categorised under the Second Rolling Plan (RP2) of the 11th Malaysia Plan, that include works such as relocation of the oath stone, road construction, historical wall, and the provision of parking space," he said.
He told reporters this after launching the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) 1Malaysia Voluntourism Plant A Tree and the Visit Keningau 2018, at the Waisan Museum near here today.
Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
The Oath Stone is of historical importance, not only for Keningau and Sabah, its presence is closely linked to the formation of Malaysia.
The stone was officiated by Labour Minister V. Manickavasagam, on Aug 31, 1964, and witnessed by Sabah Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens representing the United Kadazan National Organisation (UNKO) and senior government officials and heads of the local native population in front of the old Keningau district office at the time.
Elaborating, Mohamed Nazri said the state government through the Sabah Museum Department would gazette the Oath Stone as a Cultural Heritage under the State Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment 1997, once the relocation works are completed.
"The Tourism and Culture ministry, through the National Heritage Department would also submit an application to the state government to gazette the Oath Stone as a Heritage Object under Section 49 of the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645)," he said. - BERNAMA