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KOTA KINABALU, June 3, 2015:Apparently the nudists on Sabah’s sacred Mount Kinabalu have left the state. Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun told The Rakyat Post that the 10 backpackers who stripped at the peak of Mount Kinabalu left the state before authorities could get to then. “Gone! The (mountain) guide (accompanying the 10 men and women) only reported the incident three days after the act, by which time they had gone. “(But) Police report has been lodged (against the nudists),” he said in a text message. Masidi noted that there was nothing wrong with the guidelines set for mountain climbers. “But who would reasonably expect, even remotely, that there are people who would go naked on the mountain top with near freezing temperature? “More so when such an incident has never happened before. And had the guide reported the incident immediately, the Sabah Parks rangers would have been waiting for the culprits on their way down,” he said. As such, he advised all mountain guides, or rangers, or any individual, to report such incidents as soon as they can. “Don’t wait even for a single minute to report an incident which can be reported instantly with your mobile,” he said. The group of 10 tourists, believed to include two Canadians, two Dutch and a German national, were butt naked when they posed upon reaching the peak of Mount Kinabalu on the morning of May 29. They had also allegedly called their mountain guide “stupid” and told him to “go to hell” when he attempted to stop them from removing their clothes. Sabah Parks director Dr Jamili Nais said that the guide was in charge of a group of 27 Europeans during an expedition and about 10 from the group, comprising six men and four women, broke away to pose for pictures in South Peak, on the west side of the summit’s plateau. It was reported that five out of the 10 climbers involved in the nude photographs had been identified. Their identities have been withheld, but earlier reports disclosed that the five comprised two Dutch nationals, two Canadians and a German. Several images showing a group of Caucasian-looking adults in various states of undress and posing on Mount Kinabalu were posted on Facebook and went viral through Whatsapp. Sabah Parks director Dr Jamili Nais said they believed this was part of a puzzling travel trend to get naked at world heritage sites and such incidents had been occurring in Machu Picchu in Peru, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, with the latter incident resulting in two American tourists being deported. Although Sabah Parks Enactment did not cover such an offence, Jamili said to prevent such incidents from recurring, they would put up signages at the headquarters and strategic spots warning against such behaviour, as well as include a new clause in the “Dos and Don’ts” briefing by the mountain guides. Mount Kinabalu, part of the Kinabalu Park Unesco World Heritage Site, is sacred to the locals, some of whom deem it the final resting place of their ancestors. The local Dusun community still holds yearly sacrificial rituals to appease the spirits and asks for permission for the safety of their climbers.

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