Malaysian authorities considers barring Mt Kinabalu to climbers below 15

‘Meanwhile, the Malay Mail reported today (9 Jun) [Link] that Sabah is considering only allowing children aged above 15 years to climb Mt Kinabalu in the wake of recent tragedy involving primary school children.

State education director Datuk Jame Alip said he had spoken about the matter to state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who is also the state executive councillor in charge of education.

“We will bring it up in our next meeting. For me, 15 years seems like a more reasonable age,” he said, adding that he was extremely saddened by the deaths of the school children from Tanjong Katong Primary School.’

The above was part of an article posted in the TRE. I think this decision by the Malaysian authority is going to make many Singaporean parents very upset. From comments by parents reported in the main media, they are all for their children climbing Mount Kinabalu. The trip will bring a lot of good to the children, leadership training, survival skills, have a good understanding of nature and mountain and a lot of other goods that a 12 year old can learn.

I hope Malaysia would seriously consider banning those below 15 year old from climbing Mount Kinabalu. But maybe no problem really, if cannot go to Mount Kinabalu they can go to climb Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro. Singaporean children are very adventurous and their parents are all for mountain climbing to help them grow up as well rounded individuals.

Malaysia must be prepared for a petition from Singaporean parents pleading  to allow 12 year old Singaporean children to climb this easy mountain. The mountain is suitable to our children to climb.

Ok don’t get me wrong. I am just expressing the sentiments and desire of those Singaporean parents who think climbing Mount Kinabalu is a piece of cake for 12 years old. I dunno about the rest, but I would not allow my 12 year olds to climb that mountain. And if anyone would ask me for a second opinion, my answer is a NO. I may be an exception, kiasu and kiasi. I really admire those brave parents and their exceptional children that would definitely turn out to be better adults after climbing the mountain.  

All of us have many mountains to climb in life but this is a mountain that I rather choose to miss, or at least would not recommend young children to climb. Would the school principals and teachers think that this is necessary and would want to bear the full responsibility if something like this happens again?

And if there is a petition to ask the Malaysian govt to drop the idea of banning children below 15, I would not be a signatory for sure. I rather be safe than be sorry.  I would actually say a word of thanks to the Malaysian govt for the ban as it is a responsible thing to do. Never mind if there are parents that still want their children to climb mountains and would not mind sending them to the Himalayas or Tanzania. That is their choice.


Anonymous said...

I think Malaysian govt. should make an exception and allow all 12 year old Singaporeans from PAP families to climb Mount Kinabalu.

Videos: Cliff ascend meant for commandos? said...


Short video: Mt Kk Via Ferrata trail

Looks far more difficult, tougher and more dangerous than even army training. It appears the climbing is arduous even for rugged, seasoned, slim and fit well-trained mountain guides and trainers as seen in the video.

More videos on Via Ferrata mountain climbing:


Some online video reports on the aftermath of Mt KK and video footage/ accounts of some survivors:




Super Lao Heroes. ..... said...

Rb, after reading some propangandistic official mouthpiece narrative, praying hard some oldies dun "gong gong " believe that any 10 to 80 year old can scale the Via Ferrata cliff at Mt KK and quickly go "chio" his old kakis like Patiot, his idol Latimah rapugasing, GoGo48, OldHore41, JinGongPek, Lau Hero etc to go book airticket and go mountain KK VIA FERRATA climbing.

From many videos filmed by experts and 3rd party, the cliff scaling looks more like meant for super fit and garang COMMANDOS.

Fragile oldies pls dun let PGP "ezLEE CON YOU" and whoresale SWALLOW the ....... "SHIT" ...... and get your old bones broken at MT KK. Not worth even 1,000,000 PG packages ...... Go watch all the Via Ferrata climbing videos u can find in YouTube if you VERY STUBBORN, SUPER STAINLESS STEEL TEETH and think people bad mouthing some holy and innocent saints painted by mnm but otherwise is read "PAPigs" in the social media ...... HOLY COW ...... (KHAW) DUNG!

