Malaysian police have detained four tourists – two Canadians, one Briton and one Dutch national – for allegedly stripping naked on Mount Kinabalu, an act some locals say angered tribal spirits and caused a deadly earthquake.
According to reports, pictures of 10 naked tourists had spread on social media and infuriated locals following the magnitude-6.0 quake that struck near the mountain on Friday, killing 18 people.
Police say six other tourists are still “at large.”
“We detained all four of them on Tuesday… and yes we are still searching for the other six tourists, and we will catch them,” Sabah police commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said.
Rahman also said those detained could be charged for causing public nuisance.
Sabah provincial tourism minister Masidi Manjun tweeted that legal proceedings against the four foreigners had begun and that they would be remanded for four days.
Earlier it was reported a 38-year-old European man was arrested for allegedly stripping naked and urinating on the mountain prior to the earthquake.
It is unclear whether the man was among the four arrested.
“I [will] kill you, stupid,” wrote one of several thousand commenters on Kaminski’s Facebook pages.
“You don’t own mount Kinabalu nor all the other mountains that you’ve trekked before,” one person wrote. “Therefore you should RESPECT people’s rules as its not yours and furthermore you’re a freaking TOURIST. Its not your homeland!”
Other messages, however, were more menacing.
“If I were there I proudly push you from the top of the mountain,” one person wrote.
“You will pay for what you have done,” wrote another. “Just you wait!”
“The photos drew divided opinions from the public, with some outraged at the display of indecency while others defended their actions claiming they were ‘just having fun,’” Malay Mail Online noted. “Local guides who accompany climbers often brief them on the traditional ‘do’s and don’ts’ which include no plucking of plants, no removal of stones from the mountain, no speaking loudly and inappropriately and do ‘ask for permission’ before relieving one’s self.”
If the Mount Kinabalu tourists are successfully prosecuted, they could face this fine in addition to three months in a Malaysian prison, reports the Inquistr.