Ethnics, Cultures & Religions

Of lately there are many things to be worried about in Sabah, personal safety among them; mugging on the streets, knock by fast driving cars due to bad roads and bad drivers, fear of attack by Abu Sayap’s men from Southern Philippines.

No laughing matters if you are living in the east coast of Sabah. With the continued threat from the pirates, kidnapping and extorting foreigners and local businessmen alike, no amount of assurance could sooth the anxiety.

If anyone says I am wrong, why on earth ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) is still having curfew everyday from dusk to dawn, surely life is not as usual.

While security forces preoccupied with human made disaster from Suluk’s pirates insurgency, Sabah yet again faced with more frightening natural disaster, the earthquake, two months ago Sabah was hit by big flood.

On 5th of June, Mount Kinabalu (120 km from the State capital) was rattled by earthquake killed 18 people and injured several.

Many buildings cracked and dislocated. It’s the biggest tremor that Sabah has ever experienced (with the magnitude of 6.00 RS)

Five days earlier ten young tourists from England, Canada and Holland stripped naked; ladies threw their bras and panties on the air at the altitude of more than 3,000 meters above the sea level. They were oblivious of the surroundings, in particular their cultural differences.

Mount Kinabalu is a sacred place; their doing angered the guardian of the mountain, Aki Nabalu, resulted to earthquake. Or it was claimed

Of course many of us wonder, assuming there were no strippers in the mountain would it mean no earthquake? This is why I say, this earthquake was not ordinary earthquake because of that, Briton, Canadian and Dutch were jailed.

Do not get misled though; the Session Court at Kota Kinabalu, Dean Wayne Daly made it clear, no nexus to link to the earthquake with those stripping naked. They were brought to the court of law because of their indecent behaviour or rather nuisance.

In Phnom Penh November 2014, three American tourists were charged in Court for taking cheeky pictures at an ancient temple of Angkor Watt by showing their bottoms. An incident at Mount Kinabalu was in fact not an isolated case by any means.

I somehow admire their acceptance of their wrong doing, in the case of Eleanor Grace Hawkins, she and her parents appeared in the UK press and Sky News in London apologising to Sabah people on behalf of their daughter.

Yet, one thing bothered me; fair enough for European, Americans and Canadians alike, as they are not familiar with our cultures, but when Malaysian themselves have little empathy, like one YB who made a statement in media, asserting his scientific and religious belief.

I do not dispute the logic of his argument, but presenting it in the manner which could be construed as intolerable to people who have been practising their culture for hundreds years is not proper. He knows what multiethnic, multi religious and multicultural society mean, yet insensitive, when he should be comforting the families and relatives of the victims. He can leave talking about his expertise to some other time at the right venue.

I am also not amused by the way the authorities managed the crisis. They should now take stock and learnt as quickly as possible from this earthquake.

Our people in charge of security have not experienced in confronting phenomena like this. They lack of self-motivation and creativity.

They rather spent their time merrily chatting in their Smartphone, moving from one place to another sitting under a tree at the foot of the mountain, when they should be looking for ideas to anticipate the worse situation. Time is the essence.

When asked why they were lazing around which over 100 people were trapped on the mountain, their responses were, they were waiting for instructions.

But can we not see that the mountain guides with minimum gears carried the injured climbers down on their backs without waiting for instructions when no helicopter was coming by 4pm-10 hours after the earthquake struck!
Millions worldwide have read an article written by an Australian, about how the authorities responded when their lives were at
cliff-hanger. In the end the guides decided they had to act on their own.

Three days after the earthquake, nine helicopters landed escorting Prime Minister in Kundasang while during the earthquake only four helicopters around!

Crisis like this must be properly managed, bottle necks must be reduced, people responsible must be innovate after all, this is to do with life and death situation
Our leaders have this attitudinal problem.

When public complained they become defensive and apologists. Nothing is wrong complaining or praising but not to the extent of making all people look stupid, these days people know the different between doing for good deeds and pure politicking.

This warmonger attitude, which has been around for sometime must be erased; it’s bad culture for us all.



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