Pray For Sabah

8:43 AM

Magnificent view from the peak of Mount Kinabalu (courtesy of Dr AR Jamal)

Its been five days since an earthquake jolted Sabah. While there has been significant damage towards infrastructures in Ranau district, the most devastating aftermath of the quake is the lost of lives. At the time of writing, 12 people lost their lives up on Mount Kinabalu. Six of the casualties were school children from Singapore. They were supposed to have the time of their lives climbing up Mount Kinabalu; the tallest mountain in South East Asia. No one expected a disaster like this to happen. It may not be the first earthquake to have happened in Sabah but the effect may be the most severe.

In the midst of this disaster, stories of the heroic actions of the mountain guides of Mount Kinabalu surfaces. Mountain guides Robbi Sapinggi, Valerian Joannes, Tom Ricky Raymond Masarin, Joseph Salgin and Muhammad Daanish Amran risked their lives to save other climbers. Without teacher; Loo Jian Liang Terrence some of the kids might have not survived. They deserve to be remembered as heroes. The SAR team deserves to be commended too. Despite the outcry of their slow response, working in a terrain like Kundasang can be really difficult. The SAR team need to acclimatize to the altitude. A clear sky may look like the weather is good, but at that altitude, a clear sky may indicate that the clouds and thick fog have been blown off by strong winds. Strong winds and helicopters don't make a good combination. What was badly needed though is a better coordination among the agencies involved.

However, it is sad to see some Malaysians being disrespectful to the people of Sabah by posting some uncalled for comments on social media. It is also unfortunate to have some rescue personnel posting gory pictures of the victims on social media for the sake of 'likes' and making it 'viral'. I have no idea why someone would do such a thing. Perhaps when their families or themselves die in the same manner they would want pictures of their bodies being shared to the public. I plead to the public, especially my readers;

PLEASE DO NOT SHARE PHOTOS OF THE VICTIM'S BODIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Please respect the victims and their families.

If you wish to contribute to the families of the mountain guides that lost their lives, please do so by contacting Persatuan Malim Gunung Kinabalu Ranau Sabah (Pemangkina).


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