2 female Canadian tourists, 23 year-old Lindsey Peterson and 22 year-old Danielle Peterson, were arrested and prevented from leaving Malaysia after they were identified as being part of a group of tourists who stripped themselves nude and took pictures of themselves as a sacred site on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah.
Malaysian police reported that on 30th May, the two women were part of a group of 10 tourists who stripped off their clothes and posed naked at the 8KM point of a 2 day hiking trip up the mountain, which locals say is a sacred site protected by their local deity. The tourists ignored the pleas of their local guide to stop, and openly insulted the guide for trying to stop them.
3 other tourists were identified as Dutch citizens Eleanor Hawrins and Dylan Thomas, and German citizen Stephan Pohlner. The other 5 tourists have not been identified.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan has openly accused the tourists’ disrespectful actions for being the cause of Friday’s 6.0 magnitude earthquake at the mountain. He said that they had “showed disrespect to the sacred mountain” and that the earthquake was a “confirmation” of the consequences of their actions. He has called on the culprits to be charged in the Malaysian courts.
“Whether other people believe this or not, it’s what we Sabahans believe. When the earthquake happened, it’s like a confirmation of our beliefs,” he said. “It is a sacred mountain and you cannot take it lightly.”
Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Nicolas Doire told thestar.com news website that they were aware of the incident, and the embassy in Malaysia would provide assistance to the duo.