Remembering Robbi Sapinggi

Robbi Sapinggi

Robbi Sapinggi

KOTA KINABALU: The passing of mountain guide Robbi Sapinggi due to injuries he sustained from the earthquake is not only felt by family members, friends and his fellow colleagues.

Cath Jayasuriya, the executive director of Coalition Duchenne shared her sadness, describing Robbi as a kind, friendly and funny person who cared about the safety and comfort of all the climbers.

“One time I was climbing with Robbi, and I was feeling so cold as we approached the summit in the rain. Robbi gave me his gloves and his jacket to wear, leaving him just in a t-shirt.

Cath Jayasuriya

Cath Jayasuriya

“That was just the kind of person he was. He really cared about the safety and comfort of all the climbers,” said Cath, who is from Sabah but currently based in the United States.

Coalition Duchenne brings together organisations around the world in a quest to raise global awareness on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The recent 5.9 earthquake in Ranau town has had a major impact on Mount Kinabalu, with casualties and devastation.

“We interviewed Robbi for our documentary ‘Dusty’s Trail: Summit of Borneo”. He has been one of our mountain guides for each of the Expedition Mount Kinabalu climbs. Robbi loved his job, and he loved being a mountain guide.

His safety briefings were comprehensive, and he took them very seriously. Robbi loved meeting new people, he was kind and funny, and made everyone laugh. He always put the needs of others before himself,” added Cath.

Recalling the moment when interviewing Robbi at their home in Kampung Kiau, Cath said Robbi and his father were so welcoming.

Kampung Kiau is a small Dusun farming village in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.

“He and his father Sapinggi were so welcoming and invited me into their home in Kiau, where we interviewed Robbi. They even sang the Tinggi Tinggi Gunung Kinabalu song. Rest in Peace Robbi,” she said.

“About this year’s climb, we are waiting to hear more information from the authorities before we make any decisions on this year’s Expedition Mount Kinabalu.

“The climb will go on. However, I don’t know exactly what form it will take this year. But be assured that we will still be assembling August 7th to 9th in Borneo. We hope we can honor Robbi and all the boys and young men with Duchenne who Robbi cared so much about,” added Cath.

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