Stop Pissing Over Our Cultures and Beliefs

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Four tourists were arrested in Sabah for stripping naked on Mount Kinabalu. The natives blamed their disrespectful behaviour for causing the 5.9 magnitude earthquake which struck Sabah six days later. The western media says the unlucky tourists were just doing what travellers love to do, and called it an unfortunate coincidence that was blown out of proportion.

I admit that I personally do not believe that urinating on a mountain can cause an earthquake. I also do not think standing buck naked atop a sacred mountain can cause an earthquake. But I do know that the cultures, beliefs and practices of others should be respected. And when there are rules, you have to follow it by hook or by crook.

The incident which took place atop Mount Kinabalu WAS NOT about a few young people who were having some fun on a holiday as painted falsely by the western media. Instead, they were there on a mission – as stated by one of the nudist travellers who led the team, “the whole point of travelling is to challenge other cultures”.

And that is exactly what they did.

This team of ten young people, who I personally think are suffering from some mental disorder, literally pissed all over the local traditions and customs of Sabahans, simply because they thought they could get away with it. And some of the western media should be ashamed of themselves for supporting their sickening behaviour.

Reading many of the comments from people on the opposite side of the globe who see nothing wrong in stripping naked in public is one thing. Having them question if Malaysians have never consumed breast milk or looked at themselves naked in the mirror is quite another.

Frankly, it does not matter if these westerners do not believe in customs and traditions. It doesn’t matter if they do not understand the idea of sacred mountains. It doesn’t matter if they cannot comprehend the link between the mountain, the indecent behaviour of the foreigners and the earthquake. The point is, these tourists violated the trust of the natives who allowed them into their sacred area.

The natives of Sabah welcomed these tourists with open arms and big smiles. They were happy to have their guests come over for a visit, snap some photos and go away with good memories after visiting their part of the world.

But what did they get in return? A team of disrespectful backpackers who flew in, stripped naked, peed and walked away.

The natives are now the ones who have been thrust into the media limelight. They have become a joke, their beliefs made fun of.

Perhaps those who ridiculed the traditions of the Sabahans should ask themselves how they would feel if a group of Malaysian students entered a cathedral or a war memorial in their country, urinated, stripped off, insulted their tour guide and then posted offensive pictures on the Internet. Wouldn’t they have been insulted and outraged?

It takes no genius to know that when visiting a foreign country it is OUR responsibility to educate ourselves on the laws and customs of that country. So what caused this group of adults with master’s degrees to fail to follow such rules? Perhaps the western education system failed them, eh?

The truth is, these nudist tourists aren’t unlucky – instead they are arrogant, self-centred and disrespectful. Despite their education, they have clearly exhibited the IQ of an amoeba.

To westerners who think Malaysians are a sensitive bunch who take offence at matters as simple as nudity, I would like to say this:

“Getting naked might be fine in your country but not in ours. Backpackers who travel around the globe without respecting the law and culture of the land they visit deserve a nice whip on their naked butts. If getting naked is indeed their forte, perhaps they should stay in their own countries, get naked and go pee on every monument and snap a selfie for the world to see.”

To the nudists whose travelling goal was to push themselves outside their comfort zones, I am sure they had one helluvah time in prison.

How’s that for getting outside your comfort zone?

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Published by: fa abdul

Fa is a passionate storyteller, a struggling producer, an aspiring playwright, an expert facebooker, a lazy blogger, a self-acclaimed photographer, a regular columnist, a part-time queen and a full time vain pot.

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