Borneo earthquake

Jun 7th, 2015, 04:14 AM
  #1  
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Borneo earthquake

Just seen the TV news about the quake in Sabah around Mt. Kinabalu
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/0...0OM09M20150606

13 dead and some still missing mostly people climbing the mountain.
We were there only a few weeks ago to do some hiking around the park. We did climb to the summit a few years ago so I can imagine only too well how terrifying it must have been for those climbing the mountain. Our thoughts are with the families of those affected.

There does seem to be an awful lot of quakes and eruptions this last year!
crellston is offline  
Jun 7th, 2015, 08:43 AM
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Yes, I read about that as well. I thought you had recently been there. Very sad.


It does seem like more earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and such than usual.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 8th, 2015, 07:15 AM
  #3  
rje
 
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The sadness is compounded by the ridiculous decision to prosecute a group of silly tourists who took photos of themselves nude on that mountain, because that act angered the mountain, according to a Malaysian Deputy Chief Minister. He said this made them responsible for the deaths that ensued.

They now say they will charge the five tourists in a Malaysian court. The tourists aren’t allowed to leave the country until the case is resolved.

Apparently taking nude or semi-nude photos after climbing a mountain is a "thing" that people do and then post it to social media.
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Jun 8th, 2015, 05:34 PM
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rje,

What strikes me about this, is that apparently in this case it has something to do with religious offence, and there's an assumption that the tourists should have known better. What's not known is whether this is widely known, clearly marked, that kind of thing. What this makes me think of is the case of the American kid who spat on a sidewalk in Singapore years ago and got caned for it. When you're in Rome.....

A piece of me has little patience for the kinds of shenanigans that insult countries like this, although it's not about being a prude- it has everything to do with recognizing the conservative nature of many of these cultures and the sanctity of their landmarks. They may very well believe such an insult caused the earthquake. I have no idea. What I do know is that the lack of cultural sensitivity is intolerable, and researching first, asking first, understanding what is appropriate all go a long way towards preventing ill will. And, for that matter, in at least one case, a public caning.

One has to wonder who's being less tolerant, the Deputy Chief Minister, or the stupid tourists who posed nude on his mountain? Respect goes a long way. We're all guests when we travel and in this case, my opinion is that the guests were rude. But then, that's just an opinion.
jhubbel is offline  
Jun 8th, 2015, 10:32 PM
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Of course they didn't course the earthquake but why is it a "ridiculous decision" to prosecute them? These idiots stripped naked in a public place and one which is considered sacred by the indigenous people. When we climbed the mountain years ago were were very solemnly warned by several local people to "show respect" to the mountain.

Surely visitors should respect the standards and customs when visiting any country. I can only imagine the furore that would result if these people turned up in London, New York or Paris and did the same thing at certain locations.

So they get they get inconvenienced and have to stay in the country until it is sorted out. Great! Hopefully they will learn a valuable lesson in respect and it will send a message to others who want to add to this puerile trend.

When reached the summit I relished the moment as one of my all time best travel experiences and got a terrific sense of achievement watching the beautiful sunrise at 4000 metres. I really don't think the sight of someone's bare backside would have added to the experience.

You are correct, rje, that it is a "thing" that is increasing in popularity on social networking. The Cambodians prosecuted some people at Angkor Wat a couple of times this year. Can't see it catching on with fodorites though - at least I hope not
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Jun 9th, 2015, 05:26 AM
  #6  
rje
 
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Clearly the tourists acted in a disrespectful manner. Perhaps a fine could have been imposed. But then the Malaysian official opened his mouth and lost the moral high ground.

For a government official to blame them for the tragic deaths brought on by an act of nature is to me far more shameful than the stupid antics of the tourists. In addition to furthering ignorance of science within Malaysia, he also helps inflame xenophobia at a time when tension between Muslims and "the west" is already increasing. Malaysia's reputation has already suffered from recent actions. It is a shame that this government official in Malaysia is making things worse.
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Jun 9th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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While blaming the earthquake on the tourists is silly, I agree that many Western tourists are clueless about the cultures of the places they visit and do many things that cause offense.

jhubbel, the American kid living in Singapore who got caned had spray painted a parked Mercedes, not spat on a sidewalk.
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Jun 9th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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rje, as we know politicians are prone to making ridiculous statements. But don't confuse his angry statement with the level of scientific literacy in Malaysia. I am concerned with the xenophobia, not just in Malaysia, but in the US and Western Europe and... and... and...
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Jun 9th, 2015, 08:49 AM
  #9  
rje
 
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Yes, there is foolishness and stupidity all over the world. I believe people visiting other countries are in a similar situation to being guests in a home, and should behave accordingly. And it goes without saying that there other incidents in the world worthy of dismay. But my remarks were about one incident. As someone who became fond of Malaysia after visiting, it pained me to see their government representative inflict harm on the nation yet again. This is not the first time Malaysia has been in the news for anti-science stances.

I would merely be shaking my head if it was only his statement in isolation. But this isn't just a foolish statement by a politician. It is official government confirmation to those less educated that disrespect to their culture can cause deadly retribution from nature. Another win for ignorance. Not a good message to send when government should instead be doing all it can to help educate people so they can be lifted out of poverty and help the nation compete in the global marketplace.

Should they go forward with a trial that includes blame for the earthquake, it will only further damage Malaysia. But hopefully cooler heads in government will prevail.
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Jun 9th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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Sorry rje I am confused. Your original post seemed mainly to criticise the prosecution as in "The sadness is compounded by the ridiculous decision to prosecute a group of silly tourists who took photos of themselves nude on that mountain". Now your argument seems to be against the politician promoting ignorance? Of course, no one would expect a politcian anywhere in world to spout such nonsense at any time but they do - constantly. A remark such as this can hardly be taken as government policy and I share your hope that cooler heads will prevail as I am sure they will.

Malaysia has a reasonably sophisticated legal system and is arguably a lot fairer and unbiased than some western nations I could think of. I might be wrong, but I doubt there is a specific law against offending the mountain gods so it is unlikely they will be prosecuted for this. More likely they will be charged with offending public decency as they should.
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Jun 9th, 2015, 06:07 PM
  #11  
rje
 
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Crellston, it appears that my initial post was unclear. The rest of my sentence read "because that act angered the mountain, according to a Malaysian Deputy Chief Minister." My intent wasn't to say that the tourists shouldn't be prosecuted for their nudity (if it is illegal on that mountain), but instead was that it would be sad to have the tragedy of the earthquake turned into a farce by a prosecution for the crime of angering the mountain. I had read some news stories shortly after this broke linking the detainment of the tourists to a prosecution that might include some sort of culpability for the earthquake. Thankfully, more recent stories seem to have dropped this linkage.

You express faith that the Malaysian legal system will be reasonably fair and unbiased. But history is full of courts bowing to public pressure, so I hope you are right.
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