Stripping Tourists Blamed For Malaysian Earthquake

Open Jaw

It was the stripping-off that shook the world.

Western tourists – including 2 Canadians -- who stripped naked on Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu a week before it was struck by a devastating earthquake face the prospect of fines according to indigenous law after locals blamed them for the tremor that has now killed 18 people.

A police report was filed against 5 of the 10 tourists and the deputy chief minister of Sabah state where the mountain is located has said he believes they caused the 6.0 magnitude earthquake. Kinabalu is considered a sacred mountain by the indigenous community in Sabah and they say the tourists' actions angered its spirit.

The 10 foreigners allegedly broke away from a larger group to take photographs of themselves standing naked on the mountain. The images were later posted on social media.

A local tribal priest, known as Bobolian, is demanding the tourists pay for 10 head of buffalo to be sacrificed to the mountain spirits while local Sabahans want action taken to punish the tourists.

A woman suspected of being in the group who stripped off was arrested as she attempted to leave East Malaysia at Tawau Airport.

One of the group who evaded the authorities remained unrepentant following a heated Twitter exchange with Sabah minister Masidi Manjun on Monday.

Canadian tourist Emil Kaminski had called the minister an 'idiot' and accused him of 'setting Malaysia back hundreds of years.'

Kaminski has also been subjected to numerous vitriolic comments from Malaysians on social media including several death threats.

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