Malaysian youngsters face heat for scaling giant Ipoh signboard

Council says 'IPOH' landmark signboard is not opened for climbers.VIDEO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK
The youngsters who scaled the Ipoh city signboard have come under fire.
The youngsters who scaled the Ipoh city signboard have come under fire.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A group of Malaysian youngsters who scaled the Ipoh city signboard in a daring stunt has come under fire from the authorities after pictures and video of the feat went viral.

The photos, which were posted on Instagram on Friday, show several youngsters scaling a hill overlooking the Kuala Kangsar road, near the Gunung Lang area, and pitching a hammock on the giant IPOH signboard.

Videos of the incident show the thrill-seekers balancing themselves as they walk across the top of the structure and posing for selfies. They did not appear to be wearing safety harnesses.

The city's mayor has denied that permission was given to the youngsters, after one of them who posted the pictures thanked the Ipoh City Council on Instagram for giving them permission to pull off the stunt.

Speaking to reporters during the New Year countdown on Saturday (Dec 30) night, Mr Zamri Man said he had checked with the council and no approval was ever given.

"We got to know through a website that the youngsters had put their lives at risk by climbing the signboard. We allow only contractors to scale the hill for maintenance works and even then, they have to follow the safety regulations set by us," he said.

On Saturday, the council issued a strongly-worded statement, saying that the signboard was off-limits and that it had never allowed anyone to climb it because it was dangerous.

The youngsters, said Mr Zamri, scaled the hill on Wednesday. The council found out about the pictures only on Saturday.

He added that a police report had been made.

"We have yet to meet the youngsters. I don't know why they wanted to do it. It's dangerous. They can be fined," he said.

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

"This is the first time such an incident has happened."

Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm Sum Chang Keong said they were investigating the case under Section 336 of the Penal Code for endangering the safety of others.

"The youngsters can be jailed for three months, or fined RM500 (S$161), or both," he said, urging the youngsters to come forward.