On Friday, a magnitude-6 earthquake struck the Malaysian state of Sabah; there are about a dozen known casualties so far. The state’s Deputy Chief Minister has offered this explanation for the temblor:
The Sabah earthquake that has so far taken the lives of 11 climbers was a result of the action of Western tourists who had stripped naked near Mount Kinabalu’s summit last month, said the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said the tragedy was a “confirmation” of the consequences of the actions of the 10 Europeans who he said had been disrespectful to local customs. He called on the culprits to be brought to a native court to be charged, the Malay Mail Online reported.
“Whether other people believe this or not, it’s what we Sabahans believe. When the earthquake happened, it’s like a confirmation of our beliefs,” he said. “It is a sacred mountain and you cannot take it lightly,” he added.
You’d think that if the deities in question were offended, they’d have contrived to have the tourists themselves, not just random mountain-climbers, swallowed up by the earth. Or anyway, I’d think that.