Virgo 49 said...

You think they will allow their kids to do so??

KFC 's son Patrick Tan would be in the Armour or Commando battalion. Not in Lab coat.

By the way, LHL at aged 16 playing trombone not climbing mount KK

If the children are from ACS, not Tanjong Katong, this Heng would be flying to KK to oversee the rescue.

Different lifes, different values.

Anonymous said...

Leadership training! Pay Mindef $600 per 12 year old, boy or girl. Send them to SAFTI during school holidays. They learn to follow and also to lead. Pay each child $2 per day as allowance as what their grandfathers were receiving then. Let them form toilet, area cleaning, barracks cleaning, grass cutting parties etc. If not enough let them learn topo by day and night and for endurance send them on 40 km route march from SAFTI to Tanah Merah. You can spot the leaders and the followers from theses activities. No need to climb risky highest
mountain in SouthEast Asia to learn leadership. My 2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

"But maybe no problem really, if cannot go to Mount Kinabalu they can go to climb Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro."

Hahahahahaha. Very possible and will happen, if that is what PAP under education minister Heng wants the primary school kids to do.

And this will be better for those organising such trips, as they will make even more money, and thereby contributing more to our GDP growth. Just like when casino operators make money, they also contribute to GDP growth, which is also the key objective of PAP, and with minister and top civil servant bonuses being benchmarked to it.

Yes kids, do beg your parents for consent to climb Everest and Kilimanjaro, please.

Anonymous said...

Different lifes, different values.
June 10, 2015 10:51 a.m.

Are you saying Millionaires are not able to represent Singaporeans effectively in parliament? Since they lead such rich lives.
If true, then why do 60% of Singaporeans vote for Millionaires?

agongkia said...

To me, the safest" mountain, hill or cliff " to climb are those that can be climb by using our fingers.No need age limit.Safe and sound.

agongkia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Why do 60% of voters still continue to vote for Ministers who
want to send their 12 years old kids to risk being smashed by huge rocks
and boulders by climbing Mount Kota Kinabalu?

Why do 60% of citizens still continue to support the PAPA Millionaire
Money-Inspired Politicians who act like Mini-Gods?

Why do 60% of nincompoop continue to be nincompoop?

Anonymous said...

The people need to know the following

1) When Mr Heng said the climb is "not challenging", did reporter ask him if he has ever attempted Mt KK before? If yes, when/how old was he and how long ago? Otherwise, what did he base his opinions on? The colorful brochure of Sabah? The school/teacher's assessment?

2) Did the parents sign away their rights and waive any indemnity against MOE/School/Teacher if anything unbecoming were to happen to their children? If this was part of the consent clause, does that mean there will be NO insurance pay out to the victim's family?

3) Most mainstream insurance companies do NOT cover mountain expedition above a certain height..most 3000m and below for simple trekking. So given this is 4000m , which insurance company are the climbers being insured under? This is a very curious case as I would want to know which Insurance company was prepared to cover children below 12 yo to do a mountain climb that is 4000m + ? Fr emergency evacuation ?

4) There was report that 5 of the children were string together (like a loop) while they make the climb. In other words, if one fall, it will be a domino effect and the rest will follow. Is that the case here? What do investigating reporters with integrity can tell us? Or are they trying to practice the "Silence is golden" mantra so no finger pointing and further digging is allowed?

5) It was reported the children were trained for 3 months prior to the expedition. What were the training schedule/frequency/activities like? Once a week/month? 1 hour each? Did they learn to go rock climbing schools for practices - for how long? They may do steps climbing for stamina but how do you train for altitude sickness or shortness of breadth? Did they learn emergency evacuation or first aid?

6) What was the criterion in deciding that Mt KK is the place to go? Instead of say Mt Ophir? Which other mountains have they looked around before settling on Mt KK? Have the group trained here locally and to where in prep for the trip?

