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Friday, June 3, 2016

Singaporeans plant trees to commemorate victims of deadly Sabah quake

KUNDASANG - Singaporean families and friends turned up at the Kinabalu National Park here today to plant trees in remembrance of the victims of last year's devastating Sabah earthquake.

Assisted by the Sabah Parks, they planted 10 Agathis borneensis trees at the Kiau Gap observation station, this morning.

The trees represented 10 Singaporean climbers consisting of eight schoolchildren and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School, who were killed in the strong earthquake on June 5 last year.

The victims are teachers Terence Sebastian Loo and Mohammad Ghazi Mohammed; and pupils Rachel Ho Yann Shilin, Sonia Jhala, Emilie Giovanna Ramu, Ameer Ryyan Mohd Aded, Navdeep Singh Jayral s/o Raj Kumar, Muhammad Daanish Amran, and Wee Ying Ping Peony.

Among the 20 Singaporeans present at the tree-planting ceremony were two pupils who survived the tragic quake - Elliot Quok and Chantelle Phuay- and Sonia's family members.

During the event, Sonia's parents presented a mock cheque amounting RM11,601 raised by the Singapore English Football School to the Kinabalu Mountain Guides Association.

The girl's father Jaidip Jhala said Sonia was active in football and her death had brought an impact to the team and her coach.

"They (football team) had organised tournaments to raise funds for the mountain guides who had played a significant role in rescuing other schoolchildren and climbers."

On June 5 last year, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Sabah and killed 18 climbers on Mount Kinabalu. Those who were killed include four mountain guides.

All 20 Singaporeans are scheduled to climb the mountain tomorrow with family members of the four guides.

On Sunday, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun will unveil a monument to mark the first anniversary of the Sabah earthquake victims at the Kiau Gap.

By Avila Geraldine

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