Young thrill seekers face heat for scaling giant sign

Council says 'IPOH' landmark signboard is not opened for climbers.VIDEO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK
The group of eight, including three young women, pitched a hammock (above) on the giant "IPOH" sign and took a group photograph using a drone, in a stunt that quickly went viral online. The youngsters, who did not seem to be wearing safety harnesses
The group of eight, including three young women, pitched a hammock (above) on the giant "IPOH" sign and took a group photograph using a drone, in a stunt that quickly went viral online. The youngsters, who did not seem to be wearing safety harnesses, tried to keep their balance while walking across the top of the structure.PHOTOS: YOUTUBE
The group of eight, including three young women, pitched a hammock (above) on the giant "IPOH" sign and took a group photograph using a drone, in a stunt that quickly went viral online. The youngsters, who did not seem to be wearing safety harnesses
The group of eight, including three young women, pitched a hammock on the giant "IPOH" sign and took a group photograph using a drone, in a stunt that quickly went viral online. The youngsters, who did not seem to be wearing safety harnesses (above), tried to keep their balance while walking across the top of the structure.PHOTOS: YOUTUBE

IPOH (Perak) • A group of young Malaysians who scaled a giant sign in Ipoh in a daring stunt has come under fire from the authorities and the public for risking their lives, after pictures and videos of the stunt went viral.

The images, which were posted on Instagram on Friday with the videos uploaded later on YouTube, show the group scaling a hill overlooking a road to get to the white sign, akin to the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign in California.

The eight people, including three young women, pitched a hammock on the giant "IPOH" sign and took a group photograph using a drone.

Videos of the incident showed the thrill seekers trying to keep their balance as they walk across the top of the structure and pose for selfies. They did not appear to be wearing safety harnesses.

The mayor of Perak's capital city said no permission was granted to the youngsters for the stunt.

Datuk Zamri Man said on Saturday evening: "We got to know through a website that the youngsters had put their lives at risk by climbing the sign.

"We allow only contractors to scale the hill for maintenance works and even then, they have to follow the safety regulations set by us."

Ipoh City Council issued a strongly worded statement, saying that the sign was off-limits and that it had never allowed anyone to climb it because it was dangerous.

Police yesterday took statements from the group members about the stunt.

Mr Zamri said: "I don't know why they wanted to do it. It's dangerous. They can be fined."

He added: "This is vandalism. What if the signboard topples or gets damaged? The hill is 20m high and lives are at stake."

He said that it was the first time such an incident took place.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2017, with the headline 'Young thrill seekers face heat for scaling giant sign'. Print Edition | Subscribe