By Stephanie Lee
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Mount Kinabalu guides are banding with the #AnakAnakMalaysia campaign knowing fully well that tolerance and unity among the country’s diverse communities are crucial to Malaysia’s success.
The guides have already matched words with deeds – they put their lives on the line as they rescued over a hundred stranded climbers at Mount Kinabalu following the June 5 earthquake.
Race and religion were never a factor to the mountain guides, who are now regarded as heroes for their selfless act.
Veteran guide Mauries Dominic Ubin, 47, said: “When I was a child, everyone lived as one family and did not fight over race or religion.
“When we carried out rescue operations that day, we did not choose who to bring down first or think if we should save people of my race (Dusun) or religion first,” he said.
Dominic lamented that things had changed so much these days.
“Back then, we did not hear of fights among people of different races. These days, especially in the peninsula, such news seems common.
“I just hope we can go back to how it used to be,” he said when met at the Fire and Rescue Academy in Sepanggar.
“We in Sabah are still spared from such nonsense but as Malaysians, we really should focus on unity and mutual understanding instead of picking on the faults of others,” Mauries said.
Mauries is among 40 guides taking up a 10-day training course with the Fire and Rescue Department on proper basic search and rescue techniques to better prepare for emergencies.
Mount Kinabalu Guides Association (Pemangkina) chairman Richard Soibi said tolerance should be a must for all Malaysians.
“We are anak-anak Malaysia living in a multi racial country and must preserve the harmony we enjoy,” he said.
“Though we don’t see much of such problems here in Sabah, we hope our brothers and sisters in the peninsula will stop bickering and make peace especially with National Day approaching,’’ he added.
Mountain guides Hairi Rainin, 30, and Nuhairi Kintai, 30, called on everyone in the country to learn to accept the diversity of the country.
“We are fed up with news of constant fights among people of different races. We have to change,’’ added Hairi.
Nuhairi said respect and a healthy regard for the rights of others must be nurtured.
“Ours is a multi-racial country and without tolerance and mutual respect, Malaysia will be heading towards destruction,” he cautioned.
Training commander Johari Dzulkifli said Malaysians should not jeopardise the peace and harmony being enjoyed.
“I hope all will learn to respect each other. Let us go back to how things used to be,” he said.
#AnakAnakMalaysia, a collaboration between Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) and Star Media Group Bhd, was launched on Monday in the run-up to the coming National Day and 52nd Malaysia Day.
Under the collaboration, #AnakAnakMalaysia wristbands are being distributed nationwide together with copies of The Star.
To creatively express their patriotism, readers can take a photo with the wristband and share what it means to be Malaysian with the hashtag #AnakAnakMalaysia.
The photos will be housed as a collage in a dedicated webpage – anakanakmalaysia.com.
Facebook users can also spread the spirit of patriotism on social media by inserting a digital band to their Facebook photo as a symbol of pride to be an “anak-anak Malaysia”.
The campaign will run until Sept 16. Visit www.anakanakmalaysia.com for details.