In the wake of the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that hit Sabah last Friday, many of us may have read about bravery shown by the mountain guides and porters of Mount Kinabalu. Many would have seen the photo of a mountain guide carrying a child that had gone viral and was eventually immortalised in a graffiti. These mountain guides and porters are the real heroes in the tragedy, yet, their life is looking bleak.
As a result of the earthquake, a significant portion of the trail up the peak has been damaged, rendering it unsafe for climbing. Decidedly, it will take some time for these trails to be repaired and various safety checks will have to be performed to ensure that these trails would be fit to welcome climbers again.
None of us know how long this will take. Perhaps only a couple of months, or it may drag on to a year or more.
As the mountain is closed until further notice, it also means that the mountain guides and porters’ livelihoods are also hanging on a thread. As people who make their living almost entirely on Mount Kinabalu, the absence of climbers would ultimately mean an absence of income for these dear heroes. It would indeed be extremely hard to support themselves and their families.
Therefore, it is our duty as fellow humans to help them get through this tragedy. Any contribution we make would help them throughout the next few months until things return to normal at Mount Kinabalu.
"It wasn't just me alone. As far as i know, all the guides went up to help the victims, not one stayed behind. Everyone willingly volunterred and work hard for the sake of the victims. Us guides have never been separated from Mount Kinabalu. But now we've lost our livelihood. And we're currently thinking of what to do next. I'm very worried for those who have children or financial commitments, including myself. And i hope that if it's possible, I hope that those who can help will help us guides. As we're now unemployed, we're willing to work other kind of jobs. I never would have guessed that a picture of me would be painted and my story shared like this. But I helped the victims with a sincere heart and not to gain fame. It is our duty as a mountain guide to help those victims."
- Mhd Rizuan has become the face of Mount Kinabalu mountain guides after the picture of him carrying an injured boy to safety went viral on social media.
It is with a heavy heart to announce that we have lost another one of our mountain guides, Joseph Selungin, age 33, in the wake of Sabah Earthquake that jolted Mt.Kinabalu.
The earthquake that rocked the mountain on the 5th of June, 7:15am triggered landslides along with rocks and boulders that tumbled down, destroying trails and sadly, taking lives. Joseph was found beneath a boulder, in the heroic act of shielding two of his guests. Unfortunately, the three of them didn’t survive.
Joseph was last seen hugging two of his guests, in an attempt to protect them, using his body as a shield, an account related by his fellow mountain guide colleague, Sharulnizam Suhaji. Sharulnizam describes Joseph as an easy-going person with a good heart, soft-spoken and always kind.
Joseph has been a member of our team for almost 2 months. He has brought nothing but good memories and experiences for our fellow climbers. A man of courage and uncompromising thoughtfulness. His good-will and high-spirits will forever be remembered by all the lives he has touched.
Joseph left behind a loving wife, a 4-year old son and a 2-year old daughter. He promised his wife that he will come back to celebrate their wedding anniversary on the 12th of June. Our heartfelt condolences goes out to his family and to those affected.
We will miss you Joseph, you live on in the love you gave, and the laughter you shared, in our thoughts and in our memories, forever.
We are deeply saddened to inform that we have lost one of our mountain guides Robbi Sapinggi due to the unfortunate mishap this morning at Mount Kinabalu. Robbi was accompanying our climber when he got hit by falling rocks.
Despite being injured, Robbi’s only thought was for the welfare of his guest, urging his guest to continue ahead to climb down the mountain to safety. He bravely chose to remain alone and wait for help rather than to put the guest’s life at further risk. Unfortunately, Robbi was unable to make it down the mountain in time to receive proper medical attention and he died due to loss of blood.
Robbi has been a dedicated member of the Mount Kinabalu team for the past two years, and always brought good experiences to our climbers. We received countless reviews about his excellent service throughout his time with us, and we are proud to say that he heroically took care of his guests all the way to the end. His passing is a great loss, not only to his family but also to Sabah Parks and our organization. He will always be our unsung Hero.
Our heartfelt condolences to his family.