MALAYSIA – Naked tourists blamed for Malaysia earthquake
KUALA LUMPUR –– Police in Malaysia have arrested four foreigners believed to have been part of a group of tourists who stripped naked at the summit of Mount Kinabalu, according to Bernama, Malaysia’s official news agency.
The arrested tourists were two Canadian brothers, a Dutch woman and a British woman aged between 20 and 33, said Jalauddin Abdul Rahman, police commissioner in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.
The British woman was arrested by police at Tawau Airport yesterday as she was about to leave for the capital Kuala Lumpur, Bernama reported.
The other three turned themselves in yesterday evening.
A local magistrates’ court said they would be held for four days while the “obscene act” that took place the mountain was investigated.
The suspects could face up to three months in jail or a fine if convicted.
The mountain was shaken by an earthquake Friday in which at least 16 people were killed.
The indigenous people of Sabah believe the tourists’ behaviour on May 30, deemed disrespectful of local culture, angered the spirit of the mountain and was the reason for the earthquake, Bernama reported.
The tourists names were not released.
CNN attempted to reach the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sabah’s deputy chief minister yesterday for comment, without success.
Jalauddin said police were still looking for the other tourists who stripped on the mountain.
Among those killed Friday were several students and at least one teacher from a primary school in Singapore who were on a trip to Mount Kinabalu when the magnitude-6.0 quake struck.
Many made it out alive –– including 167 climbers helped to safety by mountain guides, Malaysia’s fire and rescue department said Sunday.
The UNESCO-listed Mount Kinabalu National Park –– including the namesake peak, which rises to 4,095 metres above sea level –– is a geographic jewel in Malaysian Borneo.
It’s so popular that visitors have to book two to three months in advance to secure one of 196 daily allocated hiking permits.