Singapore hiker missing in Malaysia's Kota Tinggi forest reserve found

Mr Jason Ren Jie was found around 3.15pm on Sunday by rescuers. PHOTOS: POLIS DAERAH KOTA TINGGI/ FACEBOOK

KOTA TINGGI, JOHOR - A 33-year-old Singaporean man who went missing after going on a hike at the Hutan Panti Forest Reserve in Johor has been found.

The Johor Forestry Department said Mr Jason Ren Jie was found at around 3.15pm on Sunday after he was reported missing a day earlier, according to a report in China Press, a Chinese-language newspaper in Malaysia.

The man managed to leave the forest reserve with assistance from the search and rescue team, and is now in a safe condition, the department added.

Kota Tinggi police chief Hussin Zamora said that the man was found by members of the public at the roadside.

“The victim only suffered minor cuts on his body and was brought to the Kota Tinggi Hospital for treatment before being handed over to the Johor Forestry Department for entering the forest reserve without a permit,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, Johor Forestry Department director Salim Aman said that the department will be taking action against those who entered the forest reserve under Section 47 of the National Forestry Act 1984 (Act 313) for entering the forest reserve without a permit, The Star reported.

"Those who commit this offence can be fined not exceeding RM10,000 (S$2,958) or jailed for not more than three years or both, upon conviction," he said, adding that it is important that those who wish to go for a hike make their intentions known so that it would not create a problem for the authorities in case of an emergency.

"We would like to strongly advise those who come to apply for a permit and hire a mountain guide. Those with no experience in the forest are forbidden to go for a hike alone," he said.

The victim was hiking together with his local friend, Mr Teng Jih Bao, 35, and the two men started their climb at 11.30am on Saturday before Mr Teng noticed his friend was missing, he said.

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