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Mountain guide laid to rest
Published on: Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Alor Setar: Mountain guide Robbi Sapinggi, 30, who was killed in the earthquake on Friday, was laid to rest at the Kiau Nulu cemetery, near here, Sunday.

More than 100 family members and friends attended his funeral at about 3pm.

His elder brother, Billy Sapinggi, 32, said his brother's demise would be sadly missed by the entire family.

"We were very shocked by his death. We did not expect the earthquake would claim his life.

"Our whole family accepted the tragic outcome as fated and we hope he would rest in peace," he told reporters after the burial ceremony at the Christian cemetery.

Meanwhile, Billy, who also works as a mountain guide, said the tragedy which befell his brother would not deter him from continuing to work as a mountain guide.

"After this, I will continue my service as a mountain guide at Mount Kinabalu," he said.


Amazing Borneo Tours, where he was attached to, said it was saddened by his death in the earthquake which struck near Ranau on Friday.

A Facebook posting by the agency said Robbi was accompanying a climber when he was hit by falling rocks.

"Despite being injured, Robbi's only thought was for the welfare of the his guest, urging him to continue ahead to climb down to safety.

"He chose to remain alone and waited for help rather than put the guest's life at further risk."

The statement said Robbi was unable to make it down the mountain in time to receive medical attention and that he died due to haemorrhage.

Amazing Borneo praised Robbi as being a dedicated member of the Mount Kinabalu team for the past two years who had always brought good experiences to climbers.


"We received reviews about his time with us, And we are proud to say that he heroically took care of his guests all the way to the end."

It said his death would be a great loss, not only to his family but also to Sabah Parks. "He well always be our unsung hero. Our heartfelt condolences to his family," it said.

Organiser of the Coalition Duchenne Mount Kinabalu Expedition, Catherine Jayasuriya, said Robbi was always concerned about safety and always put the needs of his guests before his own.

Jayasuriya, who is from Sabah and now based in the United States, said she tried calling Robbi on his handphone, including sending him a text message, after news spread on social media that he was injured, but there was no response.

"I then called a friend in the United Kingdom, who knows Robbi well, to help me find out more. I got a message on Facebook that he had indeed passed away confirmed by my friend in the UK, who had spoken to Robbi's neighbour in Kampung Kiau," she added.

Coalition Duchenne brings together organisations around the world to raise global awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, to fund research and find a cure for the disease.


Jayasuriya said Robbi, who had taken part in four expeditions organised by Coalition Duchenne, love meeting people and was a kind and funny person.

"During one of our expeditions, I was feeling cold as we approached the summit, as it had been raining. Robbi gave me his gloves and jacket to wear, leaving him just in a T-shirt.

"That was just the kind of person he was. He really cared about the safety and comfort of climbers," she told Bernama.

Robbi is featured in her documentary Dusty's Trail. Summit of Borneo and includes an interview with him at his home in Kampung Kiau, where he also sang Sayang Kinabalu with his father.

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