Come Back Home (Updated)

Am sure you’ve read or at least heard about the #SabahQuake up in Mount Kinabalu, and that some of our own are involved.

The press conference earlier seemed to point to bad news for the students and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) who are still unaccounted for, but guess they won’t reveal the identities until the bodies have been identified and families notified.

Did you see how treacherous the climb and trek is? What with the risk of aftershocks and rocks that might still befall the climbers stuck on Mount Kinabalu.

Sharing some pics that I’d gotten from HERE,

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Not sure how true, though I’m inclined to believe that it’s true. There’s talk that the Sabahan authorities in Malaysia didn’t act quickly enough after the quake happened yesterday morning. And they also didn’t try hard enough.

It appears that the mountain guides, porters and park rangers decided not to wait and took it upon themselves to go help the climbers who were stuck. (Trans in the comments of post below)

Also read that the weather conditions were bad this today (heavy fog) and so they couldn’t use the helicopter.  At least for a period of time during the day today. This means that the injured (and even dead) would have to be carried down by the rescue team. And they had to do it quickly too, before sunset.

 

And one of our own was found and rescued. It was mountain guide Ridwan Mhd Rizuan Kauninin who had carried the boy on his back down to receive medical attention. (Found out that I’d gotten his name wrong yesterday, and do read more about the rescue HERE.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Got some pics from HERE.

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The mother of this Singapore son from TKPS had also expressed her gratitude to the rescue team.

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These are really the #UnsungHeroes. After all, no one has said anything about paying them whatsoever, and they really don’t have to risk their own necks to go up there. Big respect!

Am sooooo… touched! #FaithinHumanityRestored!

 

I also came across a post that’s terribly upsetting, but I’ve no way of verifying if the claims are true. It’s apparently penned by an Aussie woman climber who had survived the quake. Her internet access was intermittent and she wanted her friends to help share and spread her post so that the media would report what really happened on-ground.

Know what? If true, then the people-in-charge have blood on their hands.

Let’s hope the truth gets out.

 

PM Lee has also shared his prayer and thoughts about this unfortunate incident.

In fact, not just him. Many ministers, MPs, personalities and yes, ordinary folks like you and me, too, are saddened and concerned about this.

Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat, too, has been updating the developments on Facebook. And I’ve read that he had also met the families of the affected students yesterday and also sent them off as they flew to Sabah early this morning.

The latest news that’s coming through is that they’ve recovered some bodies. I’m almost afraid to check the news now.

 

And… did you read about how the Sabah deputy Chief Minister and in fact, quite a number of Sabahans have come out to say that THE QUAKE WAS BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE TOURISTS WHO HAD STRIPPED NAKED At MOUNT KINABALU?

You can read more about this story HERE and check out the pics HERE.

Guess for most of us, our first and natural reaction to reading something like this would be to laugh or scoff at the idea.

C’mon, what century is this already?! Why would anyone think that some disrespectful and annoying exhibitionists doing a full monty would bring about an earthquake?!

 

I’ll confess. Although I didn’t laugh, I did think it was ridiculous.

Until I read this. And I think you should too.

This IS a different perspective.

I took a step back and reflect a little. And oh my, I feel nearly ashamed of myself. So utterly inconsiderate, insensitive and disrespectful I had been.

Like I’d said on FB, of course I still don’t believe that the #Sabah #Earthquake was caused by those foreigners who had stripped naked at Mount Kinabalu and even released a series of naked photos, but I think I can understand why the Sabahans are upset.

Travelers are mere ignorant tourists if we fail to appreciate the differences between the locals and us, and if we fail to respect differences between cultures.

 

And mind you, the Sabahans are hardly the only ones who attach spiritual significance to their mountains.

In Shintoism, mountains are believed to be the dwelling places of spirits. So it’s hardly surprising that in Japan, Mount Fuji is sacred to the goddess Sengen-Sama and an embodiment of the very spirit of nature.

The Koreans, too, believe in san-shin (山神), which are essentially guardian spirits residing in mountains.

Anyway, we’re adults, and we’re expected to know when it’s appropriate to keep our clothes on or off. If unsure, those people should have just stayed home.

Those tourists are apparently still in Sabah, and various media outlets have reported that THEY WILL BE STOPPED FROM LEAVING UNTIL INVESTIGATIONS ARE OVER. You can also click HERE for more details.

Well, I think even if the causal effect ain’t real, the disrespect was.

 

And oh, since I’ve already been urging you to read this and that, I might as well add this too. This is from the mother of one of the students who had participated in the same leadership course last year.

 

Gonna leave you with Come Back Home by 2NE1, which was also played a lot during the SEWOL INCIDENT IN SOUTH KOREA.

 

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