Saturday, March 16, 2013

52 blind climbers to scale Mount Kinabalu on Malaysia Day

KUCHING : A team of 52 members of the Society of the Blind Malaysia (SBM), Sarawak Branch, will attempt to conquer Mount Kinabalu on Malaysia Day, September 16, this year.

The expedition will cost RM109,000 to cover all expenses from training to preparation to completing the entire mission including accommodation, food and airfare.

They also aimed to break the Malaysia Book of Records for the largest number of blind climbers to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu held by 42 blind climbers accomplished the feat in 1998.

The state Paralympic team, who are also the current Malaysian team champion, would also be part of the expedition.

Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday urged both public and private sectors to help and support the team in their quest.

“I’m very proud of this team for having the spirit and determination to attain this achievement. I’m confident that they will succeed,” he said at the official launching of the XPDC Mount Kinabalu in conjunction with Malaysia’s 50th anniversary at Permai Camp in Santubong near here.

“As such, I hope that all government agencies and bodies as well as the private sector will contribute generously to the expedition,” he added.

Chairman of SBM, Sarawak Branch, Maoh Janting explained that their achievement would be a gift to the country’s 50th birthday celebration.

“We have wanted to do the climb since 2000 but due to the lack of fund, the mission was halted.

We had approached the Deputy Speaker who is the Member of Parliament for Santubong about our intention and he gave us strong support,” he added.

The expedition was given a boost when the Ministry of Women, Welfare and Community Development gave a grant of RM20,000 to SBM for the expedition.