RANAU – The Kuala Lumpur 2017 (KL2017) torch run held in conjunction with the coming 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Para Games is now in Sabah after covering Labuan, with the torch being taken up to the peak of Mount Kinabalu in promoting the Games before it continues its journey across the state.
The torch was handed over to Sabah UMNO Youth chief, Yamani Hafez Musa to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at Timpohon Gate, Kinabalu Park in Kundasang, the starting point of the run up Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, about 9.45am today before the flagging-off by Ranau UMNO Youth head, Faez Nordin.
The climb, led by Khairy, saw the participation of 24 individuals for a distance of 4,095.2 metres.
Khairy told reporters before the start of the climb that he and his group of runners would spend the night at Laban Rata before heading to the Mount Kinabalu peak early tomorrow morning to light the Games torch.
“After that, the torch will be taken down the mountain and to several districts in Sabah before it is handed over to Sarawak,” he said.
Khairy said the KL2017 torch run up Mount Kinabalu would be a challenging experience personally, as it would be the first climb for him up this mountain and done during the fasting month.
He said the climb was also significant as it was taking place on the anniversary of the earthquake tragedy in Sabah which also hit Mount Kinabalu and took away some lives two years ago.
“I understand that some family members of the victims will join the climb today and tomorrow…perhaps there’s a chance for me to meet with them at Laban Rata later to together remember the victims of the tragedy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the response to the torch run so far had been very good, which saw the involvement of all levels of society in Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, the Federal Territory of Labuan, and Sabah.
Sabah is the fifth destination of the torch run and scheduled to cover several districts, namely Ranau, Keningau, Tawau, Sandakan, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and Sipitang, and ending on June 8.
With Kuala Lumpur as the host city, the 29th SEA Games will be held from Aug 19 to 30, and the 9th ASEAN Para Games from Sept 17 to 23. – BERNAMA