Monday, November 21, 2011

Mount Kinabalu porters honored

KOTA KINABALU: The porters of Mount Kinabalu finally received due recognition for their dedication and hardwork in making Borneo’s tallest mountain a most welcoming and world renowned natural wonder.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun honored the extraordinary men and women with the Minister’s Special Award, the highest recognition for individual or organization who have made an outstanding contribution to the State tourism’s development.

Announcing the award at the Sabah Tourism Awards here Saturday evening, Masidi said the porters, who are mostly locals from the villages surrounding the mountain, were the endilible part of the mountain’s existence and truly worthy recipient of such recognition.

He said Sabah applaud Sir Hugh Low, who was recorded as the first man to conquer Mount Kinabalu in 1851, but more so the State applaud the people upon whose backs that expedition was launched.

“Mount Kinabalu is revered by the surrounding indigenous communities as the sacred resting place of the dead and the villagers have to overcome tremendous trepidation to even venture into the cloud shrouded peaks on the summit. Yet, they did. And they paved the way for even more successful botanical expeditions in the late 19th and 20th century which brought to light the incredible biodiversity and beauty of Mount Kinabalu.

“Today, they continue their tradition of transporting essential goods and services for climbers of the Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail… They are the representation of the strength and courage of the human spirit to do what is necessary to bring pride, honour and respect for the mountain,” said Masidi, to the applause from the audience.

He said the award was presented to the porters in recognition of their services as dedicated ambassadors of the country’s cherished mountain and first World Heritage Site.

Their perseverance in the face of hardships and challenges, he added, enabled visitors from all over the world to experience the beautiful Mount Kinabalu.

Masidi also presented the same award to two other recipients, one of them sports veteran Datuk Balwant Singh Kler, in recognition of his dedication to sports and sports development in Sabah.

Former state and national athlete, he said Balwant is also well known as the imposing and authoritative Race Director of the Sabah Dragon Boat Race and Mount Kinabalu Climbathon, two events that have placedSabahon the map as a premier sports venue internationally.

Continue reading at: Mount Kinabalu porters honored

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