I think parents need to fully understand all these before deciding in future if they should allow their children to participate in unnecessary risk taking.

Anonymous said...

Right now, damage control is the priority for the PAP Govt. For that, they are asking people, who have children who already climbed Mt Kinabalu, to add their voices to what the Education Minister said about Mt Kinabalu being not challenging enough,so long as the children who were involved in the latest incident are not their own kids.

They are trying to confuse the issue by saying that this tragedy happened because of the earthquake and is unpredictable. Many people are actually arguing that whether the accident is man-made or a natural disaster, 12 year olds should never have been allowed to climb Nt Kinabalu, earthquake or not.

From what I gather, out of the 137 people who were reported on the mountain at the time of the quake, the fact that so many who died were 12 year old kids, with just a few adults, supports the argument that they should indeed ban small kids under 15 from climbing the mountain.

Anonymous said...

"I think parents need to fully understand all these before deciding in future if they should allow their children to participate in unnecessary risk taking." June 10, 2015 1:39 p.m.

If it can happen to our children at Mount Kinabalu, do you think it can also happen to our children during National Service?
Is National Service safer than climbing Mount Kinabalu?
What about insurance for paralysis or amputation due to National Service?

Anonymous said...

My two sons had to buy their own accident insurance while doing NS. Fat hope they pay for your kids insurance.

If anything happens, the Govt will just say, we are sorry it happened. And they will say we have so many safety guidelines blah, blah, blah and quote statitics to show that such accidents happen once in 50 years blah, blah, blah.

Anonymous said...

A Commission of Inquiry should be conducted so as to prevent the recurrence of such incidents that prematurely take away at least 16 deaths, out of which 8 are Singaporean kids.

If in the Little India Riot, there was only ONE death (a drunken foreigner, low grade worker from India) yet there was a Commission of Inquiry urgently conducted, why in this tragic case of a sheer waste of at least 8 young up-and-coming own citizens' children, there is no call for a Commission of Inquiry either from the Minister for Education or the Prime Minister?

Are Singaporeans lives not so important to the Government of Singapore?

Vitgo49 said...

Because they are daft !!


The said...

Boulders, rocks and debris do not discriminate by age. You mean the rocks falling down due to an earthquake will avoid someone above 15 years old, but choose to strike those 12 year old? What happened to the instructors? They are adults. And they are just as dead.

Those who blame the schools, MOE, instructors are barking up the wrong tree. It is a natural disaster, for crying out loud. And a magnitude 6 earthquake at that.

Let's ban cycling, walking to school as well, since many school children were killed by accidents on the road. And while we are at it, we should ban people from living in houses since they are killed by houses on fire.

Anonymous said...

Some EXCELLENT questions from @1.39pm.
These are questions that should have been asked in the first place - by parents,
BEFORE allowing their child to tackle Kinabalu.

The problem is that so few people in Singapore ask questions - on Anything, much
more ask questions that are relevant and necessary and piercing.

For decades. they have been told they shouldn't ask any questions at all - except 'How much do I have to pay?' - and like total idiots they have obeyed, partly because it is easier and it means they do not need to use their brain. And of course, when the questions asked raise issues and more questions, you get sued, bankrupted, jailed etc, all of which is very discouraging.

This is hardly the way to build a people and a nation, much more a smart nation. In fact, it is highly irresponsible and just plain Stupid. At the end, the only way we can improve is to ask questions, instead of blaming others after the fact when things go wrong, which is what is happening now!

Anonymous said...

There is so much irony in this incident when you compared it to Amos Yee's case.

When here is a 16yo boy who takes risk in not fitting in, not conforming and wanting to challenge himself on the ways things are supposedly run here, there are so many of the 'silent majority' who took offence, slam and slap him, judge his parents' for ill parenting and even a Minster call it a "nightmare". What did he do? Cause any hurt to people or lost lives? No! Nada! Zilch! None of the'dangerous" things he "said" (not do) but there were strong calls to use the law to punish him and reform him.

