Singapore honours Mount Kinabalu mountain guides for heroic efforts

OLIVIA MIWIL

KOTA KINABALU: Two years have passed but mountain guides who helped rescue Ranau earthquake victims on June 5, 2015 have not been forgotten.

Mount Kinabalu Guide Association chairman Junaydie Sihan, 40, said it was an honour to receive recognition from Singapore for their deeds.

"The recognition made us feel appreciated by the public.

"The memory of the earthquake, remains fresh among us especially when weak quakes strikes the state but it makes us more vigilant in carrying out our duties," he said after receiving recognition from the Royal Institution Singapore here.

Junaydie, who was part of the rescue mission during the quake, was present with 17 guides at the award ceremony.

On June 5, 2015, 18 people were killed when a 6.0-magnitude quake shook Sabah.

Among those who lost their lives in the quake were mountain guides Robbi Sapinggi, Valerian Joannes, Ricky Masirin, and Joseph Solungin.

Two teachers and seven students from Tanjong Katong Primary School in Singapore also died in the incident.

In honour of the guides’ contributions, a private college has sponsored scholarships worth RM866,000 for 135 mountain guides to further their studies.

The family members of the four mountain guides who died during the quake will receive a full scholarship of RM20,000.

As for the other guides, they will be receiving RM6,000 each, which is also transferrable to their relatives.

The association currently has 250 members aged between 18 and 65, of which 40 are attached to Fire and Rescue Department's Mountain Search and Rescue Unit.

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