Sabah quake: Canadian who stripped on Mount Kinabalu calls minister an idiot, dismisses local culture

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Canadian national claiming to be one of the tourists that posed naked on the peak of Sabah's Mount Kinabalu has called the experience the "time of my life", brushing off Kadazan Dusun legend as "superstition" and describing the state tourism minister as an "idiot".

"It is not based in logic, but superstition. I utterly do not care for superstition," said Emil Kaminski, founder of travel blog Monkeetime, on his Facebook page.

"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 said.

When advised to show respect to the local culture by a commenter on Facebook, Kaminski replied by saying "f**k your culture".

Kaminski, on Monkeetime's Twitter page @monkeetimevideo, also called Sabah's Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun an "idiot" and "not a minister of tourism".

The tweet was then copied and retweeted on Datuk Masidi's Twitter page. An earlier tweet also referred to the minister as a "dildo" for blaming the earthquake on the stripping incident.

"Oh, Malaysia, why are your politicians so stupid," Kaminski wrote on Facebook.

"Some deranged prick has linked earthquakes and mountaintop nudity.

"Well, apparently I am responsible for the 2015 Nepal quake, and whatever incoming quakes in Canada (as well as Thailand, India, China, Taiwan, Hongkong, and a variety of other countries...)," he said, while posting a picture of him exposing his naked behind at various other mountain tops.

Mr Masidi chided Kaminski in response, reported the Malay Mail Online. "Just got this very complimentary posting from the nudist. I say, 'it takes a monkey to call another person a monkey'," said the minister, whose official account is @MasidiM.

When contacted by the Malay Mail Online, Mr Masidi said Kaminski was "(one of the nudists) from his FB postings".

But he said he was too civilised to make a police report, saying it would "stoop to his level".

Kaminski also poked fun at making reparations for exposing himself on top of Mount Kinabalu.

He wrote that he believed in having some "decency laws", but did not see the harm in nude photos being taken on "a remote mountaintop".

He added that he took his "butt photos" in remote places where hardly anyone sees him.

On Twitter, Kaminski described his blog Monkeetime as a platform that provides travel videos.

"It's no-bullsh*t, often offensive, earthy essence of backpacking experience," he said.

Monkeetime's YouTube page was founded on March 2007, and has over 10,000 subscribers and over 5 million views.

The 10 Westerners who stripped and urinated on top of Mount Kinabalu had shouted vulgarities at a mountain guide who asked them to stop their unbecoming behaviour.

They not only called him stupid but also used a four-letter word and made crude hand gestures at him, according to friends of the 35-year-old guide who escorted the Western climbers on May 10.

When approached by The Star, the guide turned down a request to be interviewed on what transpired on the mountaintop for fear of tampering with police investigations

A former soldier from Kelantan, the guide settled down in Kundasang a few years ago after marrying a local woman. He has been a mountain guide for two years.

While he would not say what happened that day, the man, who requested anonymity, said he agreed with local Dusun elders that the mountain spirits might have been angered by the antics of the Westerners, resulting in Friday's earthquake.

"Maybe a little. Because the earthquake only happened after the naked stunt," he said.

The former soldier said that it was important for climbers to follow instructions as given by the guides as they were trained on the dos and don'ts when climbing Mount Kinabalu.

"We discuss the rules during the briefing before the ascent and after. If climbers aren't sure about how to conduct themselves on the mountain, they must strictly follow the guide's instructions.

"If we ask you to respect the mountain, please do so," he explained.

The guide also said that he might have to revise his approach in guiding trekkers to emphasise on stricter enforcement of the rules for climbing Mount Kinabalu.

"Even though I am not originally from Kundasang, being married to a local, I understand the culture and traditions of the people here.

"This includes behaving appropriately while on the mountain," he added.

Parks director Jamili Nais had earlier said that they had lodged a police report over the matter and had issued a show cause letter to the guide for failing to inform the park headquarters of the incident.

He also confirmed that the Westerners had called the guide stupid and asked him to go to hell when he tried to stop them.

Two other Canadians, siblings Lindsey Petersen, 23, and Danielle Petersen, 22, were prevented from leaving Malaysia after they were identified as being part of the group of 10.

Three others reported to the police by the guide were Dutch citizens Eleanor Hawrins and Dylan Thomas, and German Stephan Pohlner.