KUNDASANG, June 7, 2015:
The search and rescue teams will begin their ”mopping-up” operations tomorrow as the last three bodies and two bags of body parts were taken down from Mount Kinabalu today.
They hope to search the areas to look for.more body parts.
With that, the total death toll now stands at 16, with two still unaccounted for. Another one was taken out of the missing persons’ list after he was found alive and well. He had returned home to Kuala Lumpur.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said they were not in a position to inform who the body parts belonged to as their condition was beyond recognition.
“What we are doing now is to find and check whether the body parts found belong to previous victims or are new victims, or whether they belong to one person or more.
“Physically it may be impossible to identify.”
He assured that no efforts would be spared during the operations until everyone had been accounted for and the operation team would make sure everyone and all those affected in the tragedy were found.
Meanwhile, Masidi said a special ritual to appease the spirits on Mount Kinabalu would be carried out soon.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that prayer sessions should be done in an inter-faith manner.
“This means the Muslims will do their prayers, so will the Christians and Buddhists,” Masidi said, adding that they had yet to set a date for the inter-faith mass praying session.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that he had informed Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association executive secretary Dr Benedict Topin to coordinate it.
“Dr Benedict will propose a date for it to be held and I will discuss with Datuk Masidi on whether it can be done on that day.”
Pairin disclosed that Bobolian Amman Sirom, the local priestess, had proposed a date, but it coincided with the second day of the State Assembly sitting, which would be from July 6- 8.
In another development, Masidi said the authorities were compiling names of mountain guides who risked their lives to ensure survivors reached safe ground.
“They will be given appropriate recognition for their efforts in the search and rescue operation.”