Malaysia blames naked tourists for a deadly earthquake, and arrests them

Best to keep clothes on up here.
Best to keep clothes on up here.
Image: Creative Commons/Flickr
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Ten trekkers who stripped and posed naked at the top of Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu on May 30 have been accused of angering sacred spirits and causing the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Malaysia a week later. Local police have identified five of the accused and and arrested at least two to prevent them from leaving the country.

The 4,000 meter-high (13,000 feet) mountain, is a popular tourist destination, and is also considered sacred by the indigenous people in the region.

The epicenter of the June 5 earthquake was reportedly about 54 km (34 miles) away from Kinabalu. At least 16 people who were on the mountain at the time of the quake have been confirmed dead.

The deputy chief minister of Sabah, the Malaysian state in which Kinabalu sits, told reporters that the earthquake was “confirmation” that the tourists had gravely disrespected the mountain.

A group of six men and four women reportedly took their clothes off before posing for photos on the summit last month. A Malaysian newspaper later reported that a local guide who asked them to stop what they were doing was told to “go to hell.”

One of the offenders—though not one of the people arrested—is a Canadian named Emil Kaminski, who posted a photo on his personal Facebook page (SFW). Kaminski also has a Facebook page called Monkeetime, documenting various adventures around the world. In statements on the page and on Twitter, he derided Malaysian politicians for blaming the recent earthquake on his personal antics.

He has also posted a video on YouTube called “Trolling Malaysia,” with the comment: “It is not every day that one gets to troll an entire nation on Facebook.”

The above image was taken by Stéphane Enten and shared under a Creative Commons license on Flickr. It has been cropped.