Friday, September 24

First Lahad Datu intrusion Kinabalu climbing expedition kicks off

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LABUAN: A patriotism climbing expedition of Mount Kinabalu, the first ever organised, is being initiated to spread the spirit of patriotism among Malaysian youths.

The 8-member expedition that will be led by a woman is organised to register the people’s appreciation to the security forces for safeguarding the country during the Lahad Datu bloody intrusion, from June 12-13.

All the members, aged between 20 and 30 are from Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur and had undergone an extensive training programme for the past two months.

Speaking to Bernama yesterday, the expedition’s spokesman Arif Khalid said it was an obligation for being a civil society to contribute towards achieving the national agenda of creating a caring society in the country.

“We are proud to be able to realise this mission and hope we can reach the summit safely and alert youths in the country that we have a social obligation to fulfill,” he said.

Arif said the intrusion which had never been expected, fired up the spirit of patriotism among Malaysians.

A group of men claiming to have links with the Sulu Sultanate from southern Philippines landed on the shores of Lahad Datu on Feb 12, with the objective of asserting their claim on unresolved territorial claim in eastern Sabah.

The intrusion, led by Jamalul Kiram III, one of the claimants to the throne of the Sultanate of Sulu, claimed the lives of nine policemen and many more intruders.

“What had inspired us to launch this mission is that not only Sabahans, but the people in the Peninsular have also shown and expressed their feelings and sympathy to the security forces who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty of the country. We have been following the development of the incursion from the start,” he said.

Arif said the expedition would be a valuable experience for the group as all of them are inexperienced climbers and reaching Asia’s highest summit of Kinabalu would be a useful experience to all of them. — Bernama