KOTA KINABALU: Mount Sinsing, straddled along the Crocker Range, is now officially the third-highest mountain in Malaysia.
Standing at a height of 2,586m in Sabah's interior Tambunan district, Mount Sinsing is the third highest after Mount Kinabalu (4,095m) and Mount Trus Madi (2,642m) both of which are part of the Crocker Range.
The little-known Mount Sinsing, within the Nuluhon Trusmadi Forest Reserve under the management of the Tambunan District Forestry Office, is part of the Sustainable Forest Management Project (FMU10).
The height of the mountain became a subject of interest in 2018 when amateurs using the Global Positioning System (GPS) determined the height of the mountain to be 2,603m, ousting its neighbour Mount Tambuyukon (2,579m) from the third spot.
However, it remained unofficial until earlier this month when the Sabah Forestry Department carried out an expedition to ascertain the official height of Mount Sinsing.
A team from the Sandakan-based Forest Research Centre in Sepilok, together with members from the Persatuan Komuniti Kg Nupakan set out to get a more accurate height measurement of Mount Sinsing, using the more sophisticated Stonex S900A Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver.
Height data was recorded over a four-hour period on May 10, 2023.
The observation data were then sent to a licensed surveying company for processing to officially establish the height of the mountain in Mean Sea Level (msl).
Using this methodology, the height of the summit of Mt Sinsing was found to be 2,586m, putting it officially in its position as the third tallest mountain in Malaysia and also Borneo.
Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Frederick Kugan said that the Forestry Department will continue its endeavours to protect areas of interest, such as Sinsing.
The second tallest mountain in Malaysia, Mount Trus Madi (2,642 m), is located adjacent to Mt Sinsing, which is also under the management of FMU10, covering an area of 88,401ha.
"Due to their elevations, these montane forests are home to many unique flora and fauna, some of which are not found elsewhere," he said.
Through the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative under the Sabah Forestry Department, he said, an in-house scientific expedition was organised from May 14-20, 2023, to survey the flora, fauna and socio-economics of the local communities living adjacent to the forest reserves.