Sabah quake: 10 tourists who stripped on Mt Kinabalu should be fined 10 buffalos, says priest

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - To appease the mountain protector, the 10 western tourists who stripped and urinated on Mount Kinabalu should be fined 10 head of buffalo, according to local customs, says Sabah's chief tribal priest known as Bobolian.

The Bobolian, Tindarama Aman Sirom Simbuna, said on Sunday that the tourists' actions had angered the spirits and guardians of the mountain, which brought about last Friday's quake in their rage.

"According to local beliefs, the spirit of the mountain is very angry," he said.

He said the victims of this anger were innocent people who had nothing to do with the indecent behaviour of the tourists.

"The tourists who angered the guardian of the mountain should pay for their mistakes by giving sogit.

"This fine, called sogit in the native tongue, should be in the form of 10 male or female buffaloes," said Tindarama Aman.

He also conveyed the condolences of the state's Bobolian community to affected families.

According to the local beliefs, Mount Kinabalu is the resting place for spirits of the dead before they move on to heaven or hell.

He said that these roaming spirits came be summoned through Bobolians or Tindarama during rituals called menolob.

Tindarama Aman also hailed Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan's suggestion for a massive prayer gathering to appease the mountain spirit following the quake that is believed to have left 18 people dead.

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