English World

Sabah earthquake mural “whitewashed” as mourning period is over

KOTA KINABALU: The “whitewash” of the mural of a mountain guide carrying an injured boy has riled up visitors who wanted to pay their last respects at the ‘memorial’ for victims of the Sabah earthquake.

The mural was “whitewashed” because the mourning period of the 18 killed in the June 5 earthquake ended on Friday.

According to a Facebook posting of the Cracko art group who painted the mural, the seven-day mourning period ended Friday in accordance to their customs.

“In spirit of the traditional “momisok” ritual, we will erase the mural at the heritage building to symbolize the end of our 7 day mourn,” it said.

“On the 40th and also on the 100th day (according to traditional customs), we will produce murals to remember those who has gone and to honour the ones who have helped in every possible and impossible way. All murals will be up for 7 days.”

However, foreign tourists and visitors who turned up at the memorial where candle vigils have been held were disappointed that the mural has been destroyed so soon.

The floral and other tributes at the earlier site which became a temporary memorial was shifted to another end of the dilapidated British colonial building in Kota Kinabalu

Several people who turned up said that they wanted to not only pay their respects but also to honour the real heroes, who were the real guides.

The painting depicted mountain guide Mohd Rizuan Kauhinin, 25, who rescued 12-year-old Singapore student known as Wafeeq.

Rizuan has been invited to go to Singapore soon with several other guides involved in the rescue efforts on Mount Kinabalu to meet the families of the Singaporean victims.

-The Star

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