I too visited Sabah and rubbed the tribes people up the wrong way – nearly lost my head for my trouble. I am really worried for the safety of this (slightly naive and trusting) lady. How will the superstitious people held in the prison she will be sent to respond to her (in their eyes) misdemeanour? In this blog article, I would like to add my two pennies worth into the melee surrounding events in Sabah recently. A place that summons both dread, joy & wonder within me when I mutter the syllables.

It is not for me to tell anybody what to do with their body. I am all in favour that some people wish to express themselves by communing with nature in their birthday suit – however, this is my blog and therefore my take on experience.

To quote the MailOnline (note: no back link is given – do not click through to make their site more accessible):

MailOnline reported yesterday [11th June 2015] that Hawkins, former head girl at Ockbrook School in Derbyshire, is being held at a “far softer” police central lockup in Kepayan due to a request by her lawyer Ronny Cham over fears for her safety.

What I wish to draw your attention to in the above quote is “…. over fears for her safety.”

I climbed that very mountain, Mount Kinabalu – part of the search party for Ellie Jones – but the situation was a lot different at that time.

The very fact that yesterday the Malaysian tour guide, who had accompanied the group of 10 tourists who allegedly stripped naked, says that while the men were completely nude, the women — including Hawkins — only took off their bras. To make light of it – it seems #freethenipple has yet to reach North West Borneo.

I have had two sleepless nights (spare your tears!) due to the guilt I have over a naive tourist’s behaviour and the inappropriate, heavy-handed treatment she has received in response.

But, why am I feeling so guilty? I will never meet this lady in real life – probably will never meet this lady on the internet either – but is it wrong for a man, in the comfort of his own sleep deprivation to just hope that women of all nationalities, creeds, dexterity and even hair colour be treated as global citizens and not the piece of meat that Eleanor Hawkins is being subjected to.

Ms. Hawkins trial is only making news in this country because she is a British National and faces penury in torment. As stated by the tour guide, the male of the group stripped completely naked. Surely he is meeting the same scrutiny?

Yes, Mt. Kinabalu is held sacred by the tribes people of that area – but surely the sanctity and dignity of an individual person should be held further aloft. Here is a point I wish to raise, do these (above) statements come across as neo-colonialist or make me a concerned citizen of the world? Surely, we as an animal have developed to the point where we no longer discriminate on the grounds of ethnicity, gender or sexuality? Oh sorry – Yup, we do!


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