The Malaysian authorities are mulling over the need to review safety guidelines for mountain climbing on Mount Kinabalu, including setting a minimum age of 15 and re-looking safety protocols for climbers.
State education director Jame Alip told Malay Mail Online yesterday that 15 years is a “more reasonable age” to scale the mountain, and will be discussing this with other state officials.
However, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, when asked if such a requirement was necessary, said there is educational value in school children visiting Mount Kinabalu. “I don’t think so ... We want … this mountain area to be highly accessible so that people can learn to appreciate (the) nature, appreciate the heritage,” he said during a visit to Sabah yesterday.
Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, said the earthquake “changes everything”. “Previously we’ve never had an earthquake with an epicentre so close to the mountain,” he said during a visit to Tanjong Katong Primary School’s (TKPS) condolence corner yesterday.
The safety aspects of climbing will have to be looked at, while metereologists and geologists will have to study the threat of seismic movement on Mount Kinabalu, he said. On whether climbers should be at least 15 years old, Mr Khairy said this would depend on the outcome of the review.
The earthquake killed 16 climbers on Mount Kinabalu, among them six 12-year-olds from TKPS, causing some to question if young climbers should be making the ascent.
There is no minimum age for climbing Mount Kinabalu, but only those at least 10 years old can go on the Via Ferrata, one of the routes up the mountain. The six students, part of a larger group, were on the Via Ferrata.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Malaysia To Review Mount Kinabalu Guidelines.