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Description: Climbers are told by guides, many of whom are Kadazan Dusun, to treat the mountain with respect and to refrain from shouting, screaming or cursing at it.

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'Naked' climber 'scared and upset'
« on: June 11, 2015, 01:16:03 PM »



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'Naked' climber 'scared and upset'

Arrested Mount Kinabalu 'nudist' is scared and upset, father says


    11 June 2015

  • From the section Derby


Eleanor Hawkins

                        Eleanor Hawkins is among a group of ten people accused of stripping off at the top of Mount Kinabalu


A British woman arrested for allegedly posing naked on Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu is "scared" and "very upset", her father has said.

Eleanor Hawkins, 23, from Derby, is among a group of ten people alleged to have stripped before taking photographs at the peak of the mountain on May 30.

Officials in Malaysia say she could be charged with causing public nuisance.

Timothy Hawkins, who has spoken to his daughter, said the situation should not be "blown out of all proportion".

Mt Kinabalu was hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake last Friday which left 18 people dead, including children.

A senior minister last week said the tourists had angered spirits by showing "disrespect" to the mountain, which is considered sacred by some tribes in Malaysia.

Ms Hawkins and three other western tourists appeared in court on Wednesday to have their remand extended, according to Malaysian newspaper The Star.

They will be held until Saturday while police continue to investigate.

'It's not good'

Mr Hawkins - who said his daughter was "obviously in the photos" - said: "It's fair enough to charge for the misdemeanour committed.

"What we don't want is her lumbered with further charges."

He said he had spoken to his daughter on Wednesday morning, saying she was "okay".

But he said it was "not a situation she's been in before, so it's not good".

In a separate interview with the Guardian newspaper, he said: "I have got every faith in [Malaysia's] judicial system. I just hope they don't make an example of them."

Ranau district police chief Mohd Farhan Lee Abdullah confirmed to the BBC that the authorities had arrested Ms Hawkins at Tawau airport in Sabah on Tuesday.

Two Canadian tourists, who are siblings, and a Dutchman turned themselves in to police on the same day.

Their lawyer, Ronny Cham, told the BBC's Jennifer Pak that he had requested the four be held apart from other detainees in order to ensure their safety.

Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman, Sabah's police commissioner, said officials were still looking for six other tourists from the same group.

The Muslim-majority country is socially conservative, and Mount Kinabalu is considered sacred by Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribe.

Pictures posted on social media angered many in Malaysia, but public sentiment intensified after the earthquake.


Why is Kinabalu sacred?

Malaysias Mount Kinabalu is seen among mists from the Timpohon gate check point a day after the earthquake in Kundasang, a town in the district of Ranau on 6 June 2015
  • Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribe believe the mountain houses the spirits of their dead ancestors.

  • The name Kinabalu is derived from the tribe's phrase "Aki Nabalu", which means resting place of the dead.

  • Climbers are told by guides, many of whom are Kadazan Dusun, to treat the mountain with respect and to refrain from shouting, screaming or cursing at it.

  • Every December the tribe conducts a ritual called the Monolob to appease the spirits and allow climbers to continue visiting the mountain.

  • A priestess, called a Bobolian, makes an offering of seven white chickens accompanied by seven chicken eggs, betel nuts, tobacco, limestone powder, and betel plant leaves. The Bobolian leads a chant and the chickens are then slaughtered, cooked, and given to the ceremony participants.

  • In the past, this ceremony was conducted before every ascent, and climbers used the cooked meat as rations for their journey.


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