A government official is blaming the recent deadly earthquake in Malaysia on a group of 10 foreigners who “showed disrespect to the sacred” Mount Kinabalu by posing naked near the peak last week.
Four of the tourists were jailed on Friday for three days and each fined $1330 when they appeared in court in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah state. They pleaded guilty earlier Friday to committing obscene acts on May 30.
The foreigners, who included two Dutch, two Canadians and a German national, say they broke away from their entourage and challenged each other to strip naked in the near freezing temperature on the mountain top.
The defendants’ lawyer claims the tourists were not familiar with local customs and pleaded with the judge to not make an example of them. “Their act had brought shame and ridicule upon themselves and their respective countries,” he said.
According to Malaysia’s The Star, one of the male hikers, Emil Kaminski, replied to a comment on his post saying: “If local religion prohibits certain actions, then local believers of that religion should not engage in it, but they cannot expect everyone to obey their archaic and idiotic rules.” He also replied to a person calling for Kaminski to respect Malaysia’s culture, telling them: “fuck your culture.”
Kaminski has a history of posing naked:
Last Friday’s earthquake killed 18 people and left hundreds stranded on hiking trails around the mountain.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan said a special ritual would be performed to “appease the mountain spirit,” (and we’re guessing it involves multiple layers of clothing.)