Malaysia arrests British tourist because she got naked and “angered the spirits”

By Faye Higbee

Malaysia – The world gets more loony by the minute. On June 9, Elanor Hawkins,24, was arrested at Tawau Airport and accused of causing the earthquake on June 5 that killed 18 people. How did she do it? She and her tour group stripped down on Mount Kinabalu, and authorities said that their actions caused the “mountain spirits” to be angry.


Did these young tourists make a mountain angry?

Up until her arrest, Eleanor had been “having the time of her life” on an extended trip to Southeast Asia. She was celebrating her recent graduation with a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Southampton University. She began her journey in January, visiting different countries like Cambodia and Thailand. she had planned to go from Malaysia to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

The New Zealand Herald wrote,

The trouble began on May 30 when she set out to climb the 13,435-foot Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. The tour was organised by Jungle Jack Backpackers Lodge, a popular budget hostel less than a mile from the entrance to the Kinabalu national park.

“Around 7am, while the group were on their way back from the summit, they started to strip off their clothes – ignoring their guide,” said the official complaint, obtained by The Telegraph. “The guide warned them not to do so, but they replied: ‘Stupid man, go to hell.’

“He could not stop them. They even took a group photo and a selfie. Then they dressed and returned to the backpacker lodge.”

One blogger a big problem

Miss Hawkins is not the only one that Malaysian police are looking for. Four others were arrested when they turned themselves in to authorities. Six others from their tourist group are being sought as well.

“To appease the mountain protector, the 10 western tourists who stripped and urinated on Mount Kinabalu should be fined 10 head of buffalo, according to local customs. . According to local beliefs, the spirit of the mountain is very angry. The tourists who angered the guardian of the mountain should pay for their mistakes by giving ‘sogit’ (a peace offering).” Tindarama Aman Sirom Simbuna

A Canadian blogger, Emil Kaminski, who was with the tourist group, has a seriously different perspective.  He not only faces charges in indecent exposure, but also insulting the Malaysian culture through his blog posts. He deliberately egged on the situation and made folks furious on Twitter.

Masidi Manjun, the foreign minister, denied linking the nudity to the earthquake. But by then everyone was in an uproar.  Kaminski described him as a “deranged prick.” With all of the words flying around, Miss Hawkins is now under arrest in Malaysia awaiting the court decision with the other members of the group.

Perhaps Mr. Kaminski should get a clue as to how to pay attention to local customs without having to subscribe to their beliefs. Authorities have said they need to keep these tourists separated from local inmates due to the hostility towards their actions. A little respect would have gone a long way.