PETALING JAYA: British tabloids sensationalised the arrest of alleged Mount Kinabalu nudist Eleanor Hawkins on their front pages, claiming she was arrested for “angering mountain gods” and causing the Sabah earthquake.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth as Hawkins and three other tourists were actually arrested for public indecency and not for causing the earthquake.
The Sun headlined its cover report with “Your boobs have angered mountain gods” and claimed Hawkins apologised for the prank, saying she was “scared”.
The tabloid, referring to Hawkins as a “girl”, further alleged that the 24-year-old landed in jail after she was “accused of angering the gods and causing a deadly earthquake.”
Not wanting to be outdone, The Daily Star said Hawkins faced jail for “upsetting the gods” in their story titled “Naked Brit girl caused killer quake.”
The Daily Mirror also featured Hawkins on its cover, with the heading “Nude student faces jail for causing deadly quake” and an image of a sombre Hawkins looking at the camera.
It has been reported in British news agencies that Hawkins recently graduated with a masterâ€™s degree in aeronautical engineering and was on a trip to celebrate her graduation.
On May 30, a group of tourists allegedly stripped naked and indiscriminately urinated atop Kinabalu. They posed for pictures that went viral after they were posted on social media.
When their mountain guide attempted to stop them, the group allegedly hurled vulgarities at the guide, calling him “stupid” and told him to “go to hell”.
Their antics angered Sabahâ€™s Kadazandusun tribe who revere the mountain and view them as an insult and desecration of a sacred place.
On Wednesday, two of the four tourists remanded by police for desecrating Mount Kinabalu confessed to going naked while on the mountain. The four were remanded the same day while police hunt for six other tourists who allegedly committed the offence together.
The four were Hawkins, a 23-year-old male and his 22-year-old sister, from Canada; and a 23-year-old Dutchman.
They were remanded until June 13 for investigations under Section 294(a) of the Penal Code for committing obscene acts in a public place. They have yet to be charged in court.
If convicted, they face a maximum three-month jail term or a fine, or both.
Police believe the other six tourists, mostly Europeans, were still in the state.
On June 5, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the mountain and 18 people lost their lives.-The Star