Yet here we have the eight 12 yo children who went to do dangerous adult-climbing expedition, cost them their own precious lives, and yet those same group of silent majority now called on others to practice 'silence is golden' , dont' judge and guilt the parents/school/MOE decisions, and no Minister call it a 'nightmare' because the children are conquering fear and overcoming their comfort zone! And they call this trekking actually not 'physically challenging'!! In other words - No danger at all! Amos spoken words are FAR more dangerous than the deeds of these people. He is not challenging the "comfortably numb" people to think and do outside their box! He is being a dangerous rebel! Incredible!! I think if these children were to follow Amos yee in practice and be bold themselves, they probably would still be alive today, and still honoring their heart, mind and spirits to be a real leader - no need any real mountain to conquer!! Sometimes the invisible wall is just right in front of them.

So to those comfortably numb people, this is the outcome. Trust the teacher, trust the Ministry, trust your govt and let them to all the thinking for you because you are too lazy to bother.

I may share the pain and grief of the deceased and their parents, but I am angrier that the 8 dead children are the ones who paid for their lives, and no one else~!! Sure,blame it on act of god..but the god will not have to act on it if these kids weren't there in the first place where they should not belong!

The parents can grieve and others can emphatise, but some of us more detached and clear headed can speak out and call out on their faulty actions where it need be. Those IB who tries to defend the school or MOE should honestly ask themselves

1) have you climbed the said mt KK before?
2) if you were to see the youtube video of how dangerous Via Ferrara is, would you still send your kids there?
3) regardless if he/she has a $million dollar insurance, will you still let him/her go?

I think is time those IB keep the fuck out of your cyber-wellness space. And just let the people voice their opinions/grief/questions instead of deliberately trying to sway opinions away from holding a meaningful and accountable outcome.

Amos crime pales in comparison.

Anonymous said...

"Those who blame the schools, MOE, instructors are barking up the wrong tree. It is a natural disaster, for crying out loud. And a magnitude 6 earthquake at that."
June 10, 2015 4:02 p.m.

We blame school and MOE because it was a school activity.
If school and MOE don't want to be blamed, then stop organizing mountain climbing activities.
If Temasek and GIC don't want to be blamed for investment loses, then give us back our CPF money.

Anonymous said...

How many of you think that this climbing mountain thing is necessary? And for 12 year olds?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There are 5.3m people on this rock.

Even if 1000 voices were to speak online and seek to do some soul-searching and see any lessons can be learned for future sake, there are still 5.29m who are silent. So why are you(authority?) so kan-cheong about silencing those 1000 voices even?! What's the fear that you can't even hear the 1000 voices of critics?

I don't blame the Earthquake, a natural disaster.
I don't blame the Parents or Teachers/Guides.
I don't blame the dead students.

I just want the School and MOE who is the watchdog and gatekeeper that approved the trek to give people the understanding of their choices/decisions. Is only a fair question to ask. Or are they asking us NOT to ask and think now?

Anonymous said...

I climbed MT KK before.
I was in mid 30s, done a half marathon, regular runner cum yoga and physically fit.
But only managed to get to the base at 3200m.
I could not continue because my muscles were aching, but mostly, I suffered from altitude sickness ie short breadth & migraine. I decided to conserve my energy to descent. It was the right choice.
My climbing partner pushed herself up but could not descent afterwards.
She has to be carried down by the guide as her knees/ankles hurt too much.
We were all adults in our early 30s and felt we under-estimated the mountain.
We thought they have over-sold how "easy" it was to climb.
Many made it, but there were also few young adults we met along the way, didn't.
They have to uturn back or gave up.
Imagine how shocked and surprised I was to discover that 12yos children are going
May they rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Are we putting our children in harm's way with all these mountain climbing and national service?
Should we trust and depend on the PAP government to protect our children?;
Or should we parents trust in ourselves and protect our children from the PAP government and their Alien friends?

Anonymous said...

Too bad, you fucking Sinkies fucking deserve it. Who asked you fuckers to keep on voting PAPies for past 50 years?!?!?! You die your biz. You die better --- so can import more FTrashes to take over your fucking dead arseholes.
Should have China rule S'pore --- cheena govt will by now have publicly executed 3 ministers, 50 senior civil servants, and 300 lower-level civil servants for this cock-up. Executed them in the new National Stadium, Orchard Road, & Padang. Only like that then can wake up every fuckers' blaaardy idea.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

Since not very many "exciting" out of the ordinary things happen in Sabah, one can understand the "kayu" mentality of their state's executives, who probably have been swinging in the jungle trees once too often...

In typical govt fashion, the ONLY way to deal with "bad things", is to start BANNING stuff. WTF?!??

Earthquakes, tsunamis, Ebola, and all sorts of other "surprises" by nature will occur and NO ONE can predict them. Some people will die. The best you have is some sort of "damage control", or search and rescue after the fact.

Relax lah, you jungle-brained motherfuckers. When you start banning people, the businesses which rely on this sort of eco tourism suffer. But those who are drawing a govt salary NEVER GIVE ONE FUCK to those who are in private, especially small to medium enterprise, who depend on serving customers. Fucking govt cunts will just draw salary---guranteed.

Anonymous said...

News Channel say the group that arranged it is Camp Challenge

Presumably, they have to work with schools educators to get the program buy in.
CEO is Joey Ng.

If the trekkers were all adults, 18 or 21 yo above, reasonably fit and mature, nobody would be questioning it.

Just like Mt Everest, if it happens, and those climbers who are there are understood to know it is a dangerous attempt with risk, and if avalanche or sacrifice happens, people understand that it's their adventure & lifestyle choices.

Yes, whether young or adult, mature or not, when natural disaster like earthquake strikes, anyone can be hit and die as a result. The rocks or boulders can rain on anyone. But that's the issue that people are debating. People are asking why they think a demanding expedition like Mt KK is deemed a "fair challenge" for kids? Just because Sabah says is safe for 10yo it is really safe? When the first avalanche happened in Mt Everest a year ago, the mountaineering site wanted to reinstate the climbing activities instead of closing it because that is a big chunk of their tourism revenue. As high as 25% of their GDP derive from the Everest. The same happens when the quake strike Mt Everest, there were people who wanted it to stay open...for selfish reasons. If you understand why Sabah promotes Mt KK as safe is because 60% of the climbers come from Singapore.

Virgo 49 said...

Right Bro, my daughter's friend had to breathe in a oxygen cannister and descend straight away due to breathlessness.

Only at the mid point.

Twelve year old do not know how to protest and even without earthquake you are pushing them into danger and possibly death.

These sports promoters want business and monies only. Everything also can.

These MOE goons also think good ideas to tough up the kids making fatal decisions.

Now trying hard to justify that's it is okay.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sure it's not another $2 company.
School would have confirmed.
MOE would have double confirmed.
Parents would have triple confirmed.

Singaporeans are very careful people.
We vote very carefully.
Our reserves and sovereign fund investments are all confirmed and double confirmed very carefully.

Anonymous said...

The school should be a protector of the children. Security is so tight at the gates of some schools. But this school principal deem it right to send her pupils to mountain climb and put them in harms way. They are only 12 yos taking PSLE in a few months time, for goodness sake. This is called penny wise pound foolish - focus on small things but flip on bigger things. Some principals have got too much air going in their head. So that they can say they did this and did that at the end of the year in the "holistic" development of the child and so school can get more funding and more promotion.

Anonymous said...

Matland has 40 quake monitoring equipment in sabah, how come none of them work?
Now they will additionally install another 20 , will work or not?
After death then you want to raise